Baldwin Park Unified Leaders Named 2021-22 Employees of the Year

Certificated Administrator of the Year

Sierra Vista High School Principal Vince Pratt

“Vince Pratt embodies many of the essential characteristics needed to be a successful high school principal. In particular, he exudes tremendous optimism and enthusiasm that sustain a positive school culture. It is said that the position of high school principal is one of the most challenging jobs in education, yet Vince Pratt fulfills the role with style and aplomb. Baldwin Park Unified is grateful for his service and dedication to the students and families of our community.” – Angela A. Salazar, Assistant Superintendent of Student Achievement

Classified Administrator of the Year

Director of Purchasing and Warehouse Mike Esparza

“Mike Esparza’s dedication and work ethic has been crucial to leading the purchasing team in the past and especially during COVID-19 times. When items were needed, such as personal protective equipment or technology devices, Mike worked diligently with his team to complete as much as humanly possible during the difficult times of the pandemic.” – Marc Chaldu, Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations  

Teacher of the Year

Kenmore Elementary School second-grade teacher Margarita Berdeja

“She has an amazing curriculum and a great focus on literacy and math. Her classroom environment is amazing and she’s the kind of teacher that I always want for my own child. I want to be a student in her classroom. She really deserves Teacher of the Year.” – Wendy Payan, Teacher of the Year Committee Member

Adult and Community Education Teacher of the Year

BPACE HVAC Instructor Ford Billingsley

“Ford is an excellent teacher who teaches with compassion, drive and determination. He is a hands-on kind of guy who does not mind showing his students how to get it done. His biggest asset is he truly cares for his students and their success, and it shows.” – Lance Quintana, BPACE Teacher on Special Assignment  

Classified Employee of the Year

Vineland Elementary School Community Liaison Gilbert Mendez

“Mr. Mendez cares about our students and provides them support with the PBIS program, meeting with them during check-in times throughout the day and providing creative rewards for them. It is comforting to see that parents feel they can trust him, and even ask him to assist them with tasks not involving school! He shares his love of cooking and brings a smile to our parents during his parent meetings, ‘Recipe with Mr. Mendez’, where he shares elaborate recipes while also discussing important school announcements.” – Ciri X. Garcia, Vineland Elementary Clerk


Pictured from left to right: BPACE HVAC Instructor Ford Billingsley; Vineland Elementary School Community Liaison Gilbert Mendez; Kenmore Elementary School third-grade teacher Margarita Berdeja; Director of Purchasing and Warehouse Mike Esparza; Sierra Vista High School Principal Vince Pratt.