By Kathy Chouteau
Demetria Lawrence, an adult and alternative education transition specialist at Contra Costa College, has been honored with the 2021 Classified Employee of the Year Award by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors.
Lawrence was nominated by her colleagues at the San Pablo-based institution of higher education—which is part of the Contra Costa Community College District—and received the honor at the Board of Governors meeting May 24, along with four other classified professionals from Irvine Valley College, Long Beach City College, Los Angeles Valley College and Yuba College.
Award recipients received a $750 award accompanied by a commemorative plaque.
“This year’s Classified Employee of the Year recipients have exhibited an unyielding commitment to students, to their colleges and to their profession during a profoundly difficult year impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the California Community Colleges is honored to recognize these heroes,” said Board of Governors President Pamela Haynes.
In her work for the college, Lawrence supports the most impacted students as they work to attain their educational and career goals, per the Contra Costa Community College District. She has spurred the college’s participation in the Bay Area’s Correction to College workgroup, was nominated to participate in the District Attorney’s Re-Envision Juvenile Justice initiative and her advice is valued and routinely sought after among her colleagues. She is also considered a “key contributor to the California Adult Education Program Consortium,” the district added.
“I am humbled by the award and the nomination,” said Lawrence. “I am able to do what I do because I get to work with such amazing people. They are committed to our students, college and community.”
According to the district, the Classified Employee of the Year Award honors classified professionals with good leadership abilities, a strong commitment to the Vision for Success, professional ethics and standards and who are dedicated to the mission of the community colleges. Classified employees with at least five years of service as a permanent employee are eligible.
“On behalf of the Governing Board, I want to congratulate Demetria on this wonderful recognition,” said Chancellor Bryan Reece of the Contra Costa Community College District.