Administrators and board members take part in job-shadowing program to honor classified staff


Dozens of district administrators and all five school board members spent some time on Friday shadowing custodians, electricians, painters, clerks and other classified workers during IUSD’s sixth annual Appreciating Classified Employees Day. (Or ACE Day for short.)

Dr. Gavin Huntley-Fenner, president of the IUSD Board of Education, worked with Assessment Specialist Thao Huynh at the District Office. (They’re pictured to the right.) Over at Venado Middle School, Superintendent Terry Walker was assisting Albert Madrid, the head custodian. Meanwhile, Oak Creek Elementary Principal Carlo Grasso spent his morning handling plumbing duties with Alex Cruz from Maintenance and Operations.

And so on and so on.

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 local chapter collaborated with IUSD to bring the unique job-shadowing program to Irvine, giving principals, board members and district-level administrators an opportunity to witness first-hand the work that classified employees perform each day to support students.

“The value is definitely for administrators to see the contributions that classified staff make to the district’s operations and to the safety and wellbeing of our students,” said Janelle Cranch, president of CSEA’s Chapter 517.

A week earlier, IUSD and CSEA teamed up to celebrate this year’s Classified Employees of the Year. Both events were scheduled in conjunction with Classified School Employees Week.