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Riverside County 'Educator of the Year' named in surprise visit to Hemet Unified School District


Last updated 3/24/2018 at 1pm


Karl Melzer, center left, the instructional publication center manager for Hemet Unified School District, receives an "Educator of the Year" award from Andy McGuire, HUSD director of purchasing; county Superintendent Dr. Judy White; Christi Barrett, HUSD superintendent; Vince Christakos, HUSD assistant superintendent of business services and Tracy Chambers, HUSD assistant superintendent of educational services at a surprise visit to the print shop, Thursday, Feb. 15.

HEMET – Running the Hemet Unified School District's Instructional Publication Center for the last decade, Karl Melzer knows how to handle paper jams – a common occurrence when printing 30 million pages of instructional materials each year.

But having an entourage of dignitaries and photographers invade his print shop to surprise him with the 2018 Riverside County Classified "Administrator of the Year" award Thursday, Feb. 15, was a bit different.

"I was more shocked than anything else," he joked later, trying to recover after greeting Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Judy D. White, and fellow colleagues from HUSD who were in on the surprise. "It's an honor and a surprise to be chosen. I opened the Hemet Unified School District Print Shop 10 years ago with the vision of providing the best customer service to our students and staff. My number one focus in what we do is how it supports student achievement and how we can make it better."

White praised Melzer as an innovator who has helped Hemet Unified print all the instructional materials and textbooks its students need completely in-house.

"You are on the forefront of education," White said. "You understand that every action you take has direct impact on the classroom."

Melzer is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the Instructional Publication Center for HUSD. His nine full-time employees provide a wide variety of printed materials for the district and for numerous nonprofit entities in the community.

A resident of Wildomar, Melzer has served in his current position since 2007 when the print shop's monthly volume consisted of 7,000 copies. A decade later, the IPC's monthly volume now averages 2.5 million prints and includes wide format printing, window graphics, apparel printing and more.

"The learning culture of Hemet USD is, and always has been, focused on excellence, and the role of the print shop is to be a resource of quality educational materials for teachers and students," Melzer said in his application. "We pride ourselves on providing high-quality printed curriculum, innovative learning materials, a wide range of products and the best customer service possible."

White has been conducting seven surprise visits over the past several weeks to honor the top educators who serve 430,000 students in the county. The full list of categories and honorees for the 2018 Riverside County Educators of the Year can be found at

Jodi Spoon-Sadlon, elementary school counselor of Murrieta Valley Unified School District, was named School Counselor of the Year, Feb. 21.

Susan Hall, teacher on special assignment for Murrieta Valley Unified School District, was named Site Support Employee of the Year, Feb. 21.

Cheryl Anderson, executive assistant to the superintendent of Riverside Unified School District, was named Confidential Employee of the Year, Feb. 26.

Still to be announced and surprised are the awards for principal, certificated administrator and classified employee of the year.

The rigorous application process starts with nominations by teachers, classified employees, and school district administrators throughout the county. Applications are then submitted to the Riverside County Office of Education, where an outside selection committee selects the honorees before the county superintendent announces the honorees.

Along with the 2018 Riverside County Teachers of the Year, the Educators of the Year will be honored at the Riverside