Star Award 2008-2009

Recognize those who help local students reach for the stars!  

The Star Award recognizes classified employees who... go above and beyond in fulfilling their positions, makes a positive difference, and provides truly outstanding support. 

 2008-2009 Star Award Recipients

2008-2009 Star Award Recipients  

 Left to right: Deed Verutti, Marci Calderon, Clemente Sarabia, Chris White 


The following recipient bios are put together with material from the nominations received.

Clemente Sarabia, Truckee High School Head Custodian

Clemente Sarabia goes far beyond his job description to make sure that the needs of the school and students are met.  Mr. Sarabia often comes in not only a few hours early but a whole DAY early to make sure the school can be accessed after a snow storm!  And, after construction all summer long, the staff feared that the school and classrooms wouldn’t be ready.  Thanks to Mr. Sarabia’s organization, the tasks were finished.  In fact, they were finished a few times after construction crews again caused messes that needed to be cleaned up! 

Students at the school love Mr. Sarabia so much that they ask him to perform in student films, and participate in student rallies.  One staff member writes in the nomination form, “He completes the incompleteable and finishes the unfinishable!”  


Chris White, Truckee High School Attendance Secretary

It is Chris White’s quest to make sure that all of the students at Truckee High School feel welcome and valued.  Everyone is amazed that she knows the names of the entire student body of over 800 students.  But what truly makes Ms. White exceptional is the “extra mile” that she goes.  She helps students who cannot afford prom clothing by organizing “Ally’s Closet.”  She encourages students and sometimes even signs them up for field trips and special campus events that she believes they will truly enjoy. And, she goes out of her way to connect with students she worries might not graduate and lets them know that she cares if they are successful.  This is all above and beyond her job description. 

Deed Verutti, Tahoe Lake Elementary Librarian

Deed Verutti is appreciated by students, parents and staff for going so far above her job description of librarian.  Ms. Verutti somehow remembers all of the students personal likes and dislikes in book choices and suggests books for them to check out.  Many students have completed entire book series per her suggestions.  The library often is the last recipient of funds, so Ms. Verutti is constantly fundraising to ensure that the students can find that perfect book.  One teacher shared on a nomination form that Deed had just gotten a new shipment of books and found one that she knew one of her students had been waiting for.  She charged out of the library, as the busses were boarding waving the book over he head calling out to the student.  His eyes lit up as she handed him the book and she commented to curious onlookers, “Miles likes this series and the newest book just came in; I knew he would want it right away.”  Her enthusiasm has been a continual source of strength for this school for last 20 years!

Marci Calderon, Kings Beach Elementary Secretary

To describe all of the special attributes of Ms. Calderon is a challenge.  Nominators attribute this staff member with holding the school together by calming the “stressed out” teachers with a friendly, helpful and even-tempered demeanor.  Staff members and parents are amazed at her ability to be the personal assistant to 35 teachers and over 400 students at the same time - and perform it all in record time with a smile on her face.  The constant interruptions of a school secretary are legendary! It is noted by staff members, parents, community and students alike that Marci is successfully able to answers questions, do paperwork, band-aids booboos, repairs machines, consoles crying, happily answers phone calls and generally fix everyone’s problems calmly…in two languages!  In addition, she knows the community and is often called upon to serve on committees and task forces that are far beyond the job description.