Baiza is top classified employee

Frankie Baiza is the best classified employee because he's a role model with high standards. He's conscientious and humble.

"This is a real honor - is there any money?" Baiza joked after being named the top school district classified employee of the year in Douglas County on Thursday.

The head custodian at Zephyr Cove Elementary School was recognized by Principal Chris Perdomo because he takes personal pride in the school and puts his stamp of approval on every square foot.

"Frankie is dedicated, loyal, and conscientious," said Perdomo. "He's humble and doesn't like to be recognized but he is because of his high standards. He's a model employee.

"My school sparkles because of him," she said.

"I was in the car business for 20 years but this is so much better," said Baiza. "I enjoy what I'm doing. The kids bring me to life. I do what I do because of the kids."

Baiza and his custodial crew worked on a major project for the last two years painting the school's interior bright, upbeat colors.

"Frankie is always looking to make the school look attractive, fresh and safe," Perdomo said. "This project truly transformed a drab, outdated facility into a welcoming, child-friendly environment."

Baiza said he's never been "Mr. Baiza" to the kids.

"That would be too awkward," he said. "They call me 'Frankie.' I show them magic tricks and give them treats and snacks. When parents come to school, they have to come meet me because their kids tell them about me."

Perdomo said Baiza mentors students who have behavioral issues in the classroom and advises them on how to handle themselves better in social situations.

"I use him as a 'consequence' with kids who get in trouble. He helps teach them to make better choices," said Perdomo. "Frankie takes the time to compliment, praise and reward the students for their good work and deeds. The kids flock to him."

Baiza, 49, and his wife Eva Baiza live in Carson City. He has been at Zephyr Cove Elementary since 2002. Baiza received a license plate holder advertising him as the best classified employee and a clock.

Classified employees were chosen from each school for team play, excellent customer service, project accomplishments and contributions to the school. Each received a plaque with a certificate of recognition.

School Superintendent John Soderman said classified employees are appreciated by principals and school staff for all they do.

"You are the heartbeat of the school district," Soderman said. "Like the bass in a band, you keep the beat. You keep things together - every day, all day - it's a team effort."

Douglas County School District's nominated classified employees of the year:

Sandra Aherns, Playground/Special Ed Aide Kingsbury Middle School

Gary Alvis, Groundskeeper Lake Tahoe schools

Lynn Crossman, Special Ed Aide Carson Valley Middle School

Nicole Davies, Nutrition Manager Scarselli Elementary

Connie Gonzales, Head Secretary Special Services

CoCo Gremore, Special Ed Aide Meneley Elementary

Mary Lahlum, Special Ed Aide Gardnerville Elementary

Betty Larrouy, Nutrition Manager Douglas High

Leanora Morgan, Classroom/Playground Aide Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School

Vernon Narm, Custodian PiƱon Hills Elementary

Karen Norberg, Senior Library Media Tech Jacks Valley Elementary

Susan Patchell, School Secretary Scarselli Elementary

Peggy Webb, Special Ed Program Assistant Minden Elementary


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