Although his title says “Special Education Technician,” Rodel Agpaoa’s role at Pacific Beach Middle School is far more wide-reaching.
His versatility and involvement in the school community are two of the many reasons he has been named San Diego Unified’s Classified Employee of the Year for 2015.
“The students and adults that he works with directly know how much he cares; but the kids that don’t know him that well know that he is caring, positive open and understanding person who sets a positive example as a contributing member of the community,” teacher Don Wood wrote in a recommendation letter. “Students recognize that he is someone who not only has a wide variety of skills, but he is enthusiastically willing to share his skills with others.”
While Agpaoa works mainly as a special education technician with students in a mild moderate special education class, he consistently goes above and beyond his job description inside and outside the classroom.
He spends his own time researching and preparing materials for his students in order to maximize their learning. While in general education classrooms, he not only assists his special education students, but makes himself available to any student that needs assistance. He regularly helps out in both the health and front offices, and with other school wide activities.
He also strives to make connections with students and families throughout the school. He’s involved with Super Friends, which pairs students from special education with students from general education classes for school and community activities, and also started a fishing club. Agpaoa partnered with the San Diego Sports Fishing Association to schedule approximately five trips per year, many at no charge to students.
“This club continues to provide student with an opportunity to learn life-long skills, and Rodel has demonstrated outstanding leadership in developing and realizing the club,” said Nurse Mary Gantz.
Gantz added that Agpaoa is constantly seeking new opportunities for professional growth and development. Last year, he attended Incident Command Support training; he studies nutrition and hygiene to help students with special dietary needs; and studies geometry so he can help out in the advanced math classes.
“Rodel is a leader at Pacific Beach Middle School,” wrote Principal Kimberly Meng in a recommendation letter. “He works hard, is proactive in a crisis, calm under pressure and confident in his knowledge and experience. He exemplifies the ideal employee and human being.”
Agpaoa will be honored along with Classified Employee of the Year runner up Torri Wright from Valencia Park Elementary at the Classified Employee of the Year celebration on May 19 at Ibarra Elementary School.