RIVERSIDE – Riverside Unified School District Superintendent, Dr. David Hansen, kept executive assistant Cheryl Anderson busy in his office early Monday morning so her colleagues could sneak into a nearby conference room with an Oreo cake to celebrate her surprise award.
Dr. Judy D. White, Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, was on hand to present Anderson with the 2018 Riverside County Confidential Employee of the Year Award. Dr. White read a list of accolades penned by Anderson’s co-workers, including a reference to how she exhibits quiet leadership, impeccable professionalism, and an inquiring mind.
“But the part that touched my heart is how they described your capacity to care,” Dr. White said. “You care deeply about the work, and you also care about how the work impacts our students.”
Hansen joked that it was not easy surprising someone who usually knows everything going on in the district office—even as cameras clicked away and employees applauded.
“There is no way I could do this job without Cheryl,” Hansen said. “She not only takes care of me, but all of us in the district.”
Anderson said, “I work with an amazing team and together we have the opportunity to provide every student and employee with the tools they need to succeed. I appreciate this privilege to represent the amazing confidentials in Riverside County.”
Anderson’s entire 15-year educational career has been in her current position at the district. Beyond supporting the superintendent, Anderson also provides executive assistance to assistant superintendents, board members, along with parents, community members, and others that conduct business with the superintendent’s office.
A resident of Menifee, Anderson has served as a mentor for the Riverside Virtual School and at North High School’s Education and Human Services Academy. Outside the office, she is an active participant in her local church where she works with children, teens, and outreach programs for the needy.
“Every employee in every seat affects student achievement. Every staff member is key to the success of every student. Every employee, every day. We have to work together as a team,” Anderson stated in her application.
Dr. White, will conduct a total of seven surprise visits during late February and early March to honor the top educators who serve 430,000 students in the county. The full list of categories and honorees for the 2018 Riverside County Educators of the Year is as follows:
- School Counselor – Jodi Spoon-Sadlon, Elementary School Counselor, Murrieta Valley Unified School District (named on February 21, 2018)
- Site Support Employee – Susan Hall, Teacher on Special Assignment, Murrieta Valley Unified School District (named on February 21, 2018)
- Confidential Employee – Cheryl Anderson, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, Riverside Unified School District (named on February 26, 2018)
- Principal – TBD
- Certificated Administrator – TBD
- Classified Employee – TBD
- Classified Administrator of the Year – Karl Melzer, Instructional Publication Center Manager, Hemet USD (named on February 15, 2018)
The Riverside County Educators of the Year are selected from the more than 36,000 educational employees in the county. The rigorous application process starts with nominations by teachers, classified employees, and school district administrators throughout the county. Applications are then submitted to the Riverside County Office of Education, where an outside selection committee selects the honorees before the county superintendent announces the honorees.
Along with the 2018 Riverside County Teachers of the Year, the Educators of the Year will be honored at the Riverside County Celebrating Educators Luncheon at the Riverside Convention Center on Tuesday, May 22, 2018.
Clarification: The 2018 Teachers of the Year were named in mid-2017 to align with the 2018 California State Teacher of the Year competition. The 2019 Riverside County Teachers of the Year will be announced in May/June of 2018.