Personnel Commission

The Garden Grove Unified School District has utilized the Merit System since 1966 to ensure that employees are selected, promoted and retained without favoritism or prejudice. The Personnel Commission is the mainstay of the Merit System. Commissioners are private citizens who must be known adherents to the merit principle. Commissioners are appointed for staggered three-year terms, and may be reappointed upon their showing a continued interest and support of Merit System principles and practices. Providing for a neutral structure, the law requires the Commission be composed of a member appointed by the district Board of Education, a member appointed by the representative of the largest classified employees unit (CSEA #121), with those two appointees jointly agreeing on the selection of the third Commissioner.

Personnel Commission meetings are held at the District Education Center on the first Wednesday of each month at 4:30 p.m.

The Merit System

The Merit System is a system of rules and procedures, similar to civil service, which governs classified school personnel. Its fundamental purpose is to ensure that employees are selected, promoted and retained without favoritism or prejudice on the basis of merit and fitness. Emphasis is placed on the need to make the system equitable and fair to all segments of the community serviced by the Commission including the general public, the students, the classified employees, and the school district administration. The California Education Code requires Personnel Commissions to do the following:

  • Hire and promote employees on the basis of ability.
  • Determine job-related educational and work experience requirements.
  • Ensure objective, job-related tests; provide for the establishment of eligibility lists.
  • Classify or reclassify positions.
  • Recommend salary schedules consistent with the principle of like-pay for like-service.
  • Establish reasonable causes for demotion, suspension, and dismissal.
  • Provide for fair and impartial rules and consistency of administration of the rules.
  • Assure fair treatment of applicants and employees in all aspects of personnel administration without regard to political affiliation, gender, age, or religious creed, and with proper regard for their privacy and constitutional rights as citizens.

Meet our Personnel Commissioners

Our three Commissioners oversee the activities of the commission staff and give their time and talents to serve the District, classified employees, and the entire Garden Grove community. These Commissioners are among the finest in the state. They work together cooperatively and with sensitivity to the needs and concerns of the classified employees and the school district.

Bernice Flatebo

Bernice Flatebo

Bernice Flatebo has been a Personnel Commissioner since 2015.  She has lived in Garden Grove since 1993 and her three sons attended GGUSD for their elementary, intermediate and high school educations.  Berni is currently a Director on the Personnel Commissions Association of Southern California as well as the President of Pension Profit Sharing Service, Inc.  Berni has been active in Garden Grove and is a former Commissioner on Garden Grove’s Traffic Commission, and served as the Secretary for the Sister City Association of Garden Grove.  Berni is the appointee of the Board of Education

Bob Tucker

Bob Tucker

Mr. Tucker was born in Baltimore MD, and has lived most of his life in Orange County, and within the GGUSD boundaries for nearly 30 years. As a strong supporter of public education, he previously served as the union-appointed Personnel Commissioner from 2001-2011, and served two terms on the GGUSD Bond Oversight Committee. Bob is a retired Labor Relations Representative with the California School Employees Association. Prior to that he was a classified school employee, Lead Custodian, in the Huntington Beach City School District where he also volunteered and served as the CSEA Chapter #316 President and Union Steward. He has worked in public education nearly 41 years.  Bob volunteers as the Chair of the Youth Council of the Santa Ana Workforce Development Board (SAWDB), an organization that helps young adults who need a second chance through job training and placement. As a young adult a mentor gave Bob a second chance when I needed one. Now Bob does the same, through his work with the SAWDB.  Bob believes in the principles of the Merit System, including the selection of the most qualified classified employees to serve our students as well as fair due process for those same employees when necessary.  As President Kennedy once said, “One person can make a difference…and every person should try.”  As employees of GGUSD, together we are making a difference in improving the lives of our students, staff and community.


Marilyn Tortolano

Marilyn Tortolano has been a Personnel Commissioner since 2012. Her family came to Garden Grove in 1957 and she attended GGUSD for her elementary, intermediate, and high school education. She recently retired from the position of Assistant Vice President of Claims at CNA Insurance Company. She and her husband Jim were the owners of the Garden Grove Journal and now She is the joint appointee of the other two Personnel Commissioners.

Annual Report

This report describes the functions and activities of the Personnel Commission and the Classified Personnel Office of the Garden Grove Unified School District. The work of the Personnel Commission is greatly dependent upon many individuals who volunteer their time to assist in our testing and interview process. Their commitment to the Personnel Commission allows the Commission to identify the most qualified group of classified employees.