Classified Employees of the Year

We are excited to announce our Classified Employees of the Year. They are Elizabeth Hirschi as our Paraprofessional of the Year; Angie Sorensen as our Secretary of the Year; Eric Duersch as our Head Custodian of the Year; Stephanie Merrill as our Lunch Manager of the Year; and Joe Phillips as our Travel Driver of the Year. Congratulations to all of these amazing employees! We appreciate their enthusiasm and diligence toward serving our students, teachers, and schools.



Elizabeth Hirschi

Elizabeth Hirschi- Paraprofessional of the Year

As a paraprofessional for seven years at Summit Elementary School and thirteen years at Birch Creek Elementary School, Elizabeth Hirschi strives to make reading fun for the students she helps. “Reading is one of the most important things in life,” Hirschi explains. “No matter how mundane the story can be, I make it fun. We use sad and happy voices depending on the character…and I have always been an advocate for rewarding the kids–if it’s candy, erasers, or pencils.”


Not only does Hirschi provide ways to help her students have fun while reading, but she also wants them to remember another important message: although reading may be hard for some of them, they should keep trying. “No matter how hard something is, don’t give up,” Hirschi said. “We can do hard things, just don’t give up! Every day I have them pat themselves on the back and say that they are amazingly awesome. I want them to know that they have it within themselves to do hard things.”



Angie Sorensen

Angie Sorensen- Secretary of the Year

When Angie Sorensen started working for CCSD, she promised herself that she would stay in the job as an intern for only a year while attending Utah State University. Twenty-seven years later, she is still a youth in-care program secretary. “I really do love working with the kids,” Sorensen said. “It is fun to see them succeed. That is what kept me here.”


Sorensen has helped students with difficulties for many years, in person as well as behind the scenes. During that time, she has learned simple yet impactful lessons about kindness and compassion. “The students that I work with have really tough backgrounds and something big that they are overcoming,” Sorensen described. “I have learned more about how to be kind and willing to help. This job helps me to have compassion.”



Eric Duersch

Eric Duersch- Head Custodian of the Year

Eric Duersch has a special place at Millville Elementary and is known for bringing an element of fun to his job and the school.  A custodian for sixteen years, he is in his ninth year at Millville. Duersch enjoys joking around with the staff and the students. He plays uplifting music while the students are eating lunch in the cafeteria. He even has a pet lizard named Millie that the students love to look at and ask questions about. “I try to be funny,” Duersch said. “I’ve always been very sarcastic. [Students] always give me high fives and knuckles.”


Duersch enjoys working with students: he’s amazed and inspired by their curiosity and willingness to learn. He strives to be a good example and make a positive impact. “I love this job,” he explained. “The kids are amazing. They listen to you and look up to you. They like to be around you.”



Stephanie Merrill

Stephanie Merrill- Lunch Manager of the Year

Originally from Smithfield, Stephanie Merrill has been a lunch manager for eleven years and currently works at Sky View High School. When Merrill was younger, she worked at a dairy farm with her family. She learned the importance of working diligently and stepping out of her comfort zone to complete tasks. She uses the things she learned growing up, in her job as a lunch manager. “I was taught how to work hard at a young age,” she remembers. “I think that carried through.” 


About five hundred students utilize Sky View’s cafeteria every day. Merrill strives to make sure that each student feels welcomed and loved, as well as receives quality food. “I have a job to do,” Merrill explained. “I want to be friendly to them. I try to be as polite as possible. You never know their situation. Our goal is to make sure the meals are enjoyable as well as the cafeteria a welcoming environment.” 



Joe Phillips

Joe Phillips- Travel Driver of the Year

Joe Phillips has driven for the Cache County School District for eight years. After retiring in 2014 from snow plowing, his daughter’s mother-in-law, who was a special needs bus driver, encouraged Phillips to work for the district. He filled out an application online and was hired. “Next thing I know, I was taking the driver’s training courses and driving a bus,” Phillips said. “It was basically a piece of cake. I was already used to driving longer vehicles.”


Phillips drives students to sporting events and to many locations around Utah for field trips. He has been to St. George many times and has lost count of the number of times he has been to the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. His favorite part of the job is the kids. “I say ‘hi’ to all of them and ask them how they are doing,” Phillips explained. “The best thing for me is when they are getting off of the bus, and they say thank you. It makes you feel good, and you know that they appreciate what you do.”