GGUSD Employees Recognized among Best in Orange County

Maria Mejia

Two GGUSD employees were recognized among an elite group of the best school employees in Orange County through the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) 2020 Teacher of the Year and 2019 Classified Employee of the Year programs.  As part of this prestigious honor, Maria Mejia, paraeducator at Wakeham Elementary School, was one of six finalists for OCDE’s Classified Employees of the Year program and Kelli Colombo, special education teacher at Rancho Alamitos High School, was named as one of ten semi-finalists in OCDE’s Teacher of the Year program.

Each year, GGUSD nominates three teachers and six classified employees to the OCDE recognition programs. The district’s nominees for the 2020 Teacher of the Year program include Summer Fox from Riverdale Elementary School, Phuong Lam from Jordan Intermediate School, and Kelli Colombo from Rancho Alamitos High School.  Teachers and their families are invited to a special celebration hosted by OCDE and SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union at the Disneyland Resort in the fall. 

“We are very proud that Maria and Kelli were recognized among the best in Orange County,” said Lan Nguyen, board of education president. “GGUSD is fortunate that our schools and classrooms are filled with talented and dedicated people who care deeply about the success of our students.”

GGUSD’s 2019 Classified Employee of the Year nominees include Maria Mejia, paraeducator at Wakeham Elementary School; Tammy Pham, cook/baker at Los Amigos High School; Ernesto Navarro, custodian at Simmons Elementary School, Maria Velasco, community liaison at Carrillo Elementary School; Yesenia Cordon, School Bus Driver Instructor, and Vickie Hawkins, secretary at Mark Twain Special Education Center. As a finalist, Maria Mejia was recognized at an Orange County Department of Education Board meeting and presented with a $500 check from SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union.

Teachers and classified employees nominees are also honored during an Angel’s baseball game at a special School Employee Appreciation Night hosted by SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union and at a GGUSD Board of Education meeting in the fall.  Colombo and Mejia were recognized on the field prior to the start of the baseball game, along with other winners from across Orange County.

GGUSD posted a spotlight video about each nominee on its YouTube channel and website.