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December Golden Apple Recipients Announced

Congratulations to our Golden Apple Recipients Joe Cutajar and Mary Rustia


Joe Cutajar Named December Golden Apple Recipient

Joe Cutajar with SAn Mateo High School colleagues and Dr. Skelly This month's Classified Golden Apple recipient, Joe Cutajar, was nominated by Billy Dekom and Yvonne Shiu. Joe is the SMHS School Plant Operations Lead. 

Here is what his colleagues had to say about him:

"Over the past 17 years, Joe Cutajar has proven to be an invaluable asset to San Mateo High School and the District. His fellow M&O staff members describe him as hard-working, dedicated, and a person who leads by example. He shows us all what it really means to be a hard worker. And he helps inspire this same solid work ethic in his coworkers."

"He takes great pride in his work and has high expectations for himself and the crew. Joe is efficient, responsive, follows school rules, policies and procedures. He regularly informs his supervisor, as well as the administration of any issues, just an all-around hard worker, who is very respected for the job he does. If there is a request, Joe will get it done. He often checks his email during the day before his shift, so that he stays on top of things. I enjoy seeing him every night on his rounds to check in with him to see how things are going."

Congratulations Joe! 


Mary Rustia Named December Mills High School
Mary Rustia and Dr. Skelly This month's Certificated Golden Apple recipient, Science Teacher Mary Rustia, was nominated by the Mills Administrative Team, and here is what they had to say about her: 
"Mary Rustia is a treasured faculty member at Mills where she wears multiple hats. Mary is a Science Co-Department Chair, a freshman Biology teacher, a founding teacher of the freshman SAIL Academy, Robotics Advisor, mentor for the Latina Mentor Program, CTA state representative and teacher leader. 
Mary holds strong principles of equity at the core of her work and does not shy away from sharing her personal narrative and the obstacles she has overcome as a female Latina in the Sciences with others, including her students who find strength and encouragement to overcome their own obstacles by learning her story. Mary is a third generation teacher in her family and inspired her son to become a teacher (currently at CHS). 
Mary spends her free time coaching and advising the Mills Robotics Team. She is a reflective practitioner in the art of teaching and an ally and advocate for some of our most vulnerable students. Mary built the Biotechnology program at Mills with the vision of inspiring more female students to enter the field of STEM. We hope that someday we will discover how to clone that passion and dedication that Mary Rustia brings to our work."
Congratulations Mary!