In this age of information, the way schools communicate with parents and communities can be instrumental in helping with the job of educating students. Keeping the public informed is just one way to focus on the positive work going on in classrooms. Thus, the role of public information officer is a critical one, and the Tulare County Office of Education is fortunate to have the services of Rob Herman, ACSA’s 2013 Classified Leader of the Year.
A school is only as good as its behind-the-scenes support team. While these employees may not be in the classroom, their dedication for student success can be just as strong as their certificated colleagues. One school employee who has spent decades supporting students and schools is Ethel Harnden, superintendent’s secretary in the Pollock Pines Elementary School District. For her tireless work, she has been named ACSA’s 2013 Confidential Employee of the Year.
Who Are Classified Educational Leaders?
Classified educational leaders (CEL) are classified management supervisors and confidential personnel. The group encompasses a wide range of professionals from associate superintendents of business to administrative assistants of public school districts and county offices of education. CELs support the California school system in a distinctive manner to ensure the efficient operation of the educational process. Through a balance of professionalism and expressed caring, CELs provide essential services that enhance the achievements of the entire education community and contribute to quality education for all students. CELs include, but are not limited to, leaders in the following areas:
• Administrative support
• Business and fiscal services
• Custodial/grounds/plant management
• Student nutrition
• Human resources/personnel
• Information systems/technology
• Instructional/student services
• Maintenance and operations
• Public information/public relations
• Risk management
What Do Classified Educational Leaders Do?
CELs participate at all levels of ACSA – from the charters to the state Board of Directors. The statewide council works collaboratively to identify and study issues relating to classified managers and confidential employers. The council members promote membership of other classified educational leaders and encourage their participation in the organization. Council members develop professional growth programs that benefit not only CELs, but all ACSA members. They complete the educational leadership team as they work to support ACSA’s mission “to ensure all students have the essential skills and knowledge needed to excel; and champion public education.”
History of the Classified Educational Leader
In 1975, with the implementation of “collective bargaining,” (the Rodda Act, SB 160), school districts expanded their management teams to include classified managers and employees designated as “confidential.” Confidential employees are defined as “employees who, in the regular course of their duties, have access to, or possess information relating to the employer’s employer-employee relations.” Recognizing the lack of organizations available to classified managers and confidential employees, in 1978 ACSA appointed a Classified Managers/Confidential Employees Ad Hoc Committee. This committee was made up of nine members, each representing two regions, plus the chairperson. It is now a council at the state level, with a representative from each of ACSA’s 19 regions.