District leaders and community members take part in unique job-shadowing program

Assistant Superintendent Terry Walker has been a teacher and an administrator in Irvine, and he was recently appointed to serve as IUSD’s next superintendent.

On Thursday he was taking on yet another role, that of district grounds worker. Fortunately he got a big assist from employee Abraham Arceo, who officially holds that job title – and the expertise that goes with it.

Walker wasn’t the only one who appeared to have switched jobs for the day.

In fact, dozens of administrators, school board members, city officials and representatives from the Irvine Public Schools Foundation were working alongside grounds technicians, instructional assistants, locksmiths, electricians and other classified staff during IUSD’s fourth annual Appreciating Classified Employees (ACE) Day.

Established by the California School Employees Association to recognize and celebrate the efforts of classified workers, the ACE program was first piloted in 2007 at three school districts in California. A year later, CSEA’s Chapter 517 collaborated with IUSD to bring this unique job-shadowing program to Irvine, allowing principals, board members, district-level administrators and others to witness first-hand the hard work that classified employees do each day to support the students of Irvine.

Pictured above, Arceo (he’s on the left) offers on-the-job training to Assistant Superintendent Walker. In the photo below, Alan Schlichting, the principal of Santiago Hills Elementary School, maintains heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems under the guidance of foreman Donald Hanson.