Classified Employees of the Year

2020-2021

Classified Employees of the Year

Please join me in celebrating these everyday heros! Their work in support of students and families in Lemon Grove is above and beyond and it has been noticed. We are proud to share our news with you and if you see them on site let them know how appreciated they are.

Technology Services

Nir Shitrit - Student Information System Specialist


Nir joined the district a little over a year ago after completing his degree in Speculative Design with an emphasis on Infrastructure and Computing. He came in with an understanding that he would have to pick up a LOT of knowledge.....and he has with diligence and purposeful effort.

Nir has been able to work with staff across all sites and district departments without ever having met any in person. He brings a positive mindset to his work and the office even when problems arise.

Nir has been the point person for the district changeover to our Student Information System continuously working to improve district efficiency and make the best use of our staff resources.

It's an absolute privilege to have him on the team.

Fiscal Services

Michelle Flores - Account Technician


Michelle has been an invaluable member of the Fiscal Team since 2007. In addition to being organized, efficient, and an expert in her area, Michelle can always be counted on to be the Fiscal Services ambassador to our sites and departments.


As an Account Technician she is responsible for a wide variety of duties and large volume of transactions, yet she still finds time to go beyond and offer support to our sites and departments with the highest level of care and service.


Michelle's positive attitude and dedication to Lemon Grove School District are incredibly appreciated.

Maintenance and Operations Services

Jose Luis Duran - HVAC Maintenance Technician

Jose is a great addition to the maintenance and operations department. His can do attitude is a reminder of why Larry Flores enjoys working in maintenance. He consistently has a customer service attitude. His knowledge is vast, his response time is within minutes to any HVAC Refrigeration issue. He has corrected all issues in a very professional and timely manner. His attention to detail is refreshing. There is no job Mr Duran can’t accomplish. We are proud to honor him in this way.

Early Childhood Education

Andrea Grubelnik - Classroom Assistant


Ms. Andrea is a one-of-a-kind preschool assistant dedicated to the success of our Little Lemons and the preschool programs. She is described as being kind, patient, flexible, and a team player. Ms. Andrea is wonderful with the preschoolers, and they adore her. She encourages them to try their best and never give up. She supports the lead teacher by going above and beyond her job description. Ms. Andrea is a model employee, and we are fortunate to have her a part of our team.

Expanded Learning Program

Elizabeth (Becky) Young-Slack - ELP Site Leader


Becky has been serving our district, community, and students for the past 27 years. This school year has been a year like no other. Becky saw the challenges brought upon by the pandemic as opportunities. For example, in the summer Becky took on the opportunity to volunteer her time to be a part of the "Return to School" workgroup. Becky spent every week in July joining meetings in the Safety Work Group. In the summer Becky also went out to Santee School District to check out how in person enrichment was taking place during a pandemic. Becky adapted to virtual EDP in August but also realized that there were student needs not being met through the screen. In October 2020, Becky stepped up in the name of youth service and opened her site to 2 cohorts of students, the first school and department in the district to welcome students back onto campus.


Becky is someone we all want in our corner. She has the best interest of her students and will also advocate to make sure her team feels supported on-site. Becky sets the bar high for Active and Engaged learning and doesn't settle for average. Becky takes student safety seriously and also cares deeply for her students and staff members. She is someone that parents trust deeply and colleagues respect and reach out to for advice.

Monterey Heights Elementary

Jessica Martinez- MH Night Custodian



Jessica is one of the quiet heroes on campus. She is the last to leave each day and cleans up messes that no one dares to touch. She is ready and willing to “roll up her sleeves” at a moment’s notice. She helps to provide a healthy, safe, and secure school environment. She is caring, friendly, always has a smile, and carries a song with her!! We appreciate her hard work and dedication in the Eagles’ nest!

Lemon Grove Academy Middle

Jeremy Robinson - Activity Leader II


Jeremy Robinson is an integral part of our LGAM family for 2 and 1/2 years, and has been working with youth for 18 years. He supports our students by leading them through fun activities all while teaching them important life skills. Jeremy loves the children and it shows when he interacts with them daily.

His helper spirit shines through as he lives by this creed....."We are just passing through this life. Help as many people as you can, but serve the next generation for sure."


