A para-educator who works with immigrant students at the San Diego County Office of Education was Tuesday named as one of six “Classified School Employees of the Year” around the state.

Gabriela “Gaby” Beas works in a federally funded program that provides supplementary education and support services to migrant students.

According to the state Department of Education, Beas recruits immigrant students to volunteer for community service activities that build confidence and create connections for them.

She recruited and trained more than 150 student volunteers to help provide and deliver holiday gift baskets of food and toys to nearly 1,400 migrant families last December.

“Our schools would cease to function without the classified employees who keep them clean and safe, who make sure our students get to school and receive the proper nutrition once they are there, and who contribute to an overall positive school culture and caring environment,” said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

“Our 2016 Classified School Employees of the Year represent the very best of the best,” Torlakson said. “I applaud them and thank them for their important service to California’s children and families.”

The other winners are a cook in Redding, a custodian in Huntington Beach, a secretary in Los Olivos in Santa Barbara County, a campus security officer in Napa, and a trainer of bus drivers in Oakdale in Stanislaus County.

–City News Service