Turlock Unified School District Special Education Director Jeff Santos describes himself as someone who shies from recognition when it comes to accepting awards.
However, Santos was not able to escape recognition last weekend when administrators in Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Amador, Calaveras, and Tuolumne counties honored him with the Pupil Personnel Administrator of the Year award at the Association of California School Administrators Region 7 Conference.
“It’s definitely an honor and it’s humbling. I feel blessed to be in this position and I love what I do,” said Santos. “But any award I receive I have to also give credit to my staff. They do a phenomenal job and without them, I wouldn’t be getting this award.”
In addition to doling out credit to his staff at TUSD for their hard work, Santos also recognized the influence of his educationally-oriented family and former leaders who have mentored and guided him throughout his career.
“I always put people first before me and I am here to help others,” said Santos. “Since I have been here, my mission has been to provide great services to our students, staff, and families.”
Santos has been successful in his mission thus far through a Parenting Class Series, online professional development, and most recently his department’s inaugural R.A.I.S.E Festival this month, which aimed to bring service providers together in one place for local families.
Established in 1971, ACSA is the state’s largest comprehensive organization for school leaders. Comprised of 19 regions that are divided by counties or school districts, Santos reports that that the association is not just limited to certificated administrators, but also welcomes a significant number of classified administrators as well.
Each year, all 19 regions conduct their own Administrator of the Year Awards to honor and recognize individual administrators, classified managers, or confidential employees for their performance and achievement.
For Region 7, Santos was nominated for Pupil Personnel Administrator of the Year by Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Dana Salles Trevethan.
“My nomination of Jeff was a result of his hard work and commitment to meeting the needs of our special needs students and their families,” said Trevethan.
Not only has Santos been recognized as the Pupil Personnel Administrator of the Year for Region 7, but he has also been named President-elect for 2015-2016, and will assume the role of President in 2016-2017.
“I will be overseeing our region’s programming, as well as various services to administrators, students, and staff,” said Santos.