Ivonne Rubio

California officially recognizes the third week of May as Classified School Employee Week in recognition of classified school employees and the contributions they make to the educational community. Each day this week, we will profile a classified employee selected by the Personnel Commission’s Organizational Excellence Branch for their exemplary work in support of students. Today, we feature Ivonne Rubio, a special education assistant at Independence Continuation High School.

Although special-education assistant Ivonne Rubio focuses on meeting the unique needs of Independence High’s special-needs kids, the veteran paraprofessional cares for all 150 of the school’s students – and they love and respect her in return.

Described by Principal Marsha Coates Ramirez as a “positive force” at Independence, Rubio seeks out opportunities to help prepare the students for adulthood. She also looks out for their welfare, calling parents if she senses a problem and volunteering as a translator to help break down language barriers. Rubio also is the school’s “math whiz,” helping two students who are tackling a calculus course.

“Mrs. Rubio is like a mother to every student here,” Ramirez said of the 12-year District veteran. “She always notices if someone is having a difficult time, and she reaches out to support them. We are just so lucky to have her.”