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VUSD Announces the 2024 Employees of the Year


VUSD Announces the 2024 Employees of the Year
Janett Delgadillo


Visalia, CA – Visalia Unified School District is proud to announce the 2024 Employees of the Year. Yearly, VUSD invites staff to submit nominations for the coveted award. From those nominated, a multidisciplinary committee selects one School Employee of the Year, one Administrator of the Year, and one outstanding Teacher of the Year from each level: elementary, middle, and high school. Staff were given a plaque and certificate for their recognition and will be celebrated at an upcoming board meeting on April 9.

The 2024 Employees of the Year are:

Jeanne Alburn, Elementary School Teacher of the Year

Ms. Alburn has dedicated her service to Visalia Unified since 1995 and is currently a kindergarten teacher at Cottonwood Creek Elementary School. Cottonwood Creek Elementary Principal, Sonya Joyner, added, “Ms. Auburn follows the curriculum with fidelity, but is also creative when it comes to intervening for her students who may not have completely mastered the standard, and enriches those who need the extra challenge.”


DeAnn Myers, Middle School Teacher of the Year

“There isn’t a person in this district who gives up more of her time and energy to support all students in their learning. Her heart is in serving the community she loves and the kids who need her,” added John Roubos, Ridgeview Middle School teacher. Ms. Myers is an 8th grade math teacher at Ridgeview Middle School who has been with the district for over 36 years.


Tarek Elsharkawy, High School Teacher of the Year

Mr. Elsharkawy is a chemistry and an advanced placement chemistry teacher at Golden West High School as well as the department’s Professional Learning Community lead. Julie Campbell, Spanish teacher at Golden West added,   “The feedback I hear from students is that his chemistry class is challenging and engaging. Mr. Elsharkawy shows students how to be innovative and active learners. He leads by example through a myriad of responsibilities.”


 Lisa Kruger, School Employee of the Year

Lisa has served in Visalia Unified’s Linwood Elementary School for nearly 20 years. She has a passion for art and  compassion for every student on campus.“Ms. Kruger is more than an administrative assistant, she is the heartbeat of our school. She consistently goes above and beyond to support teachers, staff, parents, and students alike,” added  Amy Villegas, parent at Linwood Elementary School.


Alexa Barba-Tepper, Administrator of the Year

Ms. Barba-Tepper started her VUSD career on the Redwood campus, and 16 years later it is the place she calls her second home. Ms.Barba-Tepper is currently an assistant principal and “a dedicated educator whose commitment to fostering a positive and inclusive learning environment has left a permanent mark on her school community,” said Colleen Duerksen, Assistant Principal at Golden West High School.


Superintendent Kirk Shrum stated, “I am incredibly proud of our Employees of the Year for their outstanding work with our families, students, and staff. These winners truly embody our core  beliefs and commitments to ensure that every student is learning everyday.”

All employees will be celebrated at the April 9, 2024, board meeting at Visalia Unified. Family and staff are invited to attend the celebration that will begin at 5:30pm at VUSD’s District Office, 5000 W. Cypress Ave. Visalia, CA 93291.

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