VCCCD Names Mara Rodriguez 2022 Classified Employee of the Year

Moorpark College employee's impact extends beyond America's Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College
CAMARILLO, Calif. - March 21, 2022 - PRLog -- In her nearly three decades with America's Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College, Mara Rodriguez has remained devoted to students, animals large and small and to the college itself. Her dedication to the college and the Ventura County Community College District (VCCCD) has garnered Rodriguez a special honor: 2022 VCCCD Classified Employee of the Year. The award recognizes classified professionals who demonstrate professional ethics and standards and serve the community with purpose and passion.

The District awards this distinction in accordance with the California Community Colleges (CCC) Board of Governors, who will consider Rodriguez for the CCC statewide award. Additional VCCCD Classified Employee of the Year nominees included Lt. Cesar Romero of the District Administrative Center, Amparo Medina of Oxnard College and Jessie Llamas of Ventura College.

Romero, a lieutenant with the VCCCD Police Department, has been with the District for 18 years. As the station supervisor at Oxnard College, he and his team are committed to keeping the campus safe for everyone. Romero is an active community volunteer, coaching youth sports, donating his time at Food Share Ventura County and participating in the county's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) COVID-19 screening sites.

Rodriguez is beloved by all who interact with her, whether they be a person or animal. She has a deep commitment to high standards of professionalism. She believes so strongly in the mission of America's Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College that she left her longtime role as an instructional lab technician to be the zoo development coordinator.

Medina joined Oxnard College in 2015 and embodies the college's core values. As the student activities specialist, she teaches Associated Student Government leaders communication skills, leadership development and advocacy. She is also the classified senate president.

Llamas has been the physical education/athletic equipment manager at Ventura College for the past 24 years. While most of the preparation for the college's 19 collegiate sports starts with her, she uses her insights, compassion and equity focus to help students who may be food insecure or need personal items or transportation to a competition.

At the May 2022 Board of Governors meeting, up to six recipients will be honored as California Community Colleges Classified Employee of the Year. Winners will be presented with a $750 cash award and a plaque.

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Patti Blair
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