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Employee Recognition

Vicki McGuire....2016-2017 AUSD Teacher of the Year!

Vicki began her teaching career as a 1st/2nd grade bilingual teacher in Oakland, California.  She came to Antioch Unified School District in 1992 as a 4th grade teacher at Sutter Elementary School.   She moved to John Muir Elementary school for four years before returning to Sutter Elementary where she has taught 5th grade ever since.

Vicki is passionate about learning.  While growing up in Ohio, she admired many of her teachers, particularly in elementary school, and knew that she wanted to teach.  She felt a deep connection with her teachers and knew that they cared about her.  By the time she was in 5th grade, she was helping in the second grade and special education class.  Vicki understands the importance of developing trusting relationships with families of diverse backgrounds.  She stated “when I build a caring relationship with a student, I can see that child blossom with confidence and knowledge.”  She believes it is her responsibility to instill positive character traits in her student as well as teaching them the curriculum.  She is confident when children leave her class, they are not only smarter, but kinder people as well.  Vicki knows that every day she has a chance to make a difference in a child’s life.  It can be a special, encouraging look across the room during a challenging test or a gentle hug after a difficult day. 

Vicki’s philosophy of teaching includes the quote from Mother Theresa “Do small things with great love.”  Every day, she does her best to live up to those words in her classroom.  At the beginning of each school year, her class spends time getting to know each other and establishing ground rules for effective communication.  Her strength is that she accepts each student as they come to her.  She appreciates and values their differences and strives to meet them where they are in their educational journey.  She provides multiple opportunities for her students to experience and grasp concepts and because of that, they succeed.   Success is when a student says, “I get it now!  I didn’t get it yesterday, but today I do!”

Staff Recogntion Programs

Teacher of the Year

The District recognizes all AUSD teachers by selecting a representative for Teacher of the Year. Any employee may nominate a teacher for the Teacher of the Year Representative. The teacher nominated should have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and co-workers. They should play an active and useful role in their community as well as in their schools, often distinguishing themselves as leaders. Nominees must be permanent and must spend the majority of their time instructing students. This recognition is done in collaboration with the County Office of Education and the Certificated Human Resources Department.  

Classified Representative of the Year

The District and Personnel Commission recognizes and honors classified employees by selecting an AUSD classified employee as a representative of all the outstanding classified employees in the District.  Any employee can nominate a classified employee for this award. This program is annual, and it is supported by the Classified Human Resources Department. 

Acknowledgement of Service Anniversary Dates

A stable and productive workforce is crucial to any organization, public or private.  AUSD is extremely proud of the dedication shown by its employees and the number of employees who have dedicated many years of service.   Classified employees are recognized with a letter of appreciation and certificate beginning with five years of service and every five years thereafter.  This program is supported by the Classified Human Resources Department.

Congratulations Marie-Josee Parayre CLASSIFIED REPRESENTATIVE OF THE YEAR for 2016!

Marie-Josee Parayre.jpg

We are delighted to announce Marie-Josée Parayre as the Antioch Unified School District Classified Representative of the Year.  Marie-Josée has been part of the AUSD family as an Occupational Therapist for five and one-half years.  She came to us as an experienced school-based therapist with a passion for helping children achieve their potential.  Marie-Josée believes that an outstanding employee should demonstrate professional knowledge, passion, and expertise in order to bring a unique support to the district and all its students. She says, “It is with respect of others, understanding, and flexibility that employees can work exceptionally well with others”. In addition, she values team spirit, collaboration, and good work ethics.

Marie-Josée has accomplished much while here at AUSD; fostering a collaborative approach for each child’s education by bringing together teachers, aides, administrators, and parents to work together on common goals. She considers that this approach has made a positive impact on many children with special needs. The feedback from parents and staff has been very positive.  Also, close to her heart has been the creation of sensory rooms at Mno Grant, Carmen Dragon, and London Elementary Schools. To realize this, she applied and received yearly grants through the Philanthropic Ventures Foundation. The sensory room at Grant now has a frame to suspend a variety of swings to address the unique sensory needs of special needs students. It has made a significant difference in the school experience of students with autism, and this sensory room has been used for over 400 sessions since the start of the school year. She credits the administration at MNO Grant, the AUSD Maintenance Department, and donors for making this dream come true and the outcome is priceless.

As an occupational therapist, she is licensed to practice through the CA Board of Occupational Therapy and has opted to maintain her official registration with NBCOT (National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists). In addition, she is an active member of the OTAC (Occupational Therapy Association of California) and AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association). She has created a regional school-based OT group to improve collaboration and discuss new ideas to support students as well as review research-based information. She is representing AUSD on the Education Alliance of the Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area and she has attended many of their trainings and shared information within our special education department to support our staff working with this population.

Marie-Jose has twice received an Excellence in Education Award from the Down Syndrome Education Alliance. The award was given for “being truly invested in students meeting their potential, and for working collaboratively with the Down Syndrome Connection, the students' parents and their entire education team to ensure their success.”  Following are two quotes from a parent who supported her nomination for this award: "We are so thankful for her commitment to our son's inclusive education and all she does to ensure his success." "She is warm and caring, but firm and has high expectations, she is creative and knows just how to motivate my son, she is a true team player and collaborates well with all team members.”

Marie-Josée received her Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy in Montréal, Canada in 1997. She moved to the United States in 1998 with her husband, and started her career as a school-based Occupational Therapist. In 2002, they moved to California where she continued working in schools for 10 more years before joining AUSD. In her free time, Marie-Josée enjoys traveling and participating in sports. She currently competes in tennis and orienteering, a sport combining running and navigation.

Marie-Josée’s nominator, Kai Montgomery, says she cares tremendously for her students and their parents.  Her caring shines through in everything that she does.  Students clearly enjoy the therapy she provides and they are excited to see her.  It is a wonder how Marie-Josée finds the time to do everything she does.