Classified School Employees
of the Year
These employees were nominated and selected by their fellow staff members as Outstanding Employees for inspiring others to dream big and achieve goals while serving as role models for the entire Oakland community.
OUSD congratulates these individuals for their accomplishments and dedicated support of our students, families and schools.
Qi Yu Ma
Food Services Assistant
Skyline High School
Qi Yu Ma has been recognized for being a quality worker on the kitchen staff, always highly aware of what is going on in the kitchen and supportive of the cook and all of her coworkers. She is appreciated for her ability to take charge and start work the moment she enters the workplace, that she works the campus snack bar on her own, and is well loved by the students she serves.
Operations and Facilities
Acorn Woodland Elementary
Carolyn Major has been commended for her integrity, work ethic and commitment to outstanding service delivery. She is known for her dedication to excellence for over 17 years as an OUSD employee, consistently showing great pride in her work and an unyielding commitment to quality. Carolyn demonstrates the spirit of camaraderie, supporting less experienced custodians in becoming their best, and the campus shines with the quality of her work and relationships with students, teachers and administration.
Office and Technical
Alina Chow has been recognized for maintaining impeccable confidentiality throughout her work as the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Student Services and flawless follow-through on every task. She is known for assisting with extensive complex budgets, maintaining countless contracts, keeping perfect records, and maintaining professional poise and social grace at all times. While the Special Education system is complex and often frustrating, Alina has shown herself to be compassionate, kind and caring with all parents.
Para-Educator & Instructional Assistance
Elba Martinez-de Pineda
Instruction Support Specialist
Emerson Elementary School
Elba Martinez-de Pineda has been commended for taking the lead when it comes to mainstreaming students and pushing them past their comfort zones, demanding the best from them. When there are typically developing children at her school site who have high needs, such as a student who has experienced trauma, Elba is always the first to be willing to offer exceptional support, which means she helps keep students in their classrooms rather than be overly referred to special education programs.
School Security and Support
School Security Officer
Alliance Academy and Elmhurst Community Prep
Rene Essex has been recognized for being a constant, visible presence in hallways and classrooms, well-known for having firm but loving relationships with all students and knowing most students' names, which is integral in ensuring student safety during class and in the yard. She is a true no-nonsense nurturer, providing the proper balance of empathy and discipline for students, often the first to arrive and the last to leave the campus.
Rena Moore has been commended for getting more than 2,000 special education students to school safely and on time, assisting with assigning bus routes, evaluating route compliance, data scheduling, behavior incidents as well as the coordination of all aspects of home-to-school special education transportation. Rena is acknowledged for going to school sites to attend IEP meetings with families and staff to ensure that students receive the appropriate transportation they need.