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Cubberly, Garfield workers selected as LBUSD Employees of the Year

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<strong>Cubberley plant manager Sam Hill and Garfield office assistant Dianna Bisnar at last Friday's awards ceremony.</strong>

Cubberley plant manager Sam Hill and Garfield office assistant Dianna Bisnar at last Friday's awards ceremony.

Cubberley K-8 School plant manager Sam Hill and Garfield Elementary School intermediate office assistant Dianna Bisnar tied for the Long Beach Unified School District’s (LBUSD) Classified Employee of the Year Award announced at a ceremony last Friday in honor of Classified Employee Week.
Classified employees are the support staff who work behind the scenes to support schools and students. LBUSD, which is the city’s largest employer, has more than 3,000 classified staff members. Like many school districts in California, LBUSD has faced steep budget cuts and reductions in classified employee staffing in recent years, making the ceremony a welcome dose of celebration for colleagues who cheered the announcement at the Teacher Resource Center.
Hill, a 37-year LBUSD employee known to everyone at his school as “Mr. Sam” or “Coach Sam,” has coached all-city champs in multiple sports at the middle school level, in addition to his duties as plant supervisor. His numerous nominations for the award included a co-signed submission from principal Terri Jarels and former Cubberley principal Michael Navia.
“He approaches every task, from the daily to the special event, with energy, passion and humor,” the two principals wrote. “When he sees a need, he makes sure the need is met, and through it all, he remains calm, gracious and supportive. He is everything to Cubberley, and he is willing do anything you could need or want, because he loves the school, and everyone loves him.”
At Garfield, several colleagues nominated 17-year LBUSD employee Bisnar, including principal Donna McKeehan, who described the office assistant as “the heart and soul of the Garfield office.”
McKeehan said that, on a daily basis, Bisnar remains calm, composed and professional when the office around her may be in chaos. “Countless times, she has demonstrated her ability and willingness to not only complete her tasks but help in any way possible to get other tasks completed,” she said. “She strives for excellence in everything she does. Her warm personality, caring heart and compassionate manner toward everyone are traits that make her stand out.”
Both winners said they were touched by the recognition. “I’m especially grateful to my Cubberley family,” Hill said. “In certain situations elsewhere, people often are judged by their title, but at Cubberley everyone has always given me nothing but respect, and I appreciate that very much.”
Bisnar thanked her colleagues for “taking time out of their busy schedules” to nominate her. “I have to thank my Garfield family, who I dearly love,” Bisnar said. “I’m so grateful and honored, and this is an experience that I’ll always remember.”
Twenty-nine nominees were considered for the award. The nominees and six finalists, including Hill and Bisnar, were recognized at the event.
The four other finalists were: John Bosley, campus security officer at Lindsey Academy; Donelle Castro, instructional aide, deaf/hard of hearing at Marshall Middle School; Dewayne Hundley, custodian at Lakewood High School; and Steve Phelps, custodian at Bryant Elementary School.
Bisnar and Hill also will be recognized at the June 7 Board of Education meeting.
The winners were selected by a committee of LBUSD classified staff, including past winners of the award.

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Cubberly, Garfield workers selected as LBUSD Employees of the Year