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Turlock, Denair school employees receive accolades for going above and beyond
Flaviola Cisneros
Pitman High administrative secretary Flaviola Cisneros


The Stanislaus County Office of Education honored 22 outstanding school district classified employees during the Employees Making A Difference ceremony, held Tuesday at Peterson Event Center in Modesto.

Among those honored were three Turlock Unified School District employees and one Denair Unified School District employee. 

“This program helps us recognize the efforts of some of our outstanding classified employees, many who are unsung heroes behind the scenes, yet critical to the education of our children,” said Stanislaus County Superintendent of Schools Tom Changnon.

Employees were selected from service areas including child nutrition, maintenance, operations, office, para-educators, instructional aides, support services, security and transportation.

Local employees included Pitman High administrative secretary Flaviola Cisneros, Osborn Two-Way Academy secretary Michelle Carrillo, Medeiros Elementary lead custodian Maria Rodrigues and Denair Academic Avenues para-educator Jeanne Lindskoog. 

Each of the employees were nominated by school site administrators and teachers, all of which had high praise for them.

Lindskoog has worked for Denair Unified for nearly 12 years, and according to D2A Learning Director Becky Julien, she is often mistaken by parents for a credentialed teacher.

“Those of us at D2A find no separation. Jeanne attends teacher meetings and in-services. Her teaching methods are those she gleaned by learning from her teaching staff. She shows no fear when given any task and comes back each day ready for a new challenge,” she said.

First grade teacher Connie Smith calls Lindskoog “one of the most morally and ethically responsible role models our students could have.”

“As a para-educator, she addresses the needs of students under her tutorage by working closely with teachers. She wears many hats at our school with no complaints. She competently fills in as receptionist, playground supervisor, nurse, tutor, confidante, counselor and she will even dance at an assembly,” Smith said of Lindskog.

At Pitman High School Flaviola Cisneros is known for her expertise and student advocacy. Cisneros has been with TUSD for 15 years, and according to Pitman High Principal Rod Hollars, her recognition is well deserved.

“Before she came to Pitman she single handedly ran the special education office. She came here as an attendance administrative secretary and she has been irreplaceable. She is great with people and she is warm and compassionate, yet very professional. With the students she always knows what is going on. She attends sporting events, never misses a rally and she is really in-tune with what’s going on. She exemplifies the person you want in her position,” he said.

Medeiros lead custodian Maria Rodriguez is another professional of high regard in TUSD. Principal Jennifer Yacoub said she goes above and beyond the call of duty.

“She strives to ensure that she does her job to her greatest potential in order to meet the needs of the school. Maria will never turn anyone away who seeks her help. She will stop whatever she is doing and give individuals undivided attention. Her motto is ‘keep Medeiros beautiful’,” said Yacoub.

Osborn Two-Way Immersion Academy secretary Michelle Carrillo is having a substantial impact in the loves of Osborn children through her traditional Mexican dance group on campus — Los Luceros De Osborn Ballet Folklorico.

“On her own time and with her own initiative Michelle has raised thousands of dollars to purchase dresses, special dancing shoes and other clothing. She spends countless hours making hair ribbons, researching dances, finding the right dresses and organizing performances. She is currently teaching dance twice a week at beginner and advanced levels,” said Osborn Principal Ed Ewing.

In May Los Luceros De Osborn Ballet Folklorico will perform at the Gallo Center for the Arts.

To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.