2020 Employees of the Year
The wonderful teachers and support staff in Jurupa Unified are the foundation from which the strength of the district is built. During the 2019-2020 school year, sixty-one employees were selected to represent the best of the best, and nine were nominated to move on to the county level.
“I am deeply grateful to each of you for your dedication, imagination, and love of students, learning, and serving others. Congratulations on this honor and on all of your achievements," said Elliott Duchon, Superintendent.
The nine JUSD Employees of the Year are highlighted along with a video created to honor their excellence.
Elementary Teacher of the Year – Laura Gonzales (Intervention Teacher – West Riverside)
Mrs. Gonzales has been a pillar at West Riverside for the past 22 years. She comes to work each day with creative ideas, a cheerful attitude, and a willingness to help. As Principal Designee, she carries herself professionally and is available whenever needed. As a Literacy Teacher, she provides resources to successfully implement guided reading strategies, always going above and beyond to serve struggling students. She assists teachers with DIBELS and Istation assessment data, making herself readily available. Mrs. Gonzales is an Instructional Coach helping teachers in the classroom and providing professional development across the district. She is instrumental in making Math Units of Study a success, and each member of the team treasures working with her. Mrs. Gonzales' outstanding organizational and leadership skills have made her the perfect person to participate in School Site Council, ELAC, and our Student Success Team. In addition, she regularly translates at IEP meetings and works tirelessly to make West the best!
Middle School Teacher of the Year – Rochelle Rowe (Math Teacher – Jurupa Middle)
Mrs. Rochelle Rowe is an incredibly passionate, caring, dynamic, and dedicated educator, both for her students and her colleagues. She seeks to meet every student's learning needs and continuously creates accessible lessons. She volunteers her time to tutor students before and after school. Rochelle encourages students to relearn concepts they have had trouble with and allows students the opportunity to flourish in her math classes. She is open to suggestions, exchanges ideas on a daily basis, and shares her materials freely with new and established peers. Rochelle is a teacher-leader on campus, is our Math 7 department head, and is on our Leadership Team, Impact Team, and Positive School Culture Committee. She volunteers for Instructional Council and the Safety Committee at the district level. She has also earned her Master's Degree in Administration and serves as Principal Designee. Rochelle has the determination, enthusiasm, integrity, and positivity that students and her peers respect.
High School Teacher of the Year – Janiece Bailey (AVID & English Teacher – Rubidoux)
Mrs. Bailey is passionate about her work and a catalyst for the success of students at Rubidoux. As a teacher and a Student Success Team Coordinator, whenever there are students who are struggling, Mrs. Bailey is a motivating force to encourage students to perform to their full potential. She does not give up on any student and seeks resources to help students overcome any obstacle. Mrs. Bailey does an extraordinary job as a 504 coordinator and Impact Team leader. She volunteered for and accepted the challenge of teaching the CCAP program for students taking college classes in their sophomore year. She challenges students and personally connects with them to provide exactly what they need: a teacher and a mentor! Janiece Bailey has shown the willingness to go above and beyond expectations. She always has a smile on her face, a sweet demeanor, and a kind heart.
Classified Employee of the Year - Lori Cassen-Snyder (Café Manager - Stone Avenue)
From Stone Avenue Elementary, the Classified Employee of the Year is Lori Cassen-Snyder. Lori is dedicated to ensuring that the students of Stone Avenue are well-fed and feel loved. She goes the extra mile to make sure students receive a healthy meal and a smile every day. In addition, she fosters relationships with students and parents alike, and is a member of the Parent Teacher Organization. She puts in additional hours as PTO President and supports the school through fundraisers, parent involvement, and ensuring that our students have opportunities outside of the classroom. She is quick to take “at promise" students under her wing to support their academic and social-emotional needs. She does all this and is able to keep our kitchen in top shape, providing breakfast and lunch for the hundreds of students at Stone Avenue to help them stay healthy and ready to learn.
Counselor of the Year – Franklin Marmolejo (Rubidoux)
Franklin Marmolejo, School Counselor of the Year, has a positive attitude and is always willing to help students and colleagues. He truly cares about the students at RHS and goes above and beyond to build relationships with students, families, and staff to ensure the academic and personal success of all students. Frank empowers each of his students, scheduling them into appropriate classes as well as providing them with CTE, A-G, and high school graduation information while assisting them in the decision-making process. He is always willing to share any opportunity he comes across that benefit students academically. Franklin has joined committees such as the College and Career Fair and CCGI to provide students with educational and career options. He has also become the liaison on our campus to the Young Men's Conference. Mr. Marmolejo takes great pride in his work, and student success is his priority. He is an extremely valued member of our counseling team and staff at Rubidoux High School.
Principal of the Year – Sylvia Bottom (Glen Avon Elementary)
Mrs. Sylvia Bottom possesses the leadership qualities that make her so deserving of this recognition. Sylvia has been an administrator since 2008 and at the helm at Glen Avon Elementary since 2013. Her knowledge, leadership, vision, dedication, constant focus on "what's best for kids," and personal integrity make her a huge asset to our district. Under her leadership, Glen Avon has been recognized as a California Distinguished School and Title I Academic Achievement Award recipient. Sylvia is a strong instructional leader who promotes collective efficacy to improve student learning and growth. She also shares her expertise -- and her focus on student ownership of learning -- with her colleagues. Many principals have been extremely fortunate to have her assigned as a mentor. Sylvia Bottom is an innovative leader who has earned this recognition.
Certificated Administrator of the Year – Rosa Santos-Lee (Director of Elementary Education)
We are honored to recognize Rosa Santos-Lee, Director of Elementary Education, as the Certificated Administrator of the Year. Rosa, a member of the JUSD family since 1994, has served as a teacher, TSA, assistant principal, elementary principal, and, since 2016, Director of Elementary Education. In every role, in every setting, she has excelled. Her focus on our students, her passion for curriculum and instruction, and the amazing way she supports principals and schools sets her apart. Whether it's Impact Teams, Units of Study, the arts, induction, or coaching principals and leading positive change, she sets an example that all of us strive to follow. Our students continue to grow and achieve thanks to her dedication, passion and leadership. We are lucky to have her as our Certificated Administrator of the Year!
Confidential Employee of the Year – Krystal Freeman (Assistant Superintendent's Secretary)
Krystal is the true definition of a servant leader. Her commitment to excellence in her job and the way she treats others are second to none. No matter what it takes, she will always go out of her way to make sure the job is done to meet the highest standards or to find answers for people when they need help. She is the first to volunteer to help other departments when they are in need, and her ability to work with others has brought success across the district. Her positive attitude, customer service, and willingness to help have given her a reputation that garners praise and respect from all who come in contact with her. Krystal is not only committed to her job, she is committed to our students, staff, and the district, where her unwavering dedication is evident in all that she does on a daily basis. Krystal IS the district standard of Soaring without Limits!
Classified Manager of the Year – Dana Toland (Director of Maintenance & Operations)
Dana is a shining example of what hard work and dedication to the job looks like. He is here early in the morning and stays late in the afternoon to ensure that our school sites are in tip-top shape for our students and staff. Through his leadership, the Maintenance and Operations Department has been elevated to new heights, providing optimal learning environments for our students. Our school facilities and grounds have become safe havens for our students and places where they come to not only learn, but also to be safe, secure, and nurtured. Simply put, JUSD is a better district because of Dana's leadership, work ethic, and relentless commitment to our staff and students.
click here to view all the Employees of the Year for 2019 - 2020.