MVHS awards Employee of the Year to Joe Roan and Jackie Corso


Jessica Xing

Story by  Chetana Ramaiyer and Jessica Xing 

On March 6, through email, it was announced school-wide that English teacher Jackie Corso and attendance technician Joe Roan were awarded Employee of the Year. For both Corso and Roan, however, they were first told when they were called down into the office, with the entirety of MVHS administration surrounding them.

“I thought I was in trouble for some reason, and all the admins were in the room when they shared the news with me,” Corso said. “It was like disbelief and shock, and I think I started to cry a little bit. It was just really overwhelming.”

Staff members work hard to keep the school running, so every year one certified staff member (teachers or counselors) and one classified staff member (including the rest of the staff: janitors, cafeteria workers, support staff in the office, etc.) are awarded Employee of the Year for the work they’ve done at MVHS.

Both are alumni of schools in the district: Corso from Cupertino HS, Roan from MVHS. The two staff members shared their reactions to hearing the news and how it felt to give back to the school district they once attended as teenagers.

Jackie Corso:

jackie corso
English teacher Jackie Corso was awarded employee of the year by MVHS administration. Corso, who previously attended Cupertino HS, is grateful to have a chance to give back to the district she was in as a teenager. Photo by Jessica Xing

EE: What was your reaction when you first got the news?

JC: Total shock. I am very, very flattered and honored by it but at the same time I’m still just looking around asking ‘are — are you sure?’ I was very surprised.

EE: Considering you got this award for what you’ve done for the school, what are some things you’ve done for MVHS that you are particularly proud of?

JC: For one, [Supriya Moore] and I were co-writers for the [Western Accreditation of Schools and Colleges]. Essentially what happens is we do this big self study report about how our school functions, how students learn, how we teach, and we essentially try to meet that accreditation in order for our school to be a [legitimate] school. It was really awesome to work with someone, especially outside of my department, and it was really cool to work with [Moore], who was actually nominated for Employee of the Year as well.

EE: How do you motivate yourself to accomplish what you do at this school?

JC: It’s kind of twofold in one. For one, I just like to do it — I don’t like always doing the same thing, which is why I like the idea of taking on new challenges. Two, I just feel like I owe a lot to this school and this district — it’s just done so much for me. When I was a student at [CHS], there were so many wonderful things that the school gave me, so I felt like I needed to give back, because the school was so helpful to me when I was a teenager. In the grand scheme of things, it’s balance, like karmic balance. I got all these great things when I was younger, so now I want to balance the scales a little bit to try and give something back.

EE: How have previous winners inspired you in any way?

JC: All the teachers that are selected are amazing teachers and people. That’s why it was so flattering to be selected, they were just total rockstars in everything that they do. [Pooya Hajjarian, Debbie Frazier, Andrew Goldenkranz, Jodi Johnson], all these people, they care a lot. That’s something we want in teachers and colleagues — we want people that care, so [that’s] hopefully something I try to emanate.


Joe Roan:

joe roan
Attendance technician Joe Roan was awarded employee of the year. Roan is an alumni from the MVHS class of 2001, and is grateful for the colleagues that have helped him in the past year and half he’s been working here. Photo taken from MVHS website.

EE: What was your reaction when you first got the news?

JR: I was sort of in shock, I didn’t really believe it. It is kind of hard to believe for a person who’s only been working here a year and half, but… I was just honored that they chose me because everyone here works hard.

EE: How do you motivate yourself to do everything you do at MVHS?

JR: Anything I can do to help kids or help the school is easy motivation, it’s not even really anything to it. Also, I graduated here, so my whole family comes from MVHS. I had four cousins and I graduated here as well, so it’s always good to get back to the school you graduated from.

EE: What do you do to help students?

JR: I’m at attendance. So if kids are feeling ill, they come to me and they go home. I try to be as helpful as I can. I’m not a doctor, so I can’t help them that much. I call their parents… If they are coming in late, I run their passes to go to class. If they just want to talk or if they want a ear to listen to, I’m more than happy to…. It’s not that big of a deal, but [I’m just] trying to help as much as I can.

EE: What are some moments working here at MVHS that you are particularly proud of?

JR: It’s great to come back and work for the school you graduated from, to give back to the school that gave to you, that gives me enjoyment. In terms of specific things, I can’t really say — I try to do my job to the best of my ability.

EE: How would you use this award to motivate yourself in the future?

JR: I’ve always been taught: my pops is [in the] army, my mom, she’s really academically driven. They’ve always taught me to do everything to the best of [my] ability. Don’t dream of someone you want to be, just be who you are and just be the best person you can be. I take that literally, and that is what I’ll take through the rest of my life, awards or no awards. Whatever I do in the future, I’ll just take that and run with that.