A kindergarten teacher and a janitor at two Sanger Unified schools and the principal at Clovis North Educational Center were honored Tuesday as Fresno County's top educators.
The winners are Jill Delano, a kindergarten teacher at Sanger Unified's Centerville Elementary School, Albert Mendoza, a janitor at Sanger Unified's Jefferson Elementary School, and Norm Anderson, principal of Clovis North in the Clovis Unified School District.
Educational Employees Credit Union has sponsored the event honoring the top teacher, employee and administrator.
Mendoza has worked at Jefferson for 32 years. In honor of his daughter, who was killed by a drunken driver, Mendoza gives four deserving fifth-graders a scholarship every year.
Never miss a local story.
"I want the kids to know that while things may not be going their way, they can do and be anything," Mendoza said.
Under Anderson, Clovis North has the highest Academic Performance Index score in the Clovis Unified district. Anderson hosts mandatory study sessions during lunch for students with Fs.
Delano goes above and beyond the job by finding food and clothes for needy families and taking in homeless children.
"Teachers don't teach for awards," Delano said. "But something like this is really the icing on the cake."
Six other finalists also were honored:
School Employee of the Year: Ruth Badilla, Parlier Unified School District, and Jess Garcia, Kingsburg Elementary Charter District.
Administrator of the Year: Cathy Padilla, Sanger Unified School District, and Jeff Percell, Riverdale Unified School District.
Teacher of the Year: Denise Dedini, Kingsburg Elementary Charter District, and Gregory Farris, Riverdale Unified School District.