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Orinda Union School District's Michelle Brobak Recognized as One of Six California Classified School Employees of the Year
Posted 4/30/19

Michelle Brobak, Secretary of Del Rey Elementary School in the Orinda Union School District, was honored yesterday by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond as one of six California School Employees of the Year. Ms. Brobak is the sole awardee in the office and technical category. This latest recognition follows earlier honors for Ms. Brobak as Orinda Union School District Classified Employee of the Year and one of three Classified School Employees of the Year for the Contra Costa County Office of Education.

The Orinda Union School District is extremely fortunate to have hired Ms. Brobak in 2012 as Secretary at Del Rey Elementary School. Prior to joining Orinda USD, she served as a 911 operator. Her training handling emergency situations translated well to the domain of the school office. Whether she is handling an emergency or typical simultaneous requests from students, staff, and parents, she is always calm and prioritizes each item thoughtfully and responsively.

The process used to select Ms. Brobak as Classified School Employee of the Year began at the school site level. All Del Rey Elementary School employees were encouraged to nominate a classified employee to honor as their school site Classified Employee of the Year and had to provide evidence about their nominee’s performance in three areas: 1) work performance and/or habits; 2) public relations, cooperation, and service to students, teachers, supervisors, and fellow workers; and 3) a meritorious act or service/contribution. Several Del Rey staff members, including teachers and classified staff, nominated Ms. Brobak. Nominators described her as, “the face of Del Rey,” “consisently and constantly service oriented,” and “trustworthy, kind, and knowledgeable.”

After she was selected as the Del Rey Elementary School Classified Employee of the Year, Ms. Brobak was chosen unanimously by a district wide committee as Orinda USD’s Classified Employee of the Year. She then progressed to the Contra Costa County Office of Education’s Classified School Employees of the Year (CSEY) process and was selected as one of three classified employees in the county to advance to the California Department of Education’s CSEY process. At the state level, the CDE convenes a selection committee consisting of school, district, and county office administrators, representatives of professional organizations, and CDE personnel. This CDE selection committee then recommends the finalists for each category.

As one of the six California School Employees of the Year, Ms. Brobak will be recognized at a luncheon in Sacramento during Classified School Employee Week in May. She and her fellow awardees will also have the opportunity to tour the capitol.

When learning of Ms. Brobak’s selection as a California School Employee of the Year in the office and technical category, Hillary Weiner, President of the Orinda USD Board of Trustees, remarked, “On behalf of my colleagues on the Board, we are incredibly proud yet not surprised that Michelle Brobak has earned this statewide honor. She is the consummate professional who works tirelessly to ensure the Del Rey Elementary School front office is welcoming, efficient, and exceeds the expectations of all visitors.”

According to Dr. Carolyn Seaton, Orinda USD Superintendent of Schools, “Michelle Brobak runs the Del Rey Elementary School front office with heart. She is consistently helpful, respectful, polite, and caring to all faculty, staff, students, and visitors at Del Rey. I wholeheartedly congratulate her on this well-deserved recognition.”

When reflecting on Ms. Brobak, Del Rey Principal Kirsten Theurer stated, “Michelle is hard working, intelligent, and intuitive. While adeptly balancing the myriad tasks that are required to run an elementary school office, she always puts the wellbeing of students first. She is a model for all school secretaries.”

To read the State Superintendent of Public Instruction’s press release, click here. For more information about the California School Employees of the Year process, click here.



About the Orinda Union School District
Orinda Union School District is one of the highest performing school districts in the State of California. Orinda USD serves approximately 2,500 students from transitional kindergarten to eighth grade at five school campuses— four elementary schools and one middle school. Three Orinda USD schools were recently recognized as California Distinguished Schools: Del Rey Elementary (2018), Wagner Ranch Elementary (2018), and Glorietta Elementary (2018). In 2015, Orinda Intermediate School was honored as a California Gold Ribbon School, and Del Rey Elementary School was named a National Blue Ribbon School. All five Orinda USD schools were honored by the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence as California Honor Roll Schools based on student achievement data. In addition to outstanding students and excellent teachers and staff, Orinda Union School District is extremely fortunate to have a high level of parental involvement in the schools and strong community partnerships as evidenced by the support provided by the Educational Foundation of Orinda (EFO), Parent Clubs, and the City of Orinda. More information about Orinda USD is available at