2018 Classified Employees of the Year

It was a celebration that had people dancing in the aisles as the district honored the countless contributions of its classified employees at the 2018 Classified Employee of the Year event.

Barbara Buchanan, school clerk at Point Loma High School, was named Classified Employee of the Year, and Rebecca Cisneros from Early Childhood Special Education and Euclid CDC, was named runner up. 

“Barbara is a consummate team player and a key element in what makes Point Loma High School one of the best schools in the district,” said colleague Eric Brown. “Her work ethic, creation of a hospitable and welcoming environment for our Point Loma community, and her ability to take charge when needed sets her apart from others.” 

Barbara Buchanan Tribute Video
Event photos

Both Buchanan and Cisneros have each been with the district for more than 30 years. 

“Rebecca is a passionate employee who cares about all students and their well-being and demonstrates considerable care for her colleagues,” said CDC Program Manager Melissa Roy. “Rebecca’s commitment to education, servant leadership and her desire to be actively involved in positive change for a school or district makes her the ideal employee.”

More than 350 employees and their families attended the annual celebration held at Patrick Henry High School. Both Buchanan and Cisneros were recognized on stage, as were more than 75 site classified honorees, who had the opportunity to come up on stage to say their names and work site. Presidents from each of the employee groups presented Buchanan and Cisneros with gifts, and praised the efforts of all classified staff throughout the district. 

Entertainment was provided by the Fat Shirley Band, whose bass player was event host and former San Diego Unified classified employee, Herschel Johnson. The band had attendees dancing in the aisles.

Piatt Pund, sophomore at Mission Bay High School, performed the National Anthem.

Guests were also treated to a raffle, courtesy of event sponsors California Coast Credit Union, the Standard, Mission Federal Credit Union and Elivelife.com. 

Prior to the formal ceremony, the district hosted a reception featuring appetizers and desserts prepared by students from San Diego Unified's award-winning culinary arts programs at Mira Mesa and San Diego high schools. The Gypsy Jazz Quartet from Mission Bay High School provided music. 

The event was made possible with the help of these generous sponsors: Diamond sponsor California Schools VEBA, and silver sponsors Mission Federal Credit Union, California Coast Credit Union, The Standard and eLiveLife.com.

Site Classified Employee of the Year Honorees:


Name of Classified RepresentativeSchool or Department Name
Reyna Acosta RuizRoss Elementary School
Anglea AndresEricson Elementary School
Lorena ArcigaFiscal Control
Christine ArreguinMemorial Preparatory for Scholars and Athletes
Theresa AvelisClairemont High School
Cassie BarajasRoosevelt Middle School
Aubrey BarbaritaMira Mesa High School
Pamela BelliHigh Virtual Academy
Denise BernetskyFinancial Planning, Monitoring & Accountability
Leslie BlairScripps Ranch High School
Jennifer BorchardtCrown Point Junior Music Academy
Scott BradleyCPMA
Ana BradySpecial Education
Rosemarie BreezeRowan Elementary School
Joanna BrittStandley Middle School
Barbara BuchananPoint Loma High School
Shanicqua BynnomKennedy Child Development Center
Marie ByrdUniversity City High School
Mike CandelarioValencia Park Elementary School
Ethylene CaneteBoone Elementary School
Maria CardonaHorton Elementary School
Alma CasillasSan Diego High School
Marival CastilloBay Point Preschool
Jose CernaHoover High School
Miriam Ceron de RodriguezMontgomery Middle School
Teresita ChavezBethune K-8
Rebecca CisnerosEarly Childhood Special Education/Euclid CDC
Jeff CowmanHearst Elementary School
Susan CoxBay Point Preschool
Andrea CraftLow Incidence Programs
Sokphea CrossHickman Elementary School
Diana DelacruzMorse High School
Liem DoBirney Elementary School
Deborah DuncanMuirlands Middle School
Patricia DuranHuman Resources
Zeinab ElmashadCadman Elementary School
Leslie EsparzaWalker Child Development Center
Kimberly EurichTorrey Pines Elementary School
Vickie FahnFletcher Elementary School
Shauna FitzpatrickMission Bay High School
Marjorie FlorioJerabek Elementary School
Yvonne GafaInnovation Middle School
Norma GallegosMt. Everest Academy
Luz GarciaALBA
Ashley (Britania) GarciaCabrillo Elementary School
Nicole GeeLindbergh Schweitzer Elementary School
Tina GerstlerLewis Middle School
Irene GilAdams Elementary School
Magda GonsalvesWebster Elementary School
Evelia GonzalezSherman Elementary School
Sherita GreenLincoln High School
Sabrina HahnleinEricson Elementary School
Earl HamiltonDe Portola Middle School
David HendersonChallenger Middle School
Maria  HevenerWalker Elementary School
Christy HollyEast Village High School
Amber HoodLafayette Elementary School
Ramona HuertaClark Middle School
Gabriel HuezoMateriel Control Department
Laura HuezoSan Diego High School
Carmen IslandWilson Middle School
Lynda JohnsonDailard Elementary School
Michelle JoinerJones Elementary School
Tim JollettLoma Portal Elementary School
Zappard Jones-LemonsKennedy Child Development Center
Charlene JuarezHage Elementary School
Karen Lacey-JacksonBell Middle School
Philip LawrenceWegeforth Elementary School
Felicia LedesmaPorter Elementary Preschool
Sandra LeoneHome Hospital and Transition Supports School
Blanca LoyaJefferson Elementary School
Jacqueline LuquinKumeyaay Elementary School
Maria (Carmen) MaderiasJonas Salk Elementary School
Linda ManabatKnox Middle School
Guadalupe Christina MartinezFreese Elementary School
Tamara MasonSchool Police
Mark McGeeWangenheim Middle School
Tara McNamaraFood and Nutrition Services
Edgar MejiaWhittier School K-12
Patricia MelbanPacific Beach Elementary School
Victor MendezOak Park Elementary School
Ana Mendoza RamirezSpecial Education
Taylor MessingerWhittier School K-12
Judy MeyersTranslation Department
Leticia MiramontesEmerson Bandini Elementary School
Michelle MitchellJoyner Elementary School
Noorita MoldenPerry Elementary School
Lilia Neri De HidalgoCorreia Middle School
Cameron OctonTierrasanta Elementary School
Daniel OrtizFacilities Planning and Construction
Kristina PaineGrant K-8
Jeff PalovichHancock Elementary School
Mizue PangelinanJohnson Elementary School
Kenyon PattersonDingeman Elementary School
Ana Pena AguilarCherokee Point Elementary School
Maria (Vickie) PinaBaker Elementary School
Irene QuinataCrawford High School
Amir A. RahimBell Middle School
Priscilla RamirezCentral Elementary School
Berhanu ReferaHawthorne Elementary School
Alma ReyesField Elementary School
Kenia RiveraCarson Elementary Steam Magnet School
Merlinda RoadarmelMcKinley Elementary School
Karina RodriguezMillennial Tech Middle School
David RodriguezOperations Division
Jennifer RollNursing & Wellness Department
Amber RoweTRACE
Jennifer RuffoSan Diego High School
Maria SalgadoToler Elementary School
Marcy SandersHenry High School
Nancy SanfilippoEB Scripps Elementary School
Melina SantanaPacific View Leadership Elementary
Irene SantosAlexander Hamilton Elementary School
Marianne SchampVista Grande Elementary School
Maria ShawCommunications Department
Toni ShawMann Middle School
Roxanne SmithHardy Elementary School
Yolanda SmithPenn Elementary School
Bonnie SobieckBarnard Asian Pacific Language Academy
Sheryl StearnsAccounts Payable
Celles SteelFulton K-8 School
Corey StrailyAssistive Technology
Jesus TapiaEncanto Elementary School
Liliana TorresBurbank Elementary School
Mary TrombleyMadison High School
Kate TronerudFay Elementary School
Jonathan TurnerTwain High School
Catalina ValenzuelaCrown Point Junior Music Academy
Marina ValenzuelaPorter Elementary School
Victor VargasOak Park Elementary School
Roberto VillaCarver Elementary School
Margarita VillegasZamorano Fine Arts Academy
Yvonne WaldenJohn Muir
Sharon WoodSilver Gate Elementary School