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Baldrige Star Named Classified Employee of the Year

Paula Wiesenhutter, certification services supervisor for the Personnel Commission, was named Classified Employee of the Year at the recent Classified Employee Barbecue. She was selected by a districtwide committee of classified employees from a field of 55 nominees and five top finalists. "It was very exciting to be named at the barbecue," Wiesenhutter said. "It was very flattering." Other finalists included Christine Burns, elementary school office supervisor, Roosevelt; Alex Castro, plant supervisor II, Newcomb; Ronald Jacobs, plant supervisor I, Emerson; and Brian Linton, plant supervisor I, Holmes. In her nomination, submitted by the staff of the Personnel Commission, it was noted that Wiesenhutter meets the educational mission of the district by providing excellent customer service, support and guidance to school site personnel and principals who are trying to fill classified employee vacancies at their sites. In these hiring freeze years, she has researched funding sources, staffing levels and overall need for all items that go to the Hiring Freeze Committee. In addition to this full-time activity, she continues to supervise staff involved in filling vacant positions. Wiesenhutter leads by example and motivates her staff and colleagues by her positive attitude. She volunteers for projects and has taken the lead in developing and distributing materials for the schools which are her designated liaison sites. She is often sought out by employees and managers throughout the district for her advice and knowledge of the classified hiring process. She works very hard to convey even disappointing information in the most positive way, making customers feel good in situations where the potential is high for displeasure. Wiesenhutter was one of the original members of the online VA (Vacancy Action Form) creation team. Her knowledge of the classified hiring process has proven invaluable to the district. She actively participated in developing the online VA training manual, and has been called upon to train district employees in the use of the online VA. After initial training, Wiesenhutter has embraced the district’s quest for continuous improvement through the Baldrige total quality management strategies. She has been an eager participant in department workshops and volunteered to appear in an informational video on Baldrige which has been shown throughout the district and at many state and national conferences. At some lively department Baldrige meetings, she can be counted on to dress in her "Miss Baldrige" ballgown, complete with tiara. As she anoints staff for "being Baldrige," she helps to set and attain the standards of excellence for herself and those around her.