As the end of the school year approaches, those who made a positive impact on the lives of students, schools, and the community deserve recognition. The Livermore Management Association (LMA) Annual Awards Breakfast, held on May 16, 2019, honored the extraordinary commitment to education of outstanding students, staff, and community partners in the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD).

Among those recognized was Sally Dunlop, who was awarded the LMA Retired Friend of Education Award. After serving as a music teacher in the District for many years, Dunlop has continued to support the arts as a dedicated member of the Livermore Valley Education Foundation (LVEF). Her work with LVEF – an organization that has faithfully supported the programs and educators of LVJUSD schools since 1991 – ensured that students and staff had the resources to flourish in academics, athletics, and the arts. Most recently, Dunlop was instrumental in allocating funds to support the new grand drape at Livermore High School (LHS).

The Valley Humane Society was recognized for its special partnership with LVJUSD as this year’s LMA Friend of Education. Since 2011, students have benefitted from the time and service of Valley Humane Society volunteers – both dogs, and their humans. The PAWS to Read Program has been providing students with the opportunity to practice their reading skills by reading to dogs. The program has been in place for students at Marylin Avenue Elementary and Junction Avenue K-8 for the past six years, and serves students this year at Marylin Avenue and Altamont Creek Elementary.

The Valley Humane Society’s Canine Comfort volunteers bring therapy dogs to Granada and Livermore high schools during final exams, giving students and staff a soothing respite when they can relax and refocus with the dogs. “We are grateful to all of our volunteers, and this partnership in particular shows the breadth and variety of our community partners,” said Philomena Rambo, Director of Community Engagement, as she presented the award. “We are ‘doggone’ lucky to have such relationships in our community. You are our true friend in education.”

The partnerships honored at the breakfast represented a community commitment to excellence in education – a commitment embodied by the fellow awards recipients of LVJUSD students and staff. The Scott Haggerty Scholarship was awarded to LHS student Sfurti Gaudani, and to Granada High School (GHS) student Taylor Detlefsen. The First Generation Scholarship – honoring seniors who will be the first of their families to attend college – went to Juan Estrada Silvestre of LHS, and Jennifer Padilla of GHS. For their dedication to serving their community, LHS student Savanna Nelson and GHS student Christopher Gonzales were recognized with the LMA Community Service Scholarship Program.

Junction Avenue K-8’s Parent Center Coordinator Mary Cruz Fernandez was recognized as the LMA Classified Employee of the Year for her unparalleled work in spearheading the school’s activities. Jen Arias was named this year’s Confidential Employee of the Year. Megan Clappin, teacher at Jackson Avenue Elementary, was named Educator of the Year. Administrator of the Year was awarded to Altamont Creek Elementary Principal Tara Aderman. Valerie Nebo, an LHS alumna and one of the school’s vice principals, was honored as the Homegrown Employee of the Year. The LMA President’s Award – presented by LMA President Erik Taylor – was given to Romie Silveira. The Alameda County Office of Education was recognized as LVJUSD’s Partner in Education.