Congratulations to the District's 2022 Employees of the Year!

On February 16, 2022, the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (PYLUSD) announced its Employees of the Year for the 2021-2022 school year.

These nine employees were nominated by one or more of their colleagues or supervisors, who detailed the outstanding contributions they provide to the district that go above and beyond. The nominating individual also described how the candidate demonstrates the district’s four core values.

“I would like to congratulate all of our dedicated Employees of the Year,” shared Superintendent Dr. Jim Elsasser. “These individuals embody our core values of excellence, collaboration, integrity, and innovation each and every day. Their unwavering support of our students and thoughtful service to our entire school district community is invaluable. They truly are the heart and soul of our organization.”

PYLUSD has a long-standing tradition of surprising its Employees of the Year at their school sites or departments. On Wednesday, February 16, the district’s executive leadership team went out on a modified version of “Prize Patrol” to honor this year’s winners. The winners are as follows: 


Berlio Beltran (Video)

Rose Drive and Melrose Elementary Schools

Teacher of the Year


Brian Shay (Video)

Travis Ranch School

Teacher of the Year


Dana Zywiciel (Video)

Yorba Linda High School

Teacher of the Year



Tammie Smith (Video)

School Secretary

Glenknoll Elementary School

Classified Employee of the Year


Karina Olea (Video)

Special Education Aide

Ruby Drive Elementary School

Classified Employee of the Year


Octavio Nolasco (Video)

Plant Coordinator

Esperanza High School

Classified Employee of the Year



Kristin McDonald (Video)


Golden Elementary School

Certificated Manager of the Year


Mark Stanley (Video)


Valencia High School

Certificated Manager of the Year


Orlando Luevano (Video)


Nutrition Services

Classified Manager of the Year


The nine Employees of the Year will receive a gift card courtesy of SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union and a plaque from the district to help commemorate their special achievement. The district is very grateful for the continued partnership and support of SchoolsFirst. 

The district would also like to thank all Employee of the Year nominees for the work they do every day to prepare each and every PYLUSD student for success now and in the future. PYLUSD has the absolute best and most caring employees, so the task of making this final selection was very difficult. 

Be on the lookout for the district’s pictures and videos surprising Employees of the Year during the “Prize Patrol” on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube in the near future.