Final Two Educators Surprised With Riverside County Employee of the Year Announcements

2019 Employees of the Year Round 2 AnnouncementsRIVERSIDE – A campus security officer in Murrieta Valley Unified School District and a high school counselor in Alvord Unified School District were the final surprise recipients of Educator of the Year announcements made by Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Judy D. White.

The surprise announcements took place in the work locations of each honoree—often surrounded by friends, family, and congratulatory colleagues. Over the last several weeks, Dr. Judy D. White, has conducted seven surprise visits to honor the top educators who serve 430,000 students in the county.

“These seven outstanding professionals represent the best and brightest in the field of education,” said Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Judy D. White. “It is a privilege to honor them for serving our students in Riverside County.”

The full list of categories and honorees for the 2019 Riverside County Educators of the Year is as follows:

Riverside County School Counselor of the Year

Lisa Pynn stands with Dr. Mucerino and Dr. White in front of a Congrats banner

Lisa Pynn
Counselor, Alvord Continuation High School
Alvord Unified School District
Lisa Pynn has written six grants totaling over $1 million in additional funding for at-risk youth. She also provides professional development and created S.H.E. is You! – Strong, Healthy & Educated, an Intervention Curriculum for At-Risk Girls.

Riverside County Classified Employee of the Year

Ronald Nelson holds Certificate of Recognition with Dr. Judy D. White

Ronald Nelson
Campus Security, Murrieta Valley High School
Murrieta Valley Unified School District
Ronald Nelson created a quarterly awards breakfast called “Campus Influencers” which recognizes outstanding citizenship. The goal of the program is to recognized students for positive behavior. Students now realize security team members are there for their benefit.

Riverside County Confidential Employee of the Year

Catherine Belcher
Administrative Assistant, Student Programs & Services
Riverside County Office of Education
Catherine has worked alongside peers, district staff, community partners, and representatives from the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office to bring forth new and innovative ideas to help reduce chronic absenteeism in Riverside County.

Riverside County Site Support Employee of the Year

Dawnyelle DeLongchamp
District Psychologist
Val Verde Unified School District
Dawnyelle was instrumental in the development of Val Verde’s preschool assessment team and multi-tiered systems of support. Her leadership is vital in collaborating with community agencies, families, and district staff.

Riverside County Principal of the Year

Dr. Colleen Flavin
Principal, Cawston Elementary School
Hemet Unified School District
Principal Flavin’s leadership vision is simple: a relentless pursuit to build capacity in others. In her words, “Building capacity in others in simple terms can be described as working myself out of a job.”

Riverside County Certificated Administrator of the Year

Dr. Sharon A. Raffiee
Executive Director, Personnel Services
San Jacinto Unified School District
The New Teacher Academy, developed under Sharon’s leadership, has shown substantial benefits for the District through the improved performance and retention of new teachers. Three year data show a reduction in separation rate from 22% to 4%.

Riverside County Classified Administrator of the Year

Reginald James Royster
Assistant Director, Mechanical and Communication Trades
Riverside Unified School District
Reginald has served as a mentor at J.W. North High school for the last 10 years. The students that he mentors are juniors and he takes pride that several of his trade team members have also become mentors.

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 2019 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 7, 2019.

Clarification: The 2019 Teachers of the Year were named in mid-2018 to align with the 2019 California State Teacher of the Year competition. The 2020 Riverside County Teachers of the Year will be announced in May/June of 2019.