Meet the San Diego Unified 2020 Classified Employee of the Year!

Posted: Friday, May 22nd 2020

They ensure the smooth operation of offices, the safety and maintenance of school buildings and property, and the safe transportation of thousands of children.

They also teach vital skills and provide healthy nutrition for our students – a critical role that became even more important this year, as more than 1.3 million meals have been distributed to families while school campuses were closed.

Often working behind the scenes but making a noticeable impact every day, classified employees play crucial roles in the education of San Diego children.

The district's academic programs and other educational opportunities could not be provided to its more than 100,000 students without the unfailing support of nearly 6,500 classified employees, working in more than 800 job classifications across our city.

Every year since 1983, San Diego Unified has honored these professionals during Classified School Employees Week, which is designated by the California legislation as the third full week in May of each year.

This year, San Diego Unified is proud to announce that Andrea Eaton, maintenance planning senior coordinator for Physical Plant Operations, has been named the 2020 San Diego Unified Classified Employee of the Year. Sylvia Hoffman, administrative assistant at the MET High School, is the runner-up.

2020 Classified Employee of the Year

Andrea Eaton
Maintenance Planning Senior Coordinator
Physical Plant Operations

Andrea Eaton has more than 16 years of service with the San Diego Unified School District and has held several positions with the district’s Physical Plant Operations (PPO) during her tenure.

Her early assignments focused on sustainability programs, first as a Recycling Specialist and then Energy/Utility Program Coordinator. She was involved in the development of the district’s solar projects and the construction and demolition recycling program to ensure proper waste disposal. Since July 2010, she has served as PPO’s Maintenance Planning Senior Coordinator.

In her current role, Andrea’s responsibilities include disseminating incoming work requests, overseeing the Work Order Desk function, reviewing and guiding self-help requests/projects, coordinating Special Education/ADA 504 projects, and overseeing the development of PPOs annual and five-year maintenance plan. She organizes PPO’s annual site visits where PPO actively seeks and incorporates school site concerns into its annual plan.

“As the single point of contact for all self-help requests, Ms. Eaton works collaboratively with various community/volunteer groups, school administrators, school-based staff and central office departments,” her supervisor Bryan Ehm wrote in his nomination letter.

“Her guiding focus is to meet the needs of the community, students and staff of San Diego Unified School District. The strong relationships she has established have benefited the communities we serve and the district immensely. She is a consummate professional who embodies PPO’s core values: Trust, Empowerment, Professionalism, Teamwork, Integrity.”

Andrea has earned the respect and admiration of her co-workers through her volunteerism. In recent years, she has taken on the responsibility to champion the Health and Wellness Program within PPO. She provides valuable resources and trainings to staff and is passionate about coordinating and sustaining health and wellness knowledge for PPO staff. As a result of her leadership and commitment, she was named a 2019 Permanente Thriving Schools Honor Roll recipient.

Andrea graduated with a BA Environmental Studies from University of California, Santa Barbara, and holds a Master of Public Administration from National University. She is a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional.

Congratulations to Andrea Eaton on being selected the 2020 San Diego Unified Classified Employee of the Year!

2020 Classified Employee of the Year Runner-up

Sylvia Hoffman
Administrative Asst. I
San Diego Metropolitan Regional & Technical (MET) High School

Sylvia Hoffman has been at the MET for five years and in that time has gained a reputation for being the best that she can be in every aspect of her job. Known as meticulous, detailed-oriented, and reliable, her co-workers describe her as their go-to person for needs big and small.

Perhaps her most important attribute is her dedication to the students and families. Described as the “Mama Bear” to the 150 MET high schoolers, Sylvia is always involved with the students. She attends assemblies, student exhibitions and other activities so that she can stay involved in the school community. Colleagues say if any parent or student were asked what they thought of Sylvia, they would have nothing but positive things to say.

“At a small school, everyone has to wear many hats; Sylvia wears more hats than anyone else, “said MET Principal Melissa Agudelo. “She handles all of the school’s finances, attendance, enrollment, front-desk work, admissions, purchasing, substitutes ... just to name a few. I call her my site manager because ‘Admin Assistant I’ does not come close to covering all she does. She never drops a ball. She sees a need and just fills it.

“At a site that cannot have anyone intent on 'just doing their job', Sylvia is the one who notices what needs to happen and advocates. She knows who to call and how to navigate the system so professionally. She makes things happen that I was positive were impossible. SHE IS MY ROCK. She has taught me more than anyone else. Sylvia deserves recognition for her years of service as a person who exemplifies what it means to do what is right for kids.”


San Diego Unified’s Classified Employee of the Year Recognition would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors:

California Coast Credit Union, California Schools VEBA, Mission Federal Credit Union, North Island Credit Union, San Diego Education Association, San Diego Education Fund


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