Spotlighting Santa Barbara County’s 2024 Classified School Employees of the Year

Santa Barbara County Board of Education with 2024 Santa Barbara County Classified School Employees of the Year_ Front row, L-R_ Marybeth Carty, Vedamarie Alvarez Flores, Marianne Heuchert, Kara Lane, Debora (Courtesy)

SBCEO recognizes the dedicated individuals who make school campuses beautiful, safe, and welcoming spaces.

The Santa Barbara County Education Office is proud to introduce four outstanding employees recently selected to represent Santa Barbara County as Classified School Employees of the Year. The honorees highlight the wide variety of skills and contributions that classified school employees bring to school campuses. Honorees were selected from 125 school sites across Santa Barbara County.

Classified employees include such positions as custodial and maintenance staff, bus drivers, office and clerical staff, food service workers, paraprofessionals, health and student services staff, and others.

“It’s not uncommon for classified employees to be described as the ‘go-to’ individuals on their campuses. They are often the ambassadors of their schools and districts, the first person to greet a student or family, the person people turn to for help,” said Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools Susan Salcido during a brief ceremony held during the May meeting of the County Board of Education.  “We congratulate this year’s awardees and thank all classified employees for the thoughtfulness and care they show through their work every day.”

The 2024 Santa Barbara County Classified School Employee of the Year honorees are:
  • Nancy Barclay, Lead Custodian at El Camino Elementary in Lompoc Unified School District.
  • Marianne Heuchert, Office Manager for the Child Nutrition Department in Orcutt Union School District.
  • Kara Lane, Librarian and Media Specialist at Joe Nightingale School in Orcutt Union School District.
  • Deborah “Debbie” Smith, School Office Assistant at Mountain View Elementary in Goleta Union School District.

Read more about this year’s honorees HERE

The Classified School Employees of the Year program was created by the California Department of Education (CDE) to recognize the contributions of classified school employees who support the education of more than six million California public school students from preschool through grade twelve.

SBCEO’s annual announcement leads into Classified School Employee Week, recognized this year on May 19–25, 2024.

The program invites county education offices to select employees nominated by school districts in nine classified school employment categories: Clerical and Administrative; Custodial and Maintenance; Food and Nutrition; Health and Student Services; Paraprofessional; Security Services; Skilled Trades; Technical Services; and Transportation. The honorees from each county are nominated for the statewide award in their respective categories.


Written by SBCEO

Press releases written by the Santa Barbara County Office of Education. Learn more at

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