Two employees have tied for the Long Beach Unified School District’s annual Classified Employee of the Year Award. Custodians Ninski Menchavez of Tincher Preparatory School, and Fernando Nieves of MacArthur Elementary School accepted their awards at a recent celebration in honor of classified employees.
Menchavez has worked at Tincher for 16 years.
“Thank you to the Long Beach Unified School District – my second family,” Menchavez said as he accepted the honor.
Nieves has worked for the school district for nearly 20 years. His wife, Beatriz Nieves, earned the same award two years ago as a campus security officer at Millikan High School.
“I’m in shock, but thank you very much,” Nieves said upon receiving his award. He credited the school’s principal, front office staff and “great teachers” for their support.
Both employees earned several nominations.
Menchavez was described as a hardworking, dependable role model for students and staff.
“He is one of the most respected individuals at Tincher,” said the school’s principal, Rosemary Sissons. “Staff members and parents frequently comment on his work ethic and the quality of his interactions with the entire Tincher family. In addition to his work as a custodian, he can often be found working with children. He counsels students who are on lunch detention and finds meaningful work for them to do. He helps children feel connected to and part of our school community.”
Colleagues praised Nieves for going above and beyond to maintain a clean campus and assist with schoolwide events like the school carnival and PTA movie nights.
“Mr. Nieves is such a wonderful person to work alongside,” teacher Melissa Quintero said. “He always has a positive attitude and his smile always brightens the day of both myself and my students. Whenever I need him for maintenance work, he always answers right away. He is such an amazing presence at MacArthur, and we are lucky to have him.”
A total of 24 people were nominated for the award this year, with many of the nominees receiving multiple nominations each. Six finalists included the two winners plus Nick Altenhofen, carpenter at Maintenance; Cathy Anderson, instructional aide special at Emerson; Julie Baldridge, intermediate office assistant at Poly; and Vanessa Hill, instructional aide special at Tucker.
The winners and finalists will be honored at the June 6 Board of Education meeting.