Visalia Unified honors employees of the year

Each year, Visalia Unified School District invites District staff to submit nominations for the VUSD Employee of the Year Awards.

From those nominated, District administration selects one School Employee of the Year, one Administrator of the Year, and an outstanding Teacher of the Year from each level: elementary, middle, and high school.

The VUSD Board of Trustees then recognizes the award recipients at a public meeting, and the recipients’ family, colleagues, and friends may attend and cheer them on. Although the current circumstances prevented VUSD from holding the traditional recognition Board meeting in person, the district recognized its outstanding 2021 employees of the year for their positive impact on students, parents, and the community virtually.

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On May 4, 2021, at a VUSD virtual board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Tamara Ravalín and the Board of Trustees introduced the 2021 employees of the year.

Ramona Romero is a behavior intervention specialist at Mountain View Elementary. Ms. Romero is described as a leader among her peers. “Ramona has adapted to addressing her job, post COVID-19, in both full distance learning and in person. She continues to train classified aides on how to handle behavior and implement social emotional strategies,” said Principal Amy Jones. Congratulations, Ramona!

Jennifer Carlson is an education specialist at Golden West High School. Ms. Carlson is described as a site leader who devotes countless hours to ensuring her students are set up for success. “Ms. Carlson is committed to ensuring quality instruction for students and a collaborative environment for staff,” said Assistant Superintendent of HRD Dedi Somavia. “Her actions always reflect what is best for the staff and students of Visalia Unified,” she added. Congratulations, Jennifer!

Brenda Carmon is an English teacher at Valley Oak Middle School. Ms. Carmon’s dedication and commitment to her students is described as tireless and constant. “Brenda works tirelessly to create a welcoming, inclusive, and fun atmosphere at Valley Oak,” said Valley Oak Principal David Garza Jr. “Brenda always goes above and beyond, and she is an amazing asset to our school, our students, and our staff,” he added. Congratulations, Brenda!

Patty Jeffus is a second grade teacher at Shannon Ranch Elementary School. Ms. Jeffus is described as a vital member of the Shannon Ranch community. “Often, we will find her out helping direct traffic or students to a safe sidewalk just because she noticed they needed the help,” shared Shannon Ranch Principal Dori Bingaman. “Her ability to make connections with every student is unmatched. Students leave her room at the end of the year not only academically stronger but also emotionally strengthened.” Congratulations, Patty!

Nathan Hernandez is the chief business officer for Visalia Unified School District. Mr. Hernandezis described as someone who is respected and trusted by staff, board members, and the community. “Mr. Hernandez is an outstanding administrator who exemplifies respect, compassion, and caring for others. He actively promotes student success by prioritizing all decisions around the academic and social-emotional growth of our students,” said Superintendent Dr. Tamara Ravalín. “He often is the person who comes up with the creative solutions we need to provide new opportunities for our students and pushes us to make the best decisions possible,” she added. Congratulations, Nathan!

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