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San Juan Unified names 2023 Classified Employees of the Year

San Juan Unified is proud to recognize our classified employees who go above and beyond for the district and its schools. Our 2023 Classified Employees of the Year are shining examples of what makes San Juan Unified a special place to work, grow, and make a difference. 

This year’s recipients made significant contributions to the organization through their respective positions that have positively impacted how San Juan Unified serves our schools and families. From supporting students in the classroom to ensuring a clean and safe work environment, learn more about the three classified employees who share the honor of Classified Employee of the Year. 

Michelle Fingold - Michelle is an instructional assistant at Casa Roble Fundamental High School who was described as “an inspiration to all” according to her nomination form. “Michelle attends as many extracurricular events as she can…to show her students that they are more than just a body in a classroom or a grade in a book.” Her nomination form also described Michelle’s work as setting the bar for instructional assistants and helping to create consistency in the classroom. 

Rita Cornelison - Rita is a human resources analyst and was nominated for Classified Employee of the Year because “she is the perfect example of a conscientious, dedicated employee who is humble in her accomplishments.” Rita’s work includes the upcoming implementation of the district’s new financial information system, where she committed to a leadership role. Her nominator also said, “Rita communicates very succinctly with those in her purview. She trains very effectively so that all around her understand what needs to be done and when it needs to be completed.”

Sally Garcia - Sally was nominated because she “takes her job seriously” as custodian for the District Office. “Reserve the board room, and you can be sure that Sally will take the initiative to talk with you about how many people you expect and how you want it arranged,” said her nominator, also adding, “I believe Sally goes above and beyond because she cares about people.” Sally also participates as an active Central Office Morale Improvement Committee member and serves as her union’s labor representative.


Michelle Fingold holding her certificate and flowers.Sally Garcia holding her certificate and smiling at the camera. Rita Cornelison holding flowers and looking at the camera.