The school district will celebrate and announce Employees of the Year on May 3

PASO ROBLES — The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, April 26. Action items throughout the meeting included the ESSR III expenditure plan, district-wide phone upgrade, and data center server replacement. 

On May 3, the district will celebrate site and department Employees of the Year. At the celebration, they will announce the finalists and winners of the following categories: Rookie of the Year, Support Services Employee of the Year, Administrator of the Year, Community Partner of the Year, Classified Staff Member of the Year, and Teacher of the Year. 

Finalists for this year’s honors are the following:

  • Administrator of the Year — Damien Capalare (Pat Butler), Anthony Overton (PRHS), Kelly Stainbrook (MOT) 
  • Rookie of the Year — Cesar Barajas (PRHS), Jenessa Englert (Pat Butler), Makenna Pugh (Georgia Brown)
  • Support Services of the Year — Jennifer Thoma (LMS), Kelly Roth (District), Alexandra Thompson (PRHS)
  • Community Member of the Year — Netta Perkins

Finalists for classified and certificated staff members of the year move forward for county competitions as well. Over 30 staff members will be recognized on May 3, and the event is an opportunity to thank all public educational staff for the essential role they play in the community.

Additionally, Teach Appreciation Week is May 2-6 and Classified School Employee Week is May 15-21. 

Teachers of the Year by each school site is the following:

  • Glen Speck — Terri Pearl
  • Georgia Brown — Nicole Bailey
  • Pat Butler — Carol Horrell
  • Virginia Peterson — Starr Wilder
  • Kermit King — Carley Moreno
  • Paso Robles High School — Geoffrey Land
  • Alternative Ed — Alisha Lewis
  • Winifred Pifer — Kelsey Guerrero 
  • Lewis Middle School — Tracie Gonzalez
  • Flamson Middle School — Darian Buckles
  • Marie Bauer — Kym Riner

At the closing of the meeting, Superintendent Dr. Curt Dubost made a proposal to the board to dedicate a classroom to Ukrainian refugee children and their teacher. 

Dubost reflected on learning about the Holocaust and the current war in Ukraine.

“It is especially ironic that this is the same part of the world that most directly suffered under the Nazis, and Putin has invoked that history in an especially cruel lie that his goal is denouncification,” he said. “So I again face the question if I have the courage to do something. I’ve contributed money and purchased Ukrainian flags to display at my home and business, but that didn’t take much effort and certainly no courage.”

Dubost felt morally obligated to make the proposal after seeing reports of Ukrainian teachers holding classes in underground shelters as their schools are bombed. He proceeded to ask the board for permission to investigate the possibility of providing a classroom to approximately 20 to 25 Ukrainian students. Dubost offered his home to house the Ukrainian teacher and to expand the effort if it went well.

The board unanimously agreed to direct staff to look into dedicating a classroom to Ukrainian students.

The next regular school board meeting is scheduled for May 10 at 6 p.m.