Rio Mesa High School counselor Betty Bright has been named certificated employee of the year at an awards ceremony to honor last year's top staff members in the Oxnard Union High School District.
Two Camarillo High School employees were also honored. Fujiye Endo, a cafeteria worker, was named classified employee of the year, while teacher's aide Maria Carmen Partida was named para-educator of the year.
The awards were handed out Tuesday at a reception in Oxnard.
"This is an activity I look forward to," said Wayne Edmonds, district personnel director. "It is the one time during the year that we can publicly acknowledge the outstanding work that goes on every day in our schools."
Bright, a Camarillo resident, beat out half a dozen other teachers, librarians, nurses and counselors for the top honor.
She started her teaching career in 1963, and has worked at high schools in Thousand Oaks and Ventura. She has also taught business classes at Moorpark and Oxnard colleges.
Rio Mesa Principal Eric Ortega called Bright "a true student advocate," noting that she was the first in the state to develop a Migrant Education Teacher Corps to encourage migrant students to become teachers.
A special service award was given to Rio Mesa secretary Edna Valentine, who is retiring after 44 years of district service.