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.
Samantha is a graduate of Pacifica High School and joined our district in 2014. She has worked as a part-time school testing assistant, a central office clerk II and since August of 2016, as the school secretary at Riverdale Elementary School. Her colleagues said that when she came to Riverdale a year ago, she hit the ground running. That despite the hectic job of a school secretary, Samantha handles it with joy and patience. She is always smiling and is consistently kind, helpful and cheerful and has a contagious positive personality. They have yet to see her frown. When asked what she loves about her job, Samantha said she loves building relationships with the students and the community, attending school events, and being part of the education of 600 students. She said it feels great being able to help students from how to complete an assignment to referring families to the Family Resource Center, connecting them with tutoring and resources to learn English. Samantha said it’s an honor to be part of Riverdale and to work with such an amazing staff and principal who make it so great to come to work every day.
Monica graduated from Garden Grove High School and then returned to the district in September 2005 to serve as an instructional aide for preschool at Brookhurst Elementary School through June 2006. She was a student teacher at Santiago High School and was re-hired as a teacher in September 2007 at Bolsa Grande High School where she has taught AVID and History. Her colleagues said that she always puts her students and coworkers first. They said that in spite of challenges to her personal health, Monica remained a relentless advocate for her students, providing outstanding sub lessons during her unavoidable absences. Her colleagues called her one of the most selfless people who is consistently available for her students and has had such a positive impact on them. They said that Monica has an amazing work ethic, and they call her an inspiring and heroic teacher. Monica said her favorite thing about the job is interacting with students and that she feels fulfilled when she helps mentor students with their college or career choices. When students participate in debates, role play, discussion in class, it gives her hope that our future is bright with a generation of students who are smart, tech savvy and tolerant toward others.