School Classified Employee of the Year Spotlight: Tony Cervantes

Tuesday May 7, 2024

This is one in a series of stories highlighting the 2024 Kern County School Classified Employees of the Year Selections. Eight employees were selected by a committee from a pool of thirty nominees in a variety of job classifications. The eight are now eligible for the statewide award program.

When you step into the Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS) Warehouse, you’re likely to spot a familiar face. With an impressive tenure of over 36 years, Tony Cervantes is not just a warehouse and delivery worker. He’s a shining example of what it means to be dedicated to assisting districts in need. It’s this unwavering commitment that has earned him a well-deserved nomination for Classified Employee of the Year in the Custodial and Maintenance Service category. 

“Tony is an exemplary employee who demonstrates professionalism every day,” said Warehouse Operations Supervisor Rob Roberson, who nominated him. “He has been a key part of our team, consistently going above and beyond in his role.”

Cervantes started as a custodian at the warehouse in February 1987. After getting more familiar with the role, he took advantage of opportunities within the office to serve in logistics and delivery roles when he could. These opportunities allowed him to drive to different sites around the county, including Edwards Air Force Base. When the warehouse needed a forklift driver and someone to help organize shelves, Cervantes was the first to volunteer his skills. Since then, he has become so familiar with the layout of the warehouse that many still come to him first before searching for whatever they need.

Tony Cervantes

Although his experience and expertise are invaluable, according to his colleagues, his work ethic and community spirit truly set Cervantes apart. Throughout his career, Cervantes was always the first to take on any additional responsibilities—especially during the beginning months of the COVID-19 pandemic when PPE needed to be distributed to all 46 school districts in Kern County.

“During the pandemic, Tony worked long hours to ensure that schools had the necessary PPE and materials to keep students safe,” Roberson said. “He has always been excellent in providing support for community projects beyond his work responsibilities.” 

His involvement in community service projects over the years, such as supporting local daycares and bringing holiday cheer to convalescent homes using his artistic talent to paint holiday scenes on windows, is a testament to his deep-rooted desire to give back.

As Tony approaches retirement, he reflects on a career filled with deep satisfaction. The news of his nomination for Classified Employee of the Year came as a pleasant surprise, humbling him in the face of the many professionals who have received such honors.

By Jennifer Bryan

By Jennifer Bryan

Jennifer Bryan joined Kern County Superintendent of Schools in 2021 as a Communications Specialist. As a creative and motivated marketing communications specialist, she has a special knack for storytelling and content creation. Born and raised in Kern County, Jennifer has worked in major industries within the region such as agriculture and oil and gas before she made the transition to education.