Rosie Portugal-Brastad, coordinator for Project Help, was named classified employee of the year at the Apache Junction Unified School District board meeting on May 12.
She received $500 and will also be awarded a plaque at the district’s Welcome Back event on July 21.
The award is sponsored by AJ Moose Lodge No. 2039 and is a new addition to the district’s recognition efforts, according to a release.
Due to the sponsorship the district was able to honor 12 classified employees of the month during 2020. Each employee was nominated by a colleague and winners had to exemplify one or more of the district’s core values of R.E.A.C.H.I.N.G., which stands for relationships, equity, accountability, caring, honesty, inclusive, nurturing and growth.
Each winner received a framed certificate and $100. Out of those 12 employees, one person was randomly selected to be the AJUSD classified employee of the year.
Mrs. Portugal-Brastad was nominated by two of her colleagues for her efforts with Project Help. Project Help, a program that is exclusive to AJUSD, provides families in need with help with financial assistance, food, new and gently-used clothing, and other items that are donated by corporations, churches and individuals.
Below is an excerpt of what was written about Mrs. Portugal-Brastad:
"Rosie embraces all the AJUSD core values with an emphasis on 'nurturing.' She treats everyone with kindness and without judgment. She works tirelessly to provide for the families in our district. Her energy and passion shines through when you talk to her.
"She works with our community to get donations and much-needed funding to help our students, teachers, nurses and staff. Project Help wouldn't be as successful if it weren't for her hard work and dedication. She always has a smile on her face and has a positive outlook."
To learn more about Project Help or the school district, go to ajusd.org. Registration for all students is currently being accepted online.