Leann West, president of the local California School Employees Association, wasn’t sure how the email would be received. After all, asking the superintendent of the Los Banos School District to pick up trash and sweep floors at an elementary school was far beyond anything she’d ever done.
And while she was at it she asked four other top officials in the district to step out of their offices and do some of the work that go mostly unnoticed day to day but without which the district couldn’t function.
West said she was very proud of the positive responses to her requests to participate in a job shadow event during CSEA week May 16-20 calling the willingness to join in “heartwarming.”
District Superintendent Mark Marshall, agreed to shadow the custodian at Lorena Falasco Elementary School during lunch time.
“The job shadowing opportunity at Lorena Falasco provided me with an authentic way to experience the contributions that classified staff make to the school district,” Marshall said. “I really enjoyed the experience.”
Tammi Calzardillas, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources found herself doing security at Pacheco High School while Chief Academic Officer Sean Richey discovered what went on in the district’s central kitchen.
The district’s Director of Fiscal Services, Alejandra Garibay, put aside the ledger and financial journal for two hours one morning to sit in for Henry Miller Elementary’s elementary administrative secretary.
And Amer Iqbal, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services learned the ins and outs of bus driving, although because there are some very strict and needed rules about who can drive a busload of school children around, he didn’t actually drive anyone anywhere.
“In many cases, the hard work of our classified employees goes unnoticed or acknowledged,” said Marshall. “I ended my day knowing that our classified staff members have the safety and wellbeing of our students at the core of what they do each day.”
There are about 520 classified employees in the Los Banos school district.
West said she plans to make the job shadow event an annual affair in Los Banos.
“Next year we plan to make it even bigger,” she said.