San Luis Obispo County school districts and Cuesta College recently celebrated the success of many talented educators and support staff at the Fall Employee of the Year Gala. Central Coast schools employ a well-trained, dedicated and inspiring educational workforce.

James Brescia

SLO County Superintendent James Brescia

With all of the challenges our educational organizations face, opportunity and promise still abound in our local schools. Celebrations such as our “Employees of the Year,” serve as brief moments to acknowledge how valuable our employees are, and how they impact generations of students. We invite you to view these celebrations at the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education YouTube site or the two COE-TV channels (Charter 2 and 19) that provide educational public access programming.

Almost all of us have experienced first-hand the transformative power of effective school employees. Over my 30-plus years serving in the field, I have encountered many exceptional teaching and non-teaching school employees. These support staff members and educators possess a passion for their service and demonstrate genuine care for the students in their charge.

Dedicated professionals inspire us to explore ideas, think deeply, accept the challenge, and embrace rigor. Hollywood films portray some of our colleagues such as Anne Sullivan, Jaime Escalante, and Erin Gruwell on a grand scale of the big screen. However, thousands of our support staff and faculty are truly unsung heroes who faithfully serve on a daily basis. I encourage everyone reading this article to take time and thank those who serve the 35,000 students enrolled in our schools throughout San Luis Obispo County.

Educators can bring about extraordinary transformation in our society. Educators are role models; their actions convey more than mere words, and our students learn from all of those in the educational community. Everyone who works in our schools can positively contribute to the lives of our students, especially in their formative years.

Previous generations viewed educators as dispensers of information to the empty vessels who walked the school hallways. Today’s teachers, custodians, bus drivers, clerks, administrators, assistants, and all other educational employees hold immense potential in their hands to bring about positive change in our society by demonstrating a duty of care. Join me in celebrating these wonderful individuals who embody the essential elements of educational excellence.