RSCCD Trustees Honor Classified Employees of the Year

​The Board of Trustees recently honored three classified employees from Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD), Santa Ana College (SAC) and Santiago Canyon College (SCC) for their outstanding service and support at their respective site.

Trustee Zeke Hernandez and Patricia Duenez
(From left to right) Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) Trustee Zeke Hernandez honors Patricia Duenez, executive secretary for the RSCCD Foundation and Educational Services, as the 2017 District Classified Employee of the Year.Duenez joined the district in 2004 and over the following six years supported the Academic Senate, Curriculum Department and Student Services at Santiago Canyon College. With a break from 2010 to 2013, she returned to work in the District Office in support of the Center for International Trade Development, RSCCD Foundation and the Vice Chancellor of Educational Services.

As the main point of contact for the Educational Services Division, Duenez has quickly had to learn about state regulations, board policies, public records requests, state and federal grant requirements, research, economic and workforce development, international education, child development, and nonprofits to field questions from the colleges, community, and division managers. She demonstrates the highest level of professionalism in her job performance, and exhibits strong interpersonal skills when working with her colleagues at every level. Duenez truly enjoys and takes pride in doing her job well and always has a positive attitude and enthusiasm in her work with a true commitment to the goals of the division and district.

Student Trustee Esther Chian and Elva Negrete
(From left to right) RSCCD Student Trustee Esther Chian recognizes Elva Negrete, Santa Ana College nursing program student services coordinator, as Santa Ana College’s Classified Employee of the Year for 2017.
Negrete has dedicated the past 17 years of her professional career to Santa Ana College (SAC). She provides tremendous support to students and faculty, and is known for being extremely organized.

She maintains up-to-date databases on every student she is in contact with in the SAC Nursing Program. She organizes tutoring sessions led by successful graduates, and assists with student education plans and financial aid applications. Negrete also works with current students and graduates to find employment and continuing education opportunities. She makes it a point to visit students on the first day of class to inform them of the many resources available. When she saw that many needed help having access to textbooks and computers, she created a computer and book loan program. Negrete truly goes above and beyond to ensure the success of our students.

Reyes Vazquez and Trustee Claudia Alvarez
(From left to right) Reyes Vazquez, Santiago Canyon College curriculum specialist, is honored by RSCCD Trustee Claudia C. Alvarez, as the Santiago Canyon College Distinguished Classified of the Year for 2017. In 1989, Vazquez began her tenure at Santa Ana College and, in 2011, she moved on to Santiago Canyon College (SCC) when she transitioned to the SCC Division Office of Mathematics and Sciences.

With the goal of making students her priority, Reyes stated she “feels great joy” in seeing them achieve their academic and life goals. Having accomplished academic goals herself, Reyes holds an associate degree in liberal arts from RSCCD, a bachelor’s degree in child and adolescent studies from California State University, Fullerton, and a master’s degree in elementary education from California State University, Long Beach.
Reyes espouses her life’s philosophy as stated by Mark Twain: “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” She brings this philosophy to life on a daily basis when assisting students and working with staff. Her colleagues take pleasure in working with her because of her bright disposition and vast knowledge.