Classified Employees of the Year Named

The Kern County Superintendent of Schools is proud to announce the 2021 Kern County Classified Employees of the Year. In March, Kern County school districts nominated exemplary classified employees in eight categories designated by the California Department of Education (CDE). Categories included: Technical Services, Transportation Services, Food and Nutrition Services, Health and Student Services, Skilled Trades, Clerical and Administrative Services, Paraprofessional, and Custodial and Maintenance Services.

A panel of judges from KCSOS selected an honoree in each category to be considered for the State Classified Employees of the Year, which will be chosen later this year by the CDE.

This year’s Kern County School Classified Employees of the Year honorees are:

Tyler Juengst
Technology Technician I
Standard School District
Technical Services Category

In the past year, Tyler has taken on a leadership role in the tech department and has worked to organize and bring the team together as one cohesive unit. “Tyler has always gone beyond the call of duty to make sure technology is working for students, teachers, and administration. No matter what we ask him to do, he always has a professional demeanor and responds politely. I like that Tyler is proactive and likes to get ahead of problems. He is a team player and an important asset to our district,” said Standard Middle School Assistant Principal, Richard Conolly.

Darla Hylton
School Bus Driver
Panama-Buena Vista Union School District
Transportation Services Category 

Darla takes great pride in her work as a school bus driver and a member of the transportation team. Her devotion to the special needs students she serves is unparalleled. Darla is an incredibly caring and giving individual. She has tremendous spirit and always takes the opportunity to brighten the lives of children with her participation in school dress up days and celebrations.

Michelle Arriola
Norris School District
Food and Nutrition Services Category
Michelle has been a part of the food services program at Norris School District for over twenty years and continues to be an incredible asset to the program. She is extremely organized and goes above and beyond, always striving for excellence. Michelle is a positive, caring team player who knows and loves the students and staff she serves. She is respected and loved by all who know her.

Deborah Bega
Yard Aide
Earl Warren Junior High / Panama-Buena Vista Union School District
Health and Student Services Category

Debbie is very involved on campus. She is one of the staff members that students feel most comfortable approaching when they are having issues. While she is employed as a yard aide, she has become a tremendous resource for the teaching staff. During class, while there are no students out and about needing supervision, Debbie can be found in teacher classrooms helping them complete their needed prep.

Clayton Taylor
Maintenance Specialist II
Norris School District
Skilled Trades Category

Clayton serves the district as the only skilled laborer with a specialized certification in plumbing. He brings those skills into play at all school sites as well as the District Office and MOT Transportation HUB. All work assigned to Clayton is done in a timely fashion and with a high degree of quality. He leads others in group projects and is often looked to for recommendations on maintenance issues. He has connected with the school and community environment well and is often invited to student birthday parties by parents of special education students. He has a true heart to serve the district’s most fragile learners.

Maria Arevalo
Bakersfield City School District
Clerical and Administrative Services Category

A ten-year employee of the district, Maria currently serves as the district receptionist and switchboard operator. She always greets callers and guests with warmth, joy, and an ever-present smile. She provides the ultimate customer service experience, often taking it upon herself to find solutions to guest problems. Martin Ramirez, BCSD Communications Supervisor, said the following about Maria. “It is a great pleasure to work with Maria Arevalo. She is always doing her best, always proactive and always helpful. Maria inspires us to be better at our work and to do our best to benefit students and families.”

Diana Cota
Instructional Aide-Special Education
Taft Union High School
Paraprofessional Category

Diana has been in her current position for more than 13 years, providing quality bilingual translation and instructional support for special education and ELD students, their parents, and the entire district staff. She is a quiet powerhouse. She doesn’t seek credit, even when she deserves it. She attends work diligently and on time and is a dependable source of support for staff and students.

April Howard
Old River Elementary / Panama-Buena Vista Union School District
Custodial and Maintenance Services Category

Exceptional. Above and beyond. Read your mind. Attention to detail. Done before you ask. These words all describe April and the work she does at Old River Elementary School. “In the last year working with April, multiple people have told me how she is the best custodian they have ever had. This is evidenced in how she cleans their rooms daily as well as being available for last-minute needs,” said Old River Elementary School Principal, Kathy Josephson.