Spotlight on Excellence

Joseph Galindo

The Claremont Unified School District (CUSD) takes immense pride in recognizing Joseph Galindo, CHS Education Specialist, as the Certificated Spotlight on Excellence recipient for the 2023-2024 school year. Joseph has been a part of the CUSD family since 2017, dedicating himself to students with unwavering passion and exceptional organizational skills. Praised for his strong leadership abilities, Joseph has been instrumental in managing the paraprofessional staff, ensuring that their contributions magnify students' learning experience. A colleague who nominated him commended Joseph's deep compassion for students, highlighting his ability to lead with empathy, a testament to his role in our community.

Brennan Hester

CUSD honors Brennan Hester, a committed member of the Technology Department, as the Classified Spotlight on Excellence recipient for the 2023-2024 school year. Brennan, who has been with the district since 2002, has stood out as a pillar of support for the El Roble teachers, providing them with unwavering technical assistance. His innovative approach to problem-solving has notably enhanced the efficiency of desktop support, earning him high praise for his creativity and technical expertise. Nominators have highlighted Brennan's role as a mentor to new technicians, sharing his extensive knowledge of the systems and demonstrating an exceptional sense of humor that has been a source of joy for many colleagues.

Teacher of the Year (TOY)

Claremont Unified School District proudly announces Mr. Geoff Payton, an exemplary educator at El Roble, as the 2024 Teacher of the Year. This distinguished award highlights Mr. Payton's significant contributions to the classroom and the school community. Mr. Payton has been instrumental in leading the AVID program and has played a critical role in various shared decision-making groups, including the Technology Scope and Sequence committee. His innovative approach to integrating technology and curriculum development has set new standards for educational excellence within the district. Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Rick Lopez praised Mr. Payton's achievements, highlighting his leadership and commitment to students at the last school board meeting. Mr. Payton's influence has fostered an environment of continuous improvement and community building, making him truly deserving of this recognition. One of Mr. Payton's nominators shared their admiration for his dedication, stating, "Geoff is a natural leader who consistently uplifts his students and colleagues. His innovative methods and commitment to excellence significantly enhance our educational programs and student outcomes." Mr. Payton's influence extends beyond his classroom, profoundly impacting his students' academic and personal growth. The Claremont community celebrates his well-deserved recognition as he continues to inspire future generations.

Classified Employee of the Year (COY)

Mrs. Kim Patterson has been named the Claremont Unified School District and Los Angeles County Classified Employee of the Year. Mrs. Patterson has dedicated over three decades to serving CUSD in various capacities and is currently a Health Services Assistant at CHS. Throughout her career, Mrs. Patterson has been a steadfast advocate for student health and safety, providing exceptional service and leadership, especially noted during the challenging times of the pandemic. Her compassionate approach and unwavering dedication have made her a beloved figure across the district. Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Rick Lopez praised Mrs. Patterson's contributions: "Kim Patterson has consistently demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to our community. Her compassionate nature and professional integrity are at the heart of her service, making her a standout member of our team and deserving of this prestigious award." A nominator reflected on Mrs. Patterson's impact, saying, "Kim's kindness and relentless dedication to the well-being of our students are what set her apart. She is not just fulfilling her role but is a pillar of support and excellence within our community." Mrs. Patterson's recent LA County Classified Employee of the Year accolade further underscores her significant contributions, marking a historic first for CUSD. As she advances to consideration by the California Department of Education, the Claremont community stands proudly behind her, celebrating her outstanding achievements and ongoing commitment to excellence.