Two Oakdale Joint Unified School District employees, Penny Muniain and Shelly Crist, will be honored at a dinner on Friday, May 7 as recipients of the School Bell Award. Oakdale Teachers Association President Linda Kraus described the School Bell as an award that is “given to educators and/or community members who exemplify service to the community through their contributions toward the enhancement and improvement of education and the enrichment of the lives of children.”
The recipients from each of the local associations will receive their awards at the awards dinner. Kraus said that up to two recipients may be selected from each chapter to receive a school bell award. She added that several dignitaries will be in attendance, or represented by their staff to present certificates as well.
“These individuals help instill in others the knowledge, judgment and values which shape society and enhance the lives of future generations,” Kraus said of Muniain and Crist.
She provided the following biographical information for each of the Oakdale winners, which was submitted for the awards recognition.
Penny Muniain began teaching in 1972 at Oakdale Union Jr. High School. Throughout the years, she has taught second grade through high school. Presently, she teaches third grade at Sierra View Elementary School. In addition, she has conducted evening parenting classes and has taught a district adult education class for Spanish-speaking adults.
She is an active volunteer and participant in the Relay For Life where she helps prepare the meal for the participants, serve the meal, and walks on a team. She also delivers food and gifts to families in need at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Muniain has served as a negotiator for many years prior to unification and is currently one of the Oakdale Teachers Association Site Representatives at Sierra View Elementary.
In her free time, for 10 years, she enjoyed observing in European schools during her summer vacation and currently enjoys reading children’s books and designing comprehension questions for the story that can be used in classroom discussions.
Shelly Crist started working as a custodian in the Oakdale schools in April 1988. She has worked at Magnolia Elementary and Oakdale Junior High schools. In 1999, she was promoted to the Lead Custodian position at Oakdale Junior High, where she still works today.
Crist’s co-workers report that she is always in a good mood, is happy to provide assistance whenever asked, and is a friend to everyone. She has served her CSEA, Local Chapter 830, for two years as a Site Representative.
She is married, has four children, and is a grandma of three, with one on the way. She is active in community softball as well as through her church. During the holidays, she delivers meals to the needy. Most recently, in 2009, she was one of the two Oakdale Joint Unified School District nominees for the Employees Making a Difference Recognition Award, sponsored by Stanislaus County Office of Education and The Association of California School Administrators.