March 2019 Employees of the Month

GGUSD’s Employee of the Month 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.

Catherine Diama


Catherine has been with GGUSD for ten years, teaching English for all ten and AVID for the last three. She has been a part of the leadership team for WASC, part of the ILT team, an English department chair, and started and was a club advisor for the Boys' League of Los Amigos. Catherine worked with a liaison with the California Courts and ran Peer Court at LAHS, and began an AP Literature and Composition Study Club. After teaching at Los Amigos for seven years, she decided she loved leadership and obtained a Masters in Administration. Catherine wanted to understand secondary education at all levels, so she transferred to McGarvin Intermediate. She has been a part of the ILT here, became the AVID Coordinator, and began a student leadership team by starting an AVID Club on campus. Catherine was nominated by parents and students, who cited her “dedication to her students, her willingness to learn new things to pass on to the students, her patience, and her belief in her student’s abilities to achieve.” She is also part of GGEA's Community Action Committee. She says her favorite part of the job “is the joy I have for teaching young people every day. I have a passion for mentorship and youth and believe that every young person deserves a chance to be their best. My heart is with shaping the youth today so that their tomorrow feels attainable and to do that I teach the motto to work towards excellence and not perfection. I love seeing the peace this brings students because everyone is working towards becoming a better person - not just writer or reader, though I think those are just as important, but to become a better human being by working towards excellence in everything that we do - and I think that is what is so great about teaching. Kids are moldable, honest, curious, and passionate and every one of them wants to learn, and they come to school day in and day out to be their best, and I am lucky enough to witness this metamorphosis every day I teach.” She is joined tonight by her husband Kika, son Nova, and McGarvin Principal Tahnee Phan.

Tony Tran


Tony has been with GGUSD for 28 years and is currently a Head Custodian at Garden Park Elementary School. Tony was nominated by parents and staff who cite his work ethic, great attitude, and willingness to go above and beyond his job duties as why he is more than deserving of being recognized as an employee of the month. Tony’s loves his job because he loves being able to help people, especially the students and the staff. Principal Michelle Morales had this to say about Tony, “Tony is an extremely knowledgeable and conscientious Head Custodian, who maintains high standards and a strong work ethic. Tony's positive attitude is contagious, and one can't help but feel happy to work at Garden Park because of Tony. Tony has a genuine interest in doing what is best for the students, staff, parents and community members of Garden Park, and always puts safety first.  Back in December, while out in front of the school, Tony looked across the street and noticed a van was on fire at a neighbor’s home.  He used his quick-thinking ability, ran into the closest classroom, grabbed the fire extinguisher, and put out the fire before the fire department arrived.  He is in indeed our neighborhood hero! Tony is well respected by all. He takes pride in his work and takes even more pride in Garden Park. Tony is flexible, always lending his expertise and hand whenever needed. In Tony's own words, "That's what I'm here for." Here at Garden Park, we are so fortunate to have Tony as our Head Custodian, and we are so proud of Tony for receiving this incredible honor of Classified Employee of the Month. Tony is joined tonight by his family, colleagues, and Garden Park Principal Michelle Morales.