Antelope Valley Union High School District

Personnel Services » Employee Recognition

Employee Recognition


Welcome to the Employee Recognition page!  Please scroll to bottom of page for all information and check back frequently for the latest updates of this year's 2017 program.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your current year's school site ERC representative or please feel free to send e-mail to

The following were selected by committees of Teachers and Classified Employees as the 2017 award recipients! 

2017 AVUHSD Teacher of the Year:  
Debbie Duke

2017 AVUHSD Classified Employee of the Year: 
Sandra Dorado

Site-Level Classified Employees of the Year

Antelope Valley High School: Rosie Hidalgo, Bilingual Intermediate Clerk

District Office:  Daniel Ramos, Secretary I

Eastside High School: Paquita Diaz, Media Network Technician

Highland High School: Leslie Ortega, Pupil Services Technician

Knight High School: Sandra Dorado, Bilingual Instructional Aide 

Lancaster High School: Austin Brady, Campus Supervisor 

Littlerock High School: Adela Morales, Pupil Services Technician                   

Palmdale High School: Luz Nadonza, Intermediate Clerk

Quartz Hill High School: Bobbie Vargo, Registrar 

Alternative Education Schools: Cristy Todd, Secretary to Principal


Site-Level Teachers of the Year

Antelope Valley High School: Ray McClinton

Eastside High School: Kerin Coffey 

Highland High School: Deborah Duke

Knight High School: Curt Stephan 

Lancaster High School: Norman Schmidtberger

Littlerock High School: Lara Sweitzer

Palmdale High School: Angela Forbes

Quartz Hill High School: Pat Degnan

Alternative Education Schools Group: Kris Holladay


Distinguished Service Award

Bridget Cook
Steve Ford
Christine Graves
Kara E. Johnson
Tim Klein
Karen Parker
Robin Reed


Special Service Award

Rickey Bullard
Jessica Centonze-Moll
Monica Dopson
Jeanette Hjelm
Olga Magana
Thomas Vaverka, Eric Borja, Karen Parker
The Nomination Period for the next school year of 2017-18 will open in early February 2018! 

2017 CEREMONY INFO:  Attached below you will find the Program Booklet for the 33rd Annual  Employee Recognition Ceremony which was held on MONDAY, MAY 15, 2017 at 4:00 PM in the theater at  LANCASTER  HIGH  SCHOOL. Open seating for the 90 minute ceremony  began at 3:45 PM!  Announced during the ceremony were the actual recipients of awards selected from the nominees for Distinguished Service Award, Special Service Award, Site-Level Classified Employees of the Year Awards and Site-Level Teachers of the Year Awards, along with the 2017 Overall recipient of each.  Service Awards at 5 year benchmarks were presented to employees with 20 through 35 Years of Service.   Nine retirees who responded by March 31, 2017 with their Ceremony Questionnaire were also recognized on stage.  Congratulations to all!

2017 AWARD NOMINATION FORMS for the FOUR DIFFERENT categories of awards for 2017 were available through February 16, 2017. Thank you to all who took the time to nominate!  The nomination period for next year 2017-18 will open early February 2018!    

2017 RETIREE PRESENATIONS:  If you have retired or will be retiring soon or this school year and would like to be recognized on stage with a presentation during the ceremony with your colleagues, please submit the Retirees Questionnaire attached below no later than March 31, 2017.  Please contact (661) 948-7655 Ext. 247 immediately to confirm form receipt! Congratulations to all retirees!

PROGRAM HISTORY: The Employee Recognition Program was established in 1985 as a way for the Board of Trustees, the Superintendent or designee and co-workers to honor outstanding certificated and classified employees for their service and contributions to the district.   Not all employees who are nominated will receive an award. The selection process for all committees at the sites, and at overall districtwide level, is always a difficult and arduous process as all nominated employees are truly outstanding! Regardless of outcome, it is truly considered an honor to be nominated by a peer, coworker or supervisor.     

FOUR AWARD CATEGORIES:   An employee must have at least 15* years of service credit to be eligible to receive a Distinguished Service Award . Various criteria including long term, outstanding contributions to the district, students or profession are required to be nominated. The award may be presented only once to an employee. A special vote is required by the committee present more than a total of 4 awards each year.  *Minimum years of service updated by Employee Recognition Committee for 2014/15 year and forward.  

Another category is the Special Service Award which may be granted more than once to an employee and do not require a minimum of service years. Criteria to nominate an employee for Special Service Award includes: unusual competence, courage or performance in an emergency situation or under unusual difficulties, and/or original suggestions, developments or major improvements in methods, organization or procedures, or for work on a particular project which resulted in a substantial benefit to the District.

A highlight of the activities, is recognition of the AVUHSD Classified Employee of the Year . Employees are nominated at each site. From that group, site level committees select one employee to serve as each Site Classified Employee of the Year. A district level committee comprised of employees from various fields such as clerical, maintenance, food service, computer/technical, and paraprofessionals then selects the overall AVUHSD Classified Employee of the Year from the group of site recipients. The AVUHSD Classified Employee of the Year may participate further at the Los Angeles County level. Recipients of the Los Angeles County level award may proceed to State and National levels.

In conjunction with Employee Recognition Activities, the AVUHSD District participates in the Teacher of the Year Program . One teacher is selected from each site as a Site Teacher of the Year. From this group, one is chosen as the overall annual AVUHSD Teacher of the Year. The AVUHSD Teacher of the Year will participate further at the Los Angeles County Teacher of the Year Program. Recipients of the Los Angeles County Teacher of the Year award may proceed to State and National levels.

YEARS OF SERVICE AWARDS:  Service year awards are given as determined appropriate by the Employee Recognition Committee.  For service year awards, a full year of service may be granted for paid status of 75% or more of a standard school year. Substitute employment is not counted as ER service credit. Time accrued during inactive status due to unpaid leave, resignation, lay-off or placement on a reemployment list will NOT be counted as service credit for ER.   Time worked for another employer is not counted. Employees must be in paid active status 75% of a standard school year at AVUHSD in a regular position to  accrue an  Employee     Recognition Service Year.    Please note, the above criteria cover service year accrual for Employee Recognition Purposes and do NOT represent placement used for salary, retirement, or any other official district record!   Years of Service Recipients are listed in the Program Booklet below.


All Award Recipients are listed in the PDF below. Which is sorted by Award Category, then Year.