Employees of the Month Recognition
MCOE greatly values employees who strive each day to provide high-quality services and programs, and continually work to fulfill the critical mission of public education.
Employees of the Month are selected through a nomination process presented to the Cabinet. Awardees and their colleagues are invited to speak at the monthly County Board Meetings. Employees of the month are selected for each of our three employment categories which are: Management, Classified, and Certificated employees.
Employees of the Month are honorably recognized and nominated by their teams for their outstanding job performances. Each month, Monterey County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Deneen Guss, the MCOE Communications team, and the awardee's managers and team surprise each individual awardee at their work locations with balloons, a certificate, and a bag of gifts.
This recognition page showcases our Employees of the Month for the past 12 months.
Special Education Teacher Ms. Yesenia Casillas exhibits exemplary skills every day. She is an excellent role model for staff, parents, and families, as she demonstrates how to work successfully with students who have moderate to severe disabilities, including communication, behavior, social skills, and academics. Ms. Casillas always presents a demeanor that demonstrates a love for her job but, more exceptionally, a love for her students because she delights in each mark of progress they show. Ms. Casillas plans for and organizes every minute of the school day to provide her students with a maximized school experience that directs them toward success and fun! Ms. Casillas’ classroom staff emphasize that they are busy, but not rushed, informed and included, supported and appreciated.
Ms. Casillas displays high competence, compassion, and thoughtfulness toward her students and their families. Her reports are professional and informative, and her presence at important meetings with parents always comes with a calming and reassuring demeanor. She utilizes best practices in all areas and embeds crucial skill development into every activity. Many staff members who work, or have worked, in Ms. Casillas’ classroom proclaim that she is one of the best teachers they have seen - within MCOE and elsewhere!
Alternative Education Administrative Assistant III Maricela Cruz has been instrumental to her team, especially during the recent Federal Program Monitoring (FPM) review. During this extensive review, Maricela was proactive and committed to going above and beyond to produce multiple documents required for compliance. She remained focused and dependable during the time it took to ensure that the needed documents showcased that the program funding was accounted for as required by law. Maricela led this task exceptionally by organizing and preparing all necessary documentation.
Maricela was also a great help as Open Door Charter moved to the Alternative Education office, and without hesitation, she helped organize and prepare the area for teachers, families, and students. In addition, now that the Educational Liaison has moved sites to the Salinas Community School, Maricela's expertise shines through as she helps to assist and support families and students. She is praised for thinking ahead and communicating well to ensure the department's needs are met. Maricela's coworkers continually expressed their deep appreciation for her depth of knowledge and experience. In addition to her excellence in her role at work, Maricela is an active community member and participates in many events to support youth in sports.