featured graphic for Cypress School District

It’s that time of year when Cypress School District recognizes the outstanding service of its teachers and staff. At the March 7 meeting of the Board of Trustees, we honored Teacher of the Year and Classified Employee of the Year nominees and winners.

We are extremely proud of all employees in our district, and we look forward to publically recognizing their excellence each year. We hope you will take a few minutes to learn more about some of the extraordinary people who are serving the children of our community.

Sue Ochoa, Teacher of the Year. Courtesy photo.

Teacher of the Year

Sue Ochoa
Education Specialist – Steve Luther Elementary School

Sue is a dedicated teacher who has served our neediest students for 42 years. She is patient and positive as she works tirelessly with special needs students to help them realize their full potential. Sue has been instrumental in the development of a Learning Center at Luther which enables students in special education to access our educational program in the least restrictive environment while still receiving the support they need to be successful in school. Sue’s work in this area also benefits typical students in the general education program by helping them to develop compassion and an understanding of the challenges of others. Working with her colleagues, Sue has helped create a model program. We are proud to have Sue Ochoa represent the Cypress School District as our 2019 Teacher of the Year!

Terry Lopp, Classified Employee of the Year. Courtesy photo.

Classified Employee of the Year

Terry Lopp
Credentials Analyst/HR Specialist – Human Resources
Terry plays an essential role in the recruitment and hiring of all district employees. She advertises job openings, processes applications, and schedules interviews. Following offers of employment, she collects and reviews all pre-employment documents, conducts new employee orientations, and monitors employee credentials. Terry is the first face of the school district for all newly hired employees and, as such, she is always warm and caring. She delivers exceptional customer service. Terry also works in service to her department team members. She never hesitates to assist a coworker, even if it means coming in early or staying late to complete her own work. We value Terry’s commitment to the district and honor her as our 2019 Classified Employee of the Year!

ACSA Region 17 – Classified Champion Award

Debbie Parker, ACSA Region 17 – Classified Champion Award. Courtesy photo.

Debbie Parker

Executive Assistant to the Superintendent
Each year, the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) recognizes excellence in school leadership. As part of their annual awards program, ACSA Region 17 has honored Debbie Parker with its 2019 Classified Champion Award for her service to public education. Indeed, Debbie is a go-getter who wears a lot of hats working in a small district. However, rather than look for ways to reduce her workload, she consistently seeks opportunities to contribute and support students, staff, and parents. Debbie possesses an exceptional skill set and an unparalleled work ethic. The impact of her efforts extends throughout the entire district and into the larger community. Debbie is not only a Classified Champion, she is truly a superhero!


Cindy Corbin
Third Grade Teacher – A.E. Arnold Elementary School
Cindy is a devoted classroom teacher who always puts students first. She began her career as a wildlife educator, and she has used her early professional experiences to enrich her instructional program and bring science to life for students. Cindy has also been an early adopter of classroom technology, introducing computer coding to students through the use of programmable robots.

Denise Bergmann
Fourth Grade Teacher – Clara J. King Elementary School

Denise is dedicated to all the scholars who enter her classroom door. She spends countless hours preparing lessons and adapting curriculum to support student success. Denise is a lifelong learner who is committed to her own professional growth. She has participated as a Fellow in the Cotsen Foundation’s Art of Teaching program and is certified in Gifted and Talented Education.

Dana Gonzalez
Fourth Grade Teacher – Margaret Landell Elementary School

Dana is always looking for new ways to engage learners in her classroom. With that goal in mind, she participated as a Fellow in the Cotsen Foundation’s Art of Teaching program to bring social studies alive for students. One of Dana’s many claims to fame is the play Gold Dust or Bust in which students learn about the history of California through participation in the performing arts.

Jackie McBain
First Grade Teacher – Juliet Morris Elementary School

Jackie has a passion for teaching reading, and it shows. She earned a master’s degree in reading education and holds both a teaching and a reading specialist credential. She puts her specialized talents to work each day with the important responsibility of helping children learn how to read. Jackie is also an avid school volunteer, supporting Read Across America, Reading Counts, and other school activities.

Tracey Perez
Kindergarten Teacher – Frank Vessels Elementary School

Tracey is a devoted teacher who cares about each student as if he or she was her own. She goes above and beyond to meet her students’ needs, and one can’t help but be amazed by the creative strategies she uses to ensure student success. Tracey cultivates a warm, safe, and inviting classroom community that promotes student creativity, feeds their curiosity, and inspires a love for learning.

Cathy Kim
Music Teacher – District Music Program

Cathy is a thoughtful and creative educator. She is committed to cultivating the love of music in all students. Her lessons are engaging, and students thrive in her classroom. As an experienced teacher, Cathy demonstrates leadership by providing support, sharing insight, and collaborating with her colleagues to build a high-quality music program for students across the district.

Alfonso Lopez
Lead Grounds/Irrigation Technician – Maintenance, Operations, Transportation & Technology

Alfonso possesses all the qualities of an effective leader. He is a hard worker, a team player, and very knowledgeable. Alfonso ensures our school campuses and district grounds always look their best and reflect our district pride. He is a dedicated employee who supports his gardening crew and is willing to go the extra mile to assist his colleagues whenever the need arises.

Noelle Negrete
Paraeducator-Severely Handicapped – Frank Vessels Elementary School

Noelle is up for any challenge, and it’s her commitment and positive attitude that make her so effective in supporting students with the greatest educational needs. She’s a nurturing force who demonstrates boundless energy and enthusiasm. Noelle is the first one to volunteer to be “it” on the playground, or to run, jump, climb, share a laugh, and facilitate friendship-making for the students in her care.

Linda Sasaki
Instructional Aide – A.E. Arnold Elementary School

Linda has a special place in her heart for children with disabilities. She is both patient and discreet as she helps keep them focused on learning in the classroom. Linda is loved by the students she serves and respected by her colleagues for her commitment. She makes a difference in the lives of the students she serves and contributes in a meaningful way to their success in school.

Stacy Wallace
School Administrative Assistant – A.E. Arnold Elementary School

Stacy sets the standard when it comes to professionalism in a busy school office environment. The quality of her work, level of her commitment, and can-do attitude are a model for all. Stacy’s calm presence puts people at ease and enables her to effectively address the needs of students, parents, and staff alike. Stacy ensures everyone who enters the office feels valued and heard.