- Union County Public Schools
#ThanksUCPSStaff: UCPS shows appreciation to staff members during Staff Appreciation Week
In celebration of Staff Appreciation Week, we’re highlighting employees throughout the district whose roles contribute to the success of our students, staff and schools. Check out the bios below to learn more about the outstanding staff members in our legal, facilities and technology departments.
Also, don't forget to follow UCPS on Facebook and Twitter to see Staff Appreciation Week and Teacher Appreciation Day celebrations going on around the district!
When most people think of safety and security, law enforcement is the first thing that comes to mind. But if you ask UCPS Risk Manager Sara Hymel, who is a part of the district's General Counsel department, safety and mitigating risks is a far-reaching topic that covers much more.
As the district’s risk manager, Hymel works collaboratively with other departments to investigate, resolve and fulfill needs regarding workers compensation, insurance and property claims, fleet use and more.
Hymel has been instrumental in the development of a number of district policies and procedures that deal with everything from allowing service animals to visit classrooms to implementing a successful return to work program for employees. Her role is extremely important in a district the size of UCPS, as she is able to serve the entire school system as the single point of contact to resolving matters with other organizations.
“I advocate for the adoption of operating procedures to proactively reduce risks throughout the district. You can’t reduce risks if you’re not creating systemic and equitable approaches to procedures for all employees,” she said. “My work is very dynamic. In no way are two days ever the same.”
UCPS Warehouse team
The UCPS warehouse team is a well-oiled machine.
Day after day, the staff of 10 people crisscross the entire district delivering and picking up everything from furniture, materials for charity drives, testing materials and kits, mail, textbooks and technology – and they even lend a hand to renovation work.
Not only that, they also manage the district’s 25,000 square foot facility that houses thousands of items for schools and departments across the district.
In short, the warehouse team plays one of the most integral roles in the day-to-day operations of the school district.
“Our children need books and furniture and technology. Testing needs to get done. When it comes to the school district, a lot goes on behind the scene that a lot of people don’t realize,” said UCPS Warehouse Manager Dave Tolleson. “Our team works very hard, they are passionate about what they do and I think they really enjoy providing service for the district. I guess you could say we do it all.”
In less than a month, tens of thousands of staff and students will turn in their devices at the end of the school year and leave for summer break. Coincidentally, that’s the same time of year the workload for Emil Iglesias and his team of systems engineers will start to pick up as they spend the following months working tirelessly to prepare those same devices for the new school year.
As the UCPS Senior Systems Engineer, Iglesias manages the district’s team of 25 field and depot engineers who repair and replenish technology needs for teachers, support staff and students. Additionally, Emil is responsible for implementing team trainings and ensuring open communication among his team, schools and vendors as well as ordering new equipment, creating team rules and procedures and more.
All of this, coupled with the great work that his team does in the depot and in the field, is critical to what he says is his mission for his team – ensuring teachers, support staff and students have all the technology tools they need to successfully facilitate the education of more than 41,000 students. In fact, without their team, Iglesias estimates all technology would have to be repaired by third-party vendors in what would likely be a lengthy and time consuming process.
“More devices get added every day and this team handles it like pros,” he said. “We have a really great team of engineers who perform at and above what is expected of them every day, and they strive to perform to the highest level of customer satisfaction.”