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Brandon Barkley and Karol Thompson Named Employees of the Month

Mathematics teacher, coach and athletic director Brandon Barkley and Lucerne Valley Elementary School office manager Karol Thompson were named Employees of the Month at Thursday’s monthly meeting of the Lucerne Valley Unified School District’s governing board.
Certificated employee Mr. Barkley was named for playing a key role in transitioning the Middle High School site from distance learning only to hybrid learning plans and for his ongoing involvement for making the school great. Classified staff member Ms. Thompson, who has been a key LVES staff member for years, was instrumental in doing whatever was necessary to open the school to hybrid learning, according to Superintendent Peter Livingston.
Mr. Livingston shared the employees’ nomination letters, which were provided by site administrators, during the meeting.
“Mr. Barkley continues to be one of the most dedicated and committed teachers on the Lucerne Valley Middle/High School campus,” Mr. Livingston said. “He works diligently to make sure that every student in his class has an equal opportunity to become successful. He instills a belief in his students that they can conquer the difficulties of learning math. Mr. Barkley demonstrates the flexibility necessary to be an effective teacher. His lessons are often adjusted to meet the individual needs of his students. Because of this flexible approach, Mr. Barkley is one of our most well-liked and effective teachers on campus.
“Classroom activities in Mr. Barkley’s various math classes are always of high interest to students and tie-in directly to the major points of the unit being taught. Because of this dynamic, flexible approach to teaching, Mr. Barkley’s teaching style is extremely effective,” Mr. Livingston said.
“Mr. Barkley truly enjoys teaching, which is evidenced by the enthusiasm and personal charm he displays in the classroom. His conversational ability with high school students and sense of humor adds to his success in the instructional process. Mr. Barkley also serves as head girl’s basketball coach and athletic director. Brandon is truly an asset to the students at Lucerne Valley Middle/High School.”
Regarding Ms. Thompson, Mr. Livingston said, “This year’s elementary school reopening involved many key players who worked throughout the summer to ensure a safe return for staff and students. One important member of our team, Karol Thompson, spent the summer ordering textbooks and supplies, answering phones, assisting parents, building class rosters, and many other duties involved at the beginning of the year prep.
“Karol is the nucleus of the Lucerne Valley Elementary office staff and has been a fixture at the elementary site for 14 years. She has been an LVUSD employee for 22 years and has worked her way up from a campus proctor to her office manager position. She also played an integral part in the After School All-Star program’s success where she was the head supervisor. Karol is always there to lend a helping hand, give some motherly advice, some words of encouragement, and every now and then some straight talk. Her personable approach to her job allows her to gain a rapport with many staff, students, and families.”
The school district also recognized longtime alternative education staff member Jonnie Ross for her many years of dedication. Ms. Ross is leaving the district to work on her own new business venture after 24 years at the district, Mr. Livingston said.
PHOTO #1: From left to right, Superintendent Peter Livingston, school board clerk Chelsea LaGrange, school board president Tom Courtney, Employees of the Month Brandon Barkley and Karol Thompson, school board vice president Jessica Risler (who conducted the board meeting) and board member Jim Harvey. Photo courtesy Doug Beaton
PHOTO #2: From left to right, Superintendent Peter Livingston, school board president Tom Courtney, school board clerk Chelsea LaGrange, 24-year employee Jonnie Ross, school board vice-president Jessica Risler and board member Jim Harvey. Photo courtesy Doug Beaton