The Dublin Unified School District recently announced its 2022-23 list of Classified Employees of the Year, with computer technician Saul Villalpando from the Technical Services Department winning the top award district-wide.
Villalpando, who is assigned to Dublin High School, will represent the district in the Alameda County Classified Employee of the Year program. He shared his reactions to the award with the Weekly in an interview this week.
"I felt very honored and surprised to be chosen for the Classified EOY award this year. Out of so many hardworking staff members who put their all into what they do, it was nice to even be among them," Villalpando said.
Earlier this year, Villalpando was selected as one of the district's "Equity Champions" in February for continuously celebrating dedication and fairness.
"I feel lucky to be recognized for the work I do. Every day I try to share the importance of lifting each other up and being kind to one another," Villalpando added.
In a press release, Dublin High principal Maureen Byrne spoke about Villalpando, his work ethic and commitment to the school.
"Saul is everyone's go to guy, because no job is too big or too small and he handles everything quickly, efficiently, and kindly," Byrne said. "He is just a delight to be around. From early morning 'emergencies' during staff meetings to late afternoon issues, he shows up and resolves whatever issue we are facing."
"He has created a standard of excellence that our entire staff appreciates. Many of us at Dublin High could be missing for a day or two and the show would go on, but if Saul is out, we are in trouble," Byrne added. "Saul is an invaluable member of our team. Gael students and staff benefit greatly from his support."
DUSD Superintendent Chris Funk also shared reflections on Villalpando and all of the department-level Classified Employees of the Year.
"We simply could not provide our students with the highest level of education without the support of our classified staff," Funk said. "The role this group provides is absolutely invaluable to the successful operation of this district. If everything behind the scenes isn't running smoothly, our teachers can't teach and our students can't learn."
The annual list is compiled to highlight outstanding and exceptional work from district staff members across various positions and fields in the district that serves more than 12,000 students from preschool to 12th grade. Candidates are selected after a peer-nomination process.
The full list of DUSD 2022-2023 Classified Employees of the Year are noted as the following:
* Paraprofessional: Sandra Lenhardt.
* Clerical and Administrative Services: Sabina Jochim.
* Food and Nutrition Services: Marta Ramirez.
* Custodial and Maintenance: Sean Adams.
* Security Services: Mark King.
* Health and Student Services: Laura Larsen.
* Skilled Trades: Steve Peterson.
* Technical Services: Saul Villalpando.
"Those who provide support in the areas of maintenance, nutrition, health service, technology, site administration, finance and so many other areas are the glue that holds everything together. Thank you to all our classified staff and congratulations to these award winners," Funk added.