2021 Classified Employee of the Year

Congratulations Felicia Huber, Classified Employee of the Year!

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Felicia Huber has been on the frontline as an essential school worker during the COVID- 19 pandemic to support students, teachers, and staff at Walker Elementary School in the San Diego Unified School District.
 
 It was her hard work, dedication and caring nature for students that prompted many of her colleagues to honor her as Classified Employee of the Year. 
 
 “Felicia is an example of the kind of flexibility and students-first approach that is needed in this dynamic and critical time, " said Principal Justin Phillips.  "She stepped up, at every stage of the pandemic, to help students experience success. We are fortunate to have Felicia at Walker."
 
 Many of her colleagues agree. 
 
 “Felicia has exemplary work ethics and dedication to our school and its students,” said Dar Cooper, 2nd Grade Teacher.  “She has been working many in-person hours since the beginning of the pandemic last year, along with wearing many working hats:  Librarian, Computer/Technology (along with trouble shooting), and even teaching/supporting in-person students needing in-person support.”
 
 The school district recognized the importance for “at risk” kids with learning needs to return to school.  Since October 2020, Walker Elementary School was among the schools to open its doors to provide learning support for kids in this category.  Even though the district provided each child with a school computer or netbook and accessibility to the internet, there were children facing challenges logging in to their Zoom classrooms.  Huber assisted kids who faced these challenges by helping the kids with logging in to Zoom, participating online with their teachers and classmates, finding websites, and assisting in completing assignments for district curriculum.
 
 “Felicia has gone above and beyond her call of duties as usual, but especially under these dark days of COVID, Felicia has stepped up in helping in so many areas and truly loves the students,” said one colleague.
 
 “Her support and efforts has maximized our ability to reach students through online learning,” said another colleague.  “In addition, the energy and spirit she brings each day makes our current circumstances feel more like the school experience we all know and love.  I am so appreciative of Felicia’s dedication to our students.”
 
 Huber’s own children attended Walker Elementary School.  She was formerly a parent volunteer and recalls the days she helped in Walker Teacher’s Sharon Laws classroom.
 
 Huber was already retired as a licensed insurance broker, underwriter, and a systems analyst for Geico Insurance when she volunteered at Walker.  Later in 2011, she was hired as an Assistant School Librarian.
 
 “Felicia helped out with all the Read Across America activities,” said Grace Nall, 2nd Grade Teacher. “She stayed after work to help the parents and staff with decorating the library just to make it special for the kids.  And, she selected books for the Community Leaders to read to kids in the classroom.”
 
 “It’s all about teamwork” said Huber, who credits her past experience as a Little League Baseball Coach.  She and her husband have thought of not just their kids but everybody else’s kids that they are coaching.  In fact, Huber’s love of baseball and as a San Diego Padre Baseball Season Ticket Holder provided her with a unique opportunity to give back to the kids at Walker Elementary School during the pandemic.
 
 As a “Learning Lab Leader,” Huber assisted 11 students with their online learning.  She had a bright idea when it was time for them to transition back at home for Spring Break and the first week of April.  She remembered the San Diego Padre Baseball Plush Bears she purchased at a discounted price. 
 
 Huber recalled the time her students smiled from ear to ear when she presented the “Zoom” bears to them.
 
“These students (have) struggled a lot,” said Huber.  She remembers them saying at the beginning of the school year,  “I can’t do this.” 
 
Huber said that she wanted to encourage the kids to learn and to have them set goals for themselves. 
 
“I also wanted them to know they were not alone,” said Huber.  The kids wanted the plush toy bears to join them for Zoom class."
 
 “Sports is about teamwork and looking out for each other,” said Huber.  “It’s easy for kids to deal with things when it’s sports related... it’s easy to relate to life and life lessons with the sports.”
 
 Huber refers to teamwork not just in children, but also among her colleagues.  She references LuAnn Wherry, another frontline school worker, who has helped during the pandemic and “giving her a helping hand.”
 
 Her positive outlook about life becomes brighter as more students return for in-person learning opportunities.  Huber says the best thing about working at Walker Elementary School is the variety of things she can do and the ability to wear many hats.  
 
 “It’s inspiring to see how adaptable kids can be… it’s impressive,” said Huber. “I’m looking forward to seeing how it will be on a bigger scale.”

 

Article by Grace Nall

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