GGUSD Bus Driver Named California Classified Employee of the Year

GGUSD Bus Driver Shannon Lauricella was congratulated for her selection as Classified Employee of the Year by Transportation Director Matt Thomas and Superintendent Dr. Gabriela Mafi.

Garden Grove Unified School District Bus Driver Shannon Lauricella has been selected for the prestigious 2022 California Classified School Employee of the Year recognition. She is one of nine employees, out of 123 nominations statewide, to receive the honor from the California Department of Education announced yesterday by State Superintendent Tony Thurmond.  Lauricella was also selected as one of two nominees for the Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) Award, a national honor which will be announced by the U.S. Department of Education in 2023.

“This has been an incredibly challenging time for our students and families, and I want to congratulate these outstanding employees for going the extra mile to step up and support California’s students so they can continue to learn,” said Thurmond. “These dedicated employees make sure kids have healthy meals, safe transportation on school buses, and someone to talk to during difficult and unexpected changes—helping keep them safe and supported in their lives and in their education.”

Lauricella is known by her colleagues as their work mom because she consistently devotes her time and talents to those less experienced drivers who want to talk or ask questions. She is also a member of the “Bus Roadeo” team and mentors other drivers to prepare for a statewide competition that showcases and puts to the test the extensive skills of bus drivers. During her campus time, Lauricella assists in a kindergarten classroom at Lawrence Elementary where she helps to guide students in various assignments.  Lauricella also volunteered for the district’s vaccination site serving school employees from across the county and volunteered to promote the Transportation Department at the district’s Job Fairs. 

“Shannon is a true gem to our district and is known by all for her genuine care and compassion for co-workers, students, and families,” said Board of Education Vice President Lan Nguyen. “We are so grateful that Shannon has dedicated her talents to our community and we are thrilled that her skills and service are being recognized at the state and national levels."

The annual program honors outstanding classified school employees from the following categories: Paraprofessional Services, Clerical and Administrative Services, Transportation Services, Food and Nutrition Services, Custodial and Maintenance Services, Security Services, Health and Student Services, Technical Services, and Skilled Trades Services. This year’s recipients were chosen from 123 nominations statewide. The 2022 Classified School Employees of the Year will be honored by Thurmond at a luncheon in Sacramento on Thursday, May 19, 2022.

A selection committee evaluates the applications using eligibility criteria and performance documentation in work performance, school and community involvement, leadership and commitment, local support from colleagues who speak to the nominee’s exemplary work, enhancement of classified school employee’s image in the community and the school, and any other areas the school deems exceptional and pertinent to the CSEY Award. Finalists are approved by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction or his designee.