- Union County Public Schools
#ThanksUCPSStaff: UCPS staff members go above and beyond to support students and staff
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 academics, human resources and finance departments.
A key component of a successful school system is community engagement – and no one does community engagement quite like UCPS Latino Outreach Coordinator Gustavo Arevalo.
In his role, Arevalo often works in partnership with local organizations and agencies to host monthly educational workshops at various Union County schools. These workshops are held throughout the year, and range from parenting classes to health screenings to children’s dental screenings. The overall goal, Arevalo said, is to bridge any and all gaps between the Latino community and education professionals.
Facilitating positive interactions between the district’s academic staff, students and parents is an extremely critical role in a district of this size, and Arevalo credits much of his success to the strong relationships and trust he has been able to build during the past 10 years.
“I am very pleased with my position here and I really enjoy what I’m doing. I’m so glad that I’m able to build trust and relationships not only through my outreach in the Latino community but also with my colleagues,” he said. “I like knowing that I am making a difference here.”
As a former UCPS teacher, Christy Scott knows firsthand the types of challenges and experiences teachers face during their first few years in the classroom. That’s also why she knows just how critical her role is on the district’s new Beginning Teacher Support Team.
In their roles as Beginning Teacher Support District Facilitators, Scott along with Julie Kohlbrenner and Dr. Adriane Mingo spend their days in and out of schools providing support to teachers who are in their first three years of employment. They do this by supporting teachers in their schools and classrooms, facilitating access to resources, aligning support and resources and answering questions.
Collectively, their main goal is to ensure beginning teachers are having a positive experience during their time at UCPS. In short, Scott said, they want to ensure their relationships with teachers are positive, personal and private.
“The number one reason why teachers leave or stay in this profession is because of relationships. With us being able to be out in the field, we’re another person they can create a positive relationship with,” she said. “Helmed by Dr. Rorie, who is fantastic model of a person who knows how to create positive relationships, we really are a great team that works hard, is reflective and does our best to make sure our beginning teachers have positive experiences.”
Finance Payroll and Benefits Teams
Busy seasons fluctuate in many UCPS departments. But in the finance department, the work never slows down for the payroll and benefits teams.
“There’s no down time in payroll,” UCPS Assistant Finance Officer Angie Mills said with a laugh.
Angie’s team of eight employees works every day to ensure the accuracy and timely distribution of paychecks, as well as the payment of benefits, for more than 5,000 UCPS employees. And that’s not it – another major component of their daily duties also include customer service for thousands of employees, as the team members regularly answer any and all questions staff may have about leave balances, benefits and more.
With the addition of state and district incentives, such as bonus payments for eligible teachers and principals, coupled with changes to tax tables, Angie said it’s not uncommon for things to change quickly for the finance teams.
Even so, she is quick to credit her team for their flexibility and work ethic.
“They truly are a great staff. This team is very dedicated and they work very hard,” Angie said. “There’s a lot that goes into what we do, and they do their very best to always do everything that needs to be done.”