Tolleson Union High School District bestows the Employee of the Month recognition upon employees who have exemplified the vision, mission, and values of the district. These employees serve as an inspiration to others by showing a commitment to providing excellent customer service and making a positive impact on student achievement. Honorees enjoy breakfast with the district leadership team and are awarded a commemorative gift given during a governing board meeting.
Congratulations to the Employees of the Month for December 2011
Left to Right: Antonio Lozano, Julia Brown, Jesse Sanchez
Mr. Antonio Lozano, Band and Choir Teacher and Performing Arts Department Chair
When I read the TUHSD vision, I think this could also read as “Antonio Lozano’s vision.” All students are welcome in his classes. He will take all students regardless of talent or experience. He consistently demands educational excellence from all of his students, and he gets it with quality performances. He has led the band to be the district’s only state-qualifying team. He also has the largest choir that has ever competed at many competitions, leading the students to achieve “superior” ratings. He organized the school’s annual Winter Festival, which he does every year, to bring together Sierra Linda High School with the feeder schools and community. Finally, Antonio has created an environment where everyone is accepted. Students feel comfortable with him. Parents feel comfortable with him. Teachers feel comfortable with him. No matter who they are, all are welcome in his class.
Antonio is always there when you need him. There have been countless numbers of times when we have called upon him to have his choir or band ready to perform at a function, such as academic awards, and he has always been willing to help. Anytime Antonio sees a need on campus, he is there to help. He attends countless functions, participates in fundraisers, and is always the biggest advocate for students. He has always been my “go-to” person and has always done a quality job.
Antonio has built a program that makes students want to come to school. He has taken a large number of students who had no desire to be in band or choir and made his program one of the top programs at Sierra Linda. He keeps students engaged and holds them to high standards. In addition, he exposes students to the world outside of southwest Phoenix. He has taken students to operas, nice restaurants, performances in California, competitions in Flagstaff, and given them many other opportunities that many of our students have never had. He gives many students a new perspective and desire to achieve in life.
Ms. Gamboa chose dedicated, hardworking, and passionate as the three words that best describe Mr. Lozano.
Ms. Brown has the incredible task of taking students from five different districts and twenty-six different feeder schools and finding a way to get them all functioning on the same page by the end of their freshman year. Julia is also assisting University High School and the district in the roles of gifted advisor and Indian Education coordinator. She utilizes her master’s degree in gifted education to help ensure that the needs of gifted students are considered and met at UHS. In her role of working with the Native American population, Julia is a strong advocate. This role has brought her into contact with all of the district schools as she helps our system meet the needs of this unrepresented population of students. Her willingness to go above and beyond to help her Native American students find success is invaluable, and her success has caused her to be singled out for recognition by the Department of Education.
Julia goes above and beyond to provide assistant to her students, often holding tutoring before school, during lunch, and after school hours. If a student needs help and wants the support, she finds a way to meet his/her needs. Julia works tirelessly to bring students to their full potential in order to accomplish any dream that they set their mind to. She so strongly demonstrates that she believes in her students that few can withstand her will; by the end of her class, they all believe as well. She helps not only University High School students, but she also helps any students that walk through her door, as evidenced by the help she provided to my son, a Tolleson Union High School student, as he prepared for AIMS writing.
Ms. Brown is the epitome of excellence in teaching. Much of our standardized test success is due to Julia’s dedication to the growth of her students and her focus on English foundation skills. Regardless of their starting point, she challenges them to achieve excellence in all that they do - as writers, as readers, and as people. Our AIMS scores reflect her (and all of our English Department’s) efforts to push students to excel. She pushes her students to do their best work and will not accept anything less than their best effort. She does this by having students rework their assignment until the work meets our high standards. In addition, she works with students after school and on weekends to help them individually to develop their writing skills. More than this, she is kind and caring. When there are family problems or roadblocks, she helps her students access the help they need. Her students know that she is listening to them. She is never just their friend; she is their teacher and their mentor. She is more than an employee; she is a change agent for hundreds of students.
The three words Mr. Padilla chose to best describe Mr. Brown are dedicated, hardworking, and compassionate.
Jesse understands how important every minute of instructional time is in getting our Title I students to master the basic skills. He strategizes with me and our reading coordinators to cause the least disruption to class time when he needs to apply a patch or update software. He has also helped update, and improve how we do things, like registering students, so that it is not as time intensive for teachers and they can focus on instruction.
Jesse is very responsive when there are issues, and he is very persistent in finding solutions. The color printer in my office was only printing black and white for several months. After submitting several Track-its and being told it may need to be replaced, Jesse found the solution. There was another situation where the speaker in the Building A computer lab was not working. Jesse was told it was broken. He found that the wires were just mismatched. This was very important for my Peer Coaching, which involved analyzing videos of teacher lessons. In addition, one Saturday when technology was not working, I called Jesse to see if he could walk me through a solution. He immediately responded, “I’ll be right there.”
We all know that technology can be a powerful tool to increase student achievement, but when not working as intended, it becomes a frustration and can waste time. Jesse is very proactive to avoid issues, but when they happen, he attacks them with urgency. Prior to Jesse coming to the district, our scholastic data aggregation had been unsuccessful for years. Jesse got to the bottom of the problem and has now centralized the server eliminating many issues. We are maximizing our technology because of Jesse.
Ms. Sempkowski chose responsive, tenacious, and sharp as the three words that best describe Mr. Sanchez.
Please feel free to read about our outstanding past Employees of the Month.