CSEA member selected for national REACH Award

April 02, 2024
John Sullivan

CSEA member John Sullivan, a classified employee of Northmont Elementary in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District, was recently selected as a recipient of the 2024 Recognizing Excellence and Classified Heroes (REACH) Award.

“John truly exemplifies everything it means to be a classified employee,” CSEA Association President Adam Weinberger said. “John has been recognized time and again for going above and beyond and devoting extra time and attention to his students and school, and we’re proud to call him one of our own.” 

The REACH Award was created by CSEA and the United Classified School Employees, a coalition of state and national unions that together represent school support employees nationwide, to honor the individual contributions, and to recognize the essential role that all education professionals play in education. Along with all other educators (teachers, administrators, specialized instructional support personnel, and higher education faculty), these dedicated employees must be recognized for their invaluable contributions to student success.

“The REACH award means so much to me,” Sullivan said. “As I humbly accept this award, I know that I must also recognize the countless classified employees who do exactly what I do daily and that is to ensure that our students are always taken care of and always have a safe loving learning environment when they arrive each day. I also love that it highlights the positive impact that custodians can make daily.”

In addition to his normal duties, Sullivan is a regular presence outside of Northmont greeting students as they arrive and leave, helping with safety patrol, and much more

“What motivates me the most is knowing that I have a chance to make a positive lasting impact on a child's life,” Sullivan said. “Each day is a new day and a new chance to do whatever it takes for the children to know that I love and care about each one of them. I also think that being raised in foster care myself in a way gave me some life skills or tools to help me in a way that many others don't understand. I don’t consider what I do as going above and beyond, I consider what I do as doing my job in a way that children can relate to. Children can see that ‘Mr. John’ has never nor will I ever give up on them, and I am here to help them succeed.

Sullivan, who is a member of La Mesa-Spring Valley Chapter 419, was also named as one of CSEA’s Member of the Year recipients in 2023.

This article was written by CSEA Sr. Communication Specialist Matt Murphy.