As part of staff appreciation week, school officials announced their employee of the year and recognized 12 district employees for working 10 or more years at the school board meeting Tuesday.
Kristene Hammerquist, assistant to Top of the World Elementary’s principal Ron LaMotte, was selected by a special committee as employee of the year, and numerous supporters showed up to cheer for her.
“This is the highlight of my year,” said LaMotte, who presented the award to an assistant he described as “phenomenal.” “I am the luckiest principal in California,” he said. It was the first of a plethora of plaudits heaped upon Hammerquist by fellow employees, administrators and board members, who praised her professionalism, patience, compassion and management.
The employees recognized for their years of service included Tami Cloward in food services, and Carlos Diaz in custodial services, both at El Morro; Nikki Duplisea, PE coach at Top of the World; Beth Sand, elementary music and chorus teacher; Roxanna Ward, choral instructor at Thurston and LBHS; Jane Swintek, the clerk-typist, and Elizabeth Phillips, health clerk, both at Thurston; theater manager Peter Roche, custodian Gregory Johnson, and food services worker Elizabeth Drudy, all at LBHS; and secretary Mary Schoenfeld and human resources technician Melinda Grace, both at the district office.