Personnel Support Services
Tracy Hogarth, Associate Superintendent
15250 Avenue of Science
San Diego, CA 92128
The Poway Unified School District is proud to announce Linda Cialeo, Career, Technical and Adult Education Administrative Assistant I, and Michelle Testa, Sunset Hills Elementary School Health Technician, have been chosen as the PUSD Classified Employees of the Year for 2014. Employees were surprised with the announcement at their sites this morning.
A committee of district and site representatives selected the two District Classified Employees of the Year (one representing school sites and one representing district departments) based on work performance, contributions to the school district, and community service.
San Diego County Office of Education also sponsors a Classified Employee Recognition Program, honoring one member of classified service for San Diego County. This year’s Poway Unified representative at the county level is Michelle Testa.
Administrative Assistant I, Career, Technical and Adult Education
Linda Cialeo greets everyone with a warm smile and a reassuring tone that immediately lets you know she will do everything in her power to meet your needs. As the Administrative Assistant at Poway Unified School District’s Career, Technical and Adult Education Center, Linda is a “go to person” for a wide variety of clients and an even wider variety of questions and concerns.
According to CTE Executive Director Kathleen Porter, “Linda is the consummate professional. She is hardworking, knowledgeable, and renowned for always going the extra mile.” Porter adds, “Her laugh is infectious. It keeps all of us in the building motivated.”
Linda’s colleagues often seek her out for training, assistance and support. Porter notes, “Linda is a true role model, generous with her time and support, and committed to bringing out the best in everyone. She is an extremely fast learner and a natural mentor. Her coworkers see her as the ultimate team player.”
As a longtime resident of the District and the mother of two PUSD graduates, Linda’s community outreach efforts include volunteering at the schools her children attended and serving as the Legislative Liaison for Palomar Council PTA.
“The two words that come to mind when I am asked to describe Linda Cialeo are ‘fearless’ and ‘compassionate’”, says Porter. “In any situation, Linda is willing to say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done to make things right. And because of who she is, everyone involved knows she truly cares about them. We should all be such gifted taskmasters!”
Health Technician, Sunset Hills Elementary School
Michelle Testa has a welcoming smile and eager enthusiasm to help in any way that she can as a Health Technician at Sunset Hills Elementary School. She works collaboratively with administration in following up with families regarding truancies and absences. Michelle is calm in crisis situations and always puts students first.
Principal of Sunset Hills, Tina Ziegler says, “Any child who enters the health office gets TLC. She keeps in close contact with parents and notifies them of student conditions or symptoms.” Michelle is also an excellent multi-tasker and connects to people of all ages and needs.
“She is a leader in the school’s Adopt-a-Family program,” says Ziegler. “Michelle insures that all of our at-risk families get what they need, not only around the holidays, but throughout the year. She checks in with families and does an outreach program to different community services to collect donations.”
This year, Michelle also attended the “Turn Around School Conference,” and is a member of Sunset Hills’ “No Excuses University” Team. Ziegler says, “She is always looking at ways to promote Powerful Symbolism. She created a college map in our front office that has all staff members’ pictures with labels of where they attended college.”
Michelle also developed the Giving Garden at Sunset Hills. She started with a vision on how a school garden could enhance the school community and initiated from the ground level, a framework that entailed labor, curriculum, and hands-on activities which give students current and future opportunities to be a part of a community and give back. Michelle coordinates the volunteers and fundraisers for the garden and has spent countless hours tending to it, often on weekends and evenings to ensure that it is the best environment for beauty and growing vegetables.
As a member of the Social Committee, she takes a lead in the social events, and as a member of the School Safety Committee, she has worked with law enforcement and school administration to provide a better plan for the school parking lot during busy drop-off and dismissal times.
“Michelle’s strength is her dedication and commitment to the students,” says Ziegler. “She hands out hugs, band-aids, and TLC on a daily basis. She ensures that all of our students are safe and models strong leadership skills for them.”