GGUSD Bus Driver Selected as Orange County Classified Employee of the Year

Shannon Lauricella and Superintendent Gabriela Mafi

Garden Grove Unified School District employee Shannon Lauricella, who has served as a bus driver transporting students with special needs in the district for eight years, was named an Orange County Finalist for the Orange County Department of Education’s 2022 Classified Employee of the Year program.  During a surprise celebration last week, Superintendent Gabriela Mafi congratulated Lauricella on the recognition and thanked her for her many contributions to the district. Lauricella is one of only 9 classified employees across the county to receive this prestigious recognition. 

Lauricella earned a 5-year safe driving award in 2018, helps organize the district’s Bus Roadeo safe driving competition, mentors other bus drivers, and has a special awareness for connecting with and caring for students with special needs. During the pandemic, Shannon helped deliver school supplies and homework packets, cleaned classrooms, and volunteered at the district’s vaccination clinic. 

“Everyone who knows Shannon can see her love for her job, how much she puts into it, and how rewarding it is to her personally. It’s this type of person who boosts the morale of an entire team,” said Javier Rodriguez, Director of Maintenance Operations and Transportation. “She effortlessly develops rapport with students and parents, giving families’ peace of mind that their child is safe and looked after by someone who truly cares about them.”

Orange County Department of Education will honor its nine honorees during Classified School Employees Weeks May 15-21, 2022.  The nine county finalists are also eligible for the California Department of Education Classified Employee of the Year program as well as the new U.S. Department of Education Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) program created in 2020.

Each year, GGUSD submits nominees for the OCDE Classified Employee of the Year program.  GGUSD’s 2022 nominees include:

  • Clerical and Administrative Services: Liz Stimmler, School Secretary at Rancho Alamitos High School
  • Custodial and Maintenance Services: Michael Swindell, Equipment Operator II in Maintenance Operations and Transportation
  • Food and Nutrition Services: Nancy Thurston, Food Services Lead at Walton Intermediate School
  • Health and Student Services: Trinidad Escobar, School Community Liaison at Garden Grove High School
  • Paraprofessional: Robin Foster, Instructional Aide II at Riverdale Elementary School
  • Skilled Trades: Joseph Mendoza, Painter I in Maintenance Operations and Transportation
  • Technical Services: John Huggett, Network Technician in Information Services
  • Transportation Services: Shannon Lauricella

“We are proud to have the best team of classified employees who consistently demonstrate their commitment to serving our students and schools,” said Board of Education Trustee Teri Rocco. “It is employees like these that create our warm and welcoming school communities.”