Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

CSEY Awardees 2020

Classifed School Employees of the Year Awardees for 2020.

News Release and biographies of the Classified School Employees of the Year Awardees for 2020.

Additional information can be found on the November 13, 2020, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces 2020 Classified School Employees of the Year, National Award Nominee News Release #20-94.

Phillip Burns

Child Nutrition Category
Food Services Sous Chef, 6 years in current position
District Food Center, Anaheim
Anaheim Union High School District, Orange County

Phillip Burns' responsibilities include recipe development, product testing, planning and production of special diets for special dietary accommodations for the district, and helping with the oversight of the district’s central kitchen. He brings in his culinary expertise to implement creative ideas to help improve the food served in the school district. What is most striking about Phillip is his willingness to support, help, offer solutions, and learn. He presents his ideas for taste panels and discussions so students and parents can get involved in the process of building healthy eating habits. He is always the first to remember the special dietary accommodations when there are menu changes or changes in production, so that all students can eat safe nutritious meals.

Joel Magallon

Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities Category
Tradesman II, 5 years in current position
Early Learning Program, Salinas
Monterey County

Joel Magallon can fix or repair anything. He has vast knowledge of the building trades. Joel’s strengths are problem-solving, honesty, integrity, and willingness to work collaboratively with others to get the job done. He donates his time, materials, and expertise to community building projects and to the Early Learning Program outside of normal business hours. His commitment to helping others is his top priority. He has a wealth of knowledge and loves to share with anyone that is looking to grow personally and professionally.

Estella Ramirez

National Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) Award Candidate External link opens in new window or tab.
Office and Technical Category
Office Clerk, 46 years in current position
San Lucas School, San Lucas
San Lucas Union School District, Monterey County

Estella Ramirez is the first face you see upon entering the school office. She greets not only staff, but parents and students every morning with a smile and kind words. Estella is the one person her office knows they can go to for anything. If she doesn’t already know the answer, she knows where to go to find it. She is the heart of the school. She’s always willing to go the extra mile to help, and in a small district operating with a small staff, you can find her conducting assessments, translating documents, serving lunch, and supervising student behavior in the lunchroom.

Dario Gonzalez

Para-Educator and Instructional Assistance Category
Academic Intervention Specialist Bilingual Sr., 9 years in current position
Noralto Elementary School, Sacramento
Twin Rivers Unified School District, Sacramento County

Dario Gonzalez is known as the “go-to” person for anything and absolutely everything. In addition to being in charge of attendance, he also works on student behavior plans and intervention, student awards, and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). He’s present at all parent/community meetings and has built confidence and trust within the community and staff by always providing follow-through on school matters, building strong relationships, and delivering even the most difficult messages with tact and confidence. When observing Dario working with students with behavior problems, it is clear that he has a gift for communicating with students. He quickly builds trust and rapport with students and prepares them to return to class and be successful.

Jacqueline Simon

Support Services and Security Category
School Security Officer I, 23 years in current position
Frick Middle School, Oakland
Oakland Unified School District, Alameda County

Jacqueline Simon is dedicated to students. She is very direct while being very calm, and when she walks off, students comply. She is a child whisperer. Ms. Jackie has an exceptionally calm demeanor that people are automatically drawn to. She is an incredible natural counselor. Ms. Jackie has words of wisdom for all of the students every day, little words to get them through and keep them on track. She is funny and has a great sense of humor, but you can tell it’s from the heart. She speaks with a huge amount of love in her voice. There is always a lesson to be learned from what she is saying.

William Taylor Jr.

Transportation Category
Truck Driver I, 8 years in current position
Warehouse/Distribution Center, Oakland
Oakland Unified School District, Alameda County

William Taylor exemplifies capable professionalism and exhibits high standards for everything that he does. He delivers meals to school sites, acts as the lead driver handling an incredible amount of logistical challenges, performs truck repairs, does inventory of kitchen and truck supplies, and works with staff and vendors. He is a unique individual who is not only fully capable but extraordinarily willing to perform his job well at the highest standard. When a high school was closed in March and students had to move to three different sites, he worked weekends and overtime to make sure students had Chromebooks and desks at the temporary sites. He will always step up and do what needs to be done.

Questions: Awards Team | | 916-319-0842 
Last Reviewed: Thursday, January 21, 2021
Recently Posted in Awards and Recognition