Poway Unified Announces 2023 'PUSD Classified Employees of the Year'

(San Diego, CA) – The Poway Unified School District (PUSD) is proud to announce that Edward Wicburg, School Bus Driver; Gloria Tran, Attendance and Discipline Administrative Specialist; and Jennifer Nguyen, Food and Nutrition Specialist at Westview High School have all been chosen as the PUSD Classified Employees of the Year for 2023.

The selection of the District Classified Employees of the Year is based on job performance, dedication to the community, and contributions to PUSD. A committee comprised of District and school site representatives are responsible for the selection.
Ed WicburgEdward Wicburg, School Bus Driver, Transportation Department
Edward, or Ed as his colleagues know him as, is a dedicated, diligent, and conscientious employee with an enviable work ethic. Not only does he excel in his endeavors as a leader, but he mentors others to do the same.

Ed has been a part of Poway Unified for 8 years and within months of becoming a permanent member of the team, became a Delegated Behind the Wheel Trainer. In this role, Ed is responsible for teaching and modeling what it means to be a School Bus Driver to new trainees, helping them recognize their strengths and shortcomings, and effectively preparing them to succeed in their new role.

Many in the Transportation Department have come to know Ed as the ‘quintessential good neighbor’ for his willingness to serve a need. Whether this is taking on additional routes to run, meeting another bus to assist with elevated student behavior, transporting students otherwise stranded on a non-operable bus, or ensuring that his Transportation coworkers have the information or insight they need to ensure safe transport of students new to them, Ed offers his experience, knowledge, and teaching ability to create a better team in support of students.
Gloria TranGloria Tran, Administrative Specialist, Attendance and Discipline Department
Gloria has been in her position for 5 years and in that time has become the go-to person for both District office personnel and school sites. She exemplifies professionalism while maintaining kindness and compassion when communicating to parents, students, and staff. Her leadership is paramount to the success of collaborative projects across departments.

Not only is Gloria committed to her responsibilities as an employee, but she is also committed to giving back to those around her by volunteering her time to many committees both inside and outside of Poway Unified. Within the district, she is serving her second year on the PUSD District Equity Advisory Committee and is a motivating force behind the District Wellness Team. Outside of the district, her work in the community has garnished her the honor of Woman of the Year and Citizen of the Year in previous years by local organizations and officials.

Throughout her time in PUSD Gloria has gone above and beyond to ensure that a supportive, equitable, and inclusive work environment is provided for her department as well as others. She exudes positivity and completes every task efficiently, effectively, and with the students’ best interest in mind.
Jennifer NguyenJennifer Nguyen, Food and Nutrition Assistant II, Westview High School
Jennifer first joined the Food and Nutrition Department in 2016 as a substitute foodservice worker and within her first six months of being hired became certified as a Food Safety Manager. Now, seven years later, Jennifer is an integral part of the Food and Nutrition team at Westview High School. She has served at the elementary, middle, and high school levels where her friendly, affirming nature and dedication to learning student names quickly make her a student favorite. On her previous campus, lunch participation increased by 10% due in large part to her welcoming demeanor and initiative to get to know every child.

At a time when foodservice staffing is a challenge, team players like Jennifer are a true asset to the Food and Nutrition Department. Jennifer completes her own responsibilities diligently and immediately looks for ways to help her team afterwards. She often is the first to offer to travel to other school sites to fill a need, and completes each task – from food preparation to end-of-day paperwork – with efficiency and joy.
In addition to her care and service to students in the cafeteria, Jennifer is also involved on PUSD campuses as a parent and volunteer. She volunteers in the classroom and after-school, where she provides art classes and supports her daughter’s swim team. Whether she’s serving students in the kitchen, classroom, or elsewhere, she does so with excellence and kindness. She makes an impact on those around her and values her role and responsibilities. 
2023 Poway Unified School Site and Department Classified Employees of the Year
Congratulations to all of our site and department classified employees who represent the best of #TeamPUSD: 

Abraxas High School

Kim Matsuo

Adobe Bluffs Elementary School

Cheryl Klopstein

Bernardo Heights Middle School

Rebecca MacGowan

Black Mountain Middle School

Connie Hunt

Canyon View Elementary School

Grace Umbenhaur

Career Technical, Adult

Alexis Knapek

Chaparral Elementary School

Jessica Rasoul

Connect Academy

Melissa Van Tassel

Creekside Elementary School

Sunny Hwang

Deer Canyon Elementary School

Pete Schwaab

Del Norte High School

Shari Smith

Del Sur Elementary School

Gabriela Olszewska

DO - Finance

Ilona Kerr

DO - FM&O & Planning

Kari Zipp

DO - LSS, Attendance & Discipline

Gloria Tran*

DO - Payroll

Belsy Gonzalez

DO - Preschool

Shahnaz Riazati


Mercie Gibson


Nancy Brundrett

DO - Tech & Innovation

Micki Krupinski


Meghan Stralo

Food & Nutrition Department

Jennifer Nguyen*

Garden Road Elementary School

Jose Gonzalez

Highland Ranch Elementary School

Shalaka Bhosale

Los Peñasquitos Elementary School

Virginia Gaters

Meadowbrook Middle School

Adriana Gonzalez

Mesa Verde Middle School

Denise Garrett

Midland Elementary School

Veena Deshpande

Monterey Ridge Elementary School

Jose Gonzales

Morning Creek Elementary School

Jaimee Gopen

Mt. Carmel High School

Wayman Yeldell

Oak Valley Middle School

Sudhadevi Murugesan

Painted Rock Elementary School

Jan Adams

Pomerado Elementary School

Rosario Hansen

Poway High School

Deanna Oulela

Rancho Bernardo High School

Lynn Nakagawa

Rolling Hills Elementary School

Kim Garcia

Shoal Creek Elementary School

Christine Johnson

Stone Ranch Elementary School

Zohreh Mesri

Sundance Elementary School

Mary Brister


Margaret Godman

Tierra Bonita Elementary School

Misa Rudge

Transportation Department

Edward Wicburg*

Turtleback Elementary School

Sharon Athon

Twin Peaks Middle School

Dan Fox

Valley Elementary School

Niurka Diaz

Westview High School

Jennalyn Rose

Westwood Elementary School

Robert Haluag

Willow Grove Elementary

Holly Rhubottom



*Indicates District Level Classified Employee of the Year