LANCASTER — Antelope Valley Union High School District honored employees at the 35th annual Employee Recognition Ceremony Monday night at Lancaster High School.

Quartz Hill High School teacher Ruth Simonds was named the District Teacher of the Year, and Lorena Durr the Classified Employee of the Year.

The Distinguished Service and Special Service awards were also handed out.

The Distinguished Service Award may only be presented once to an employee. To be eligible for the award an employee must have at least 15 years of service credit. The criteria include effectiveness with students and contribution, or contributions, to the profession; contributions of work with students outside of the classroom; and long-term outstanding contributions to the District.

This year’s Distinguished Service award recipients are Pedro Del Valle, Deb Dimeglio, Antuone Hill, Lu Ann Hughes and

Sam Vaiana.

The Special Service Award may be granted more than once to an employee for different criteria and does not require a minimum number of service years. Criteria for the award include unusual competence, courage or performance in an emergency situation or under unusual difficulties, and/or original suggestions, developments or major improvements in methods, organization or procedures, or for work on  a particular project that resulted in substantial benefit to the District.

This year’s recipients are Craig Cincis, Taryn Wallace, Chris Grado, Therean Thompson, Edgard De La Cruz, Ryan Dietrich, Dareen Hunt, Patricia Montague, Melody Schwartz, Shannon Twitchell, Leah Varela, Jean Wilson and Eric Borja.

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