Lemon Grove Academy Elementary

Roger Bailey - Senior Custodian


Roger is an incredibly valued and appreciated member of the LGAE team. Even with the additional challenges that the pandemic has created, Roger has gone above and beyond to keep our campus safe, clean and welcoming and he is always there to crack a smile (under his mask) or share a laugh with our students and staff. Roger goes out of his way to help others and has contributed to many of the projects done to make our campus an even more beautiful place! We appreciate all of Roger's hardwork and his commitment to LGAE! He is truly an all around team player and integral member of our community.

San Miguel Elementary

Albert Flores - SM Night Custodian


San Miguel is proud to honor Albert Flores as our 2020-21 classified employee of the year!


Albert is a fantastic custodian. His attention to detail and high standards of cleanliness are outstanding. He is such a hard worker! Throughout the time of distance learning, Albert has assisted in painting the campus and many other projects to help beautify our school. He is always willing to help out staff members and do whenever is needed. Albert truly cares about the San Miguel community of staff and students and works with a positive attitude.

Congratulations and thank you Albert!

Mount Vernon Elementary

Lelya Hulse - MV Secretary


You can always look forward to walking into the front office and seeing Lelya’s smile and kind demeanor. Lelya wears many hats, takes on a great deal of tasks, and is always willing to help in any way she can; even when she has a long list of other tasks. She cares so deeply about our students and families and always prioritizes their needs. Lelya is an extremely valued member of our school community and we are lucky to have her at Mount Vernon!

Vista La Mesa Academy

Brenda Smith - VLMA Secretary


Brenda Smith is truly the lifeblood of our Vista La Mesa school community. Her ability to navigate an immense array of tasks, processes, and personalities while being nothing but kind, generous, patient, and gracious is unrivaled!

She is often the "first face" of our school; greeting each family and visitor with warmth and her vast knowledge. At their most stressful moments, she is the voice of calm, preparing them to be part of our school community.

Brenda has been the force behind acclimating new administrators, staff, and community members and is a perfect example of our OneVista vision!

San Altos Elementary

Larry Spears - Senior Custodian


Larry Spears is not just a Senior Custodian. He has built relationships with staff, families and students that is unparalleled throughout his 30 years of service to the Lemon Grove School District. He welcomes students, smiling with a genuine warmth every day, as they continue to transition back to campus. Most notably, is the special attention he pays to our most impacted students. His work with San Altos and Lemon Grove students extends further as many of our students meet him at Spears Taekwondo Academy in the evening. He truly exemplifies the meaning of community.


His dedication to San Altos is apparent and we are stronger for his service.

Nutrition Services


Peter Garcia - Nutrition Services


It is with great pleasure to announce that Mr. Peter Garcia has been selected as the Nutrition Services Classified Employee of the Year!

Peter has worked 12 years for the LGSD and his current position is the nutrition services storekeeper. Peter has a strong work ethic and is student focused, hardworking, a team player, respectful, has a fantastic attitude and a great sense of humor. Peter has shown great adaptability and dependability through the entire pandemic. He continued working on site, even giving up vacation, to ensure food service continued for our community. It is very rare to see Peter without a smile on his face.

Peter is invaluable to our district and we thank him for your dedication to the students. It is with great honor to present this much deserved award to Peter.


Peter was also selected as the District's Classified Employee of the Year!!


Comments from staff:

Peter is the most respectful person in this district, I met Peter almost 10 years ago, and he always makes me feel welcome in this department. We had a lot of fun all together as a family at Central Kitchen. Peter has a beautiful wife and two wonderful sons that my family had the honor of meeting. Peter is always happy (I think) and ready to help or to find a solution in fulfilling needs from the warehouse to our kitchens. Peter deserves this and more because he is a hard worker. Thank you Peter Pan!

I'm so happy for Peter. He's a very hard worker and ready to work every morning! I always remember Peter as my partner making burritos at the Central Kitchen many years ago and now I feel proud of my friend for being the classified employee of the year. Congratulations to Peter!

Well-deserved. The title of classified employee of the year for the entire district. Peter always supports our kitchens especially with our last minute emergency calls (which are always emergencies). Congratulations Pedro! We appreciate you very much.