Sounds of excitement were emitting from the Yucaipa High School multi-purpose room on the morning of Aug. 5. Excited employees including the custodian and maintenance team, classroom aides, clerical staff, administrators and other employees were all in attendance to kick-off the 2019-20 school year. The theme was “Around the World and Home Again,” and employees were dressed in their comfortable travel attire; some even sporting scuba diving gear.
Superintendent Cali Binks was on hand to heartily welcome everyone back to a new school year and introduce the Yucaipa-Calimesa Board of Education attendees, member Sharon Bannister, member Rosilicie Ochoa-Bogh, and recently appointed member, Mike Snellings. Almost 60 new employees gathered in front of their new peers to introduce themselves to enthusiastic support and applause.
After a warm welcome from the current presidents of the Classified School Employee Association (CSEA), Beth Sparks, and the Yucaipa-Calimesa Educator Association (YCEA), Yvonne Heaney, it was on to recognizing the good work and years of service of district employees, enthusiastically presented by the new Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources, Ernesto Calles. Employees were recognized beginning at the five years of service mark all the way to the 44 years of service mark. This particular honor went to long-time esteemed employee, Maria Nieto.
After baited breath and with a room full of anticipation, the YCJUSD Teacher-of-the-Year was announced by Superintendent Binks and this year’s exceptional recipient was Christine McLaughlin from Competitive Edge Charter Academy. Ms. McLaughlin was graciously presented with a check from the Yucaipa-Calimesa Education Enrichment Foundation (YCEEF) to support the good work in her classroom.
In keeping with the theme, “Around the World and Home Again,” Superintendent Binks had a special surprise in store for the hundreds of employees in attendance…a parade of current YCJUSD students from all grade levels who shared their names, ages, hopes, and dreams for their future as well as a diverse group of Yucaipa High School graduates ranging from the Class of 1965 to the Class of 2016. These alumni varied in occupations from a wide array of professions including police officer/state of CA investigator/fire chief workers, a licensed clinical social worker, local business owners and contractors, a pediatric dentist, real estate agents, nursing and other medical professions, a hospital administration and non-profit work manager, teachers, pastors, a restaurant host, and a professional photographer.
The closing of this annual kick-off convocation ended with a motivational and inspirational message from Superintendent Binks highlighting the impact that YCJUSD has had on the alumni in attendance, but to also remind all employees of the impact that each person has on not only the hopes and dreams of the featured students, but of all YCJUSD students.
For more information on YCJUSD, please visit our website at: www.yucaipaschools.com and follow us on Instagram.