Community leaders shadow classified school staff

Ace program designed to bridge communication
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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When Steve Schaffer started an afternoon of shadowing Skyridge Elementary health clerk Debby Espenson he didn?t realize how many different roles he?d be taking on in just a couple of hours ? health clerk, leading a group of English language development students and head crossing guard. Schaffer, a vice principal at E.V. Cain Charter Middle School, was one of many local community leaders who shadowed classified school employees in the Auburn-area Tuesday. Last week was recognized by the California legislature as Classified School Employees Week. ?She does a lot of things,? Schaffer said. ?She has got incredible patience with the little ones.? Frank Polito, director of communications for the California School Employees Association said the Auburn Union School District was one of 10 school districts across the state to participate in the Aces Program. ?The goal is to bridge a better understanding and a better cooperative relationship between the classified employees and the people that make decisions about their jobs,? Polito said. Polito said the experience can be an eye-opening one for administrators and community leaders. Schaffer said he knows his own school site?s classified staff well, but it was interesting to shadow classified staff from another site. Espenson said the experience was positive for her, too. ?He was a good helper when we were doing our hurricane reports,? Espenson said. Mike Holmes, Auburn city councilmember, went to shadow Kelly Loveall, principal?s secretary at E.V. Cain. He said he got the opportunity to learn more about the school?s science, technology, engineering and math charter format. ?A number of us were going to various schools today to commemorate the non-certificated personnel who work at the schools,? Holmes said. ?I went to E.V. Cain. It was most illuminating. It was a good experience to see how things are going on there.? Reach Sara Seyydin at, or follow her on Twitter @AJ_News.