Special to the Village News
Fallbrook's Finest for October were recognized by Superintendent Ilsa Garza-Gonzalez at the Nov. 7 meeting of the Fallbrook Union High School District. The employees selected were Jose Olvera, counselor at FHS; 1st Sgt. Michael Stout, USMC, JROTC instructor; and Emily Toone, director of education services for the district.
Board members saluted the trio with a certificate.
"Mr. Olvera has been a wonderful addition to our counseling team," the superintendent said. "He is always ready to help, a wonderful communicator, always prepared, organized and taking on new projects."
Most recently Olvera compiled and presented data from classroom presentations regarding FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). "When no one was available to present to our ELAC parents, Mr. Olvera stepped up to the plate and created a presentation to be shared with them," Garza-Gonzalez added.
She said Olvera was instrumental with the school's first altar for Día de los Muertos.
"He communicates frequently with students and parents and is always eager to implement new processes that favor students," the Superintendent concluded.
"First Sergeant Michael Stout has hit the ground running – Marine slang – since he started at FHS, Garza-Gonzalez said. "There are several activities that he started this school year that have all had a positive impact on our continuous pursuit of excellence.
She noted that at home football games, anywhere from 15 to 30 cadets are doing public pushups. The superintendent said it was a new tradition Stout brought to FHS.
Garza-Gonzales said Stout was the lead in having the the school host its first JROTC competition. He established revolving trophies within JROTC for drill, academics and uniform to develop teamwork and esprit de corps among the cadets. Additionally, he created a Halloween decoration competition between the two classrooms that also had a positive impact on improving the school culture, she said.
Toone, the superintendent said, goes out of her way to include everyone involved in the decision making process.
"She somehow manages to remain positive, upbeat and professional despite the numerous demands made on her in any given day/week," Garza-Gonzalez said. "We are always in awe of Emily's knowledge and her communication skills. She is also very generous in her appreciation of others and makes a point of recognizing the good that is surrounding her."
The superintendent gave the example of her recently reaching out to Toone for help on several occasions. "I wasn't necessarily expecting a quick response, but each time she has responded almost immediately, and has offered her expertise in helping me work through a number of issues."
Toone is currently spearheading the conversations around the trimester schedule and has been the lead in the data reflection cycle work that the World Languages Department is implementing.
"She is a class act!" Garza-Gonzalez said.