February 2018 GGUSD Employees of the Month

Garden Grove Unified School District launched its Employee of the Month recognition program in September and received more than 200 nominations from students, parents, and staff. The program is designed to recognize employees who: put others first; go above and beyond to make a difference in their role; carry out each day with a positive attitude and strong work ethic and demonstrate innovation, leadership, and passion for their job. Employees of the month are recognized at a Board of Education meeting and their photos are displayed in the district office lobby.

Stephanie Castellano – Classified Employee of the Month

Stephanie has been an Elementary School Secretary with GGUSD since 2007. She began at Monroe Elementary School until 2012 when she transferred to Patton Elementary School. She was nominated for this recognition by a parent who said Stephanie is a joy to be around. She knows her job well and she excels at it each and every day. Because of Stephanie’s great knowledge, technical skills, and interpersonal skills, she is a great fit at Patton and an asset to the school and community. She always has a smile on her face even in stressful moments. She always puts the students first and goes above and beyond to take of “her children,” who are in her care while at school. She embraces what is known as the Garden Grove Way, and completely understands the importance of good customer service to all students, parents, and staff members. Stephanie is a role model as an Elementary School Secretary, not only to the students, community, and staff at her site, but also to other district secretaries. She exemplifies the qualities that a school secretary should embrace and frequently is called upon to provide assistance. She is always willing to help others. She is “reliable and trustworthy” and helps to create a positive environment wherever she may be. Stephanie said her favorite thing about her job is her 985 students! She said “They fill my heart with love and make my job exciting and rewarding!”

Teresa Jackson – Certificated Employee of the Month

Teresa joined the district in 2006. She began at Bryant Elementary School but quickly moved to Clinton Elementary School where she continues to work as a sixth grade teacher. Teresa was nominated for this recognition by a student who said she makes learning relatable and important. The student shared that Teresa takes time to educate and entertain by putting on science shows at a local clubhouse community center for her former and current students. She creates fun and engaging lessons and inspires students daily with her personal life stories. Teresa has been to more than more than 45 elementary schools with her science shows and motivates students about attending college and not giving up. She also involves her former students in her shows to give them opportunities to give back to their community. Teresa started a foundation to help support kids in the summer by placing them in activities such as gymnastics, science camps and karate. Teresa said the best part of her job is when former students come back to share their successes and when she is able to capitalize on a teachable moment during the instructional day and offer insight. Teresa lives by the quote that Teaching is a 24 hour, 7 days a week job. Because when you invest in kids, you never stop caring! Congratulations to Teresa for being named as February’s Certificated Employee of the Month and for her recent recognition in OC Parenting Magazine as a Top Five Family Favorite Teacher.