Lisa Hess, above, and Dameon Pichetrungsi, left, have been named as Classified Employees of the Year by Los Angeles County.

L.A. Unified teachers and principals have received county, state, national and international honors and accolades for their passion in educating our students.

Now, two classified employees will join their ranks.

Lisa Hess, a staff aid for the Food Service Division, and Dameon Pichetrungsi, a resource specialist program assistant at Broadway Elementary School, have been named as Classified Employees of the Year by Los Angeles County for their contributions to the positive culture and caring environment of their workplace.

“Lisa is an exemplary employee and our go-to Staff Aid who can take on the most difficult tasks and manage key projects,” said Food Service Regional Manager Florence Simpson. “She manages our website, facilitates communications between upper management and our field staff, oversees crucial functions for the California Department of Education and U.S. Department of Agriculture audits, and so much more.”

Although Hess is a central office employee, she is connected to almost every single school. She supports 27 Food Services supervisors and assists managers on a daily basis. Her knowledge of the Food Service Division’s programs – school lunches, Breakfast in the Classroom and the After-school Supper Meal Program, to name just a few – is a tremendous asset to all employees.

Loved and appreciated by students, parents and colleagues, Pichetrungsi, affectionately known as “Mr. D,” knows almost every child by name at Broadway Elementary School in Venice. He has also been lauded for creating the school’s Boys and Girls Leadership Club, made up of socially or academically challenged students who meet during lunchtime to discuss social and leadership skills, peer interactions, responsibilities and how to be safe and respectful.

“Since the implementation of his Boys and Girls Leadership Club, the school’s playground incidents have decreased, said Broadway Principal Susan Wang. “The participating students appear calmer and happier. To this date, none of those students has the same pattern of trouble incidents as before. This is very much due to Mr. D’s work with them.”

Hess and Pichetrungsi now move on to the statewide competition. The California Department of Education will be evaluating the nominations and will announce the recipients of the 2017 Classified School Employees of the Year Program later this month. The awardees will be honored at a luncheon in Sacramento during Classified School Employee Week, May 15-19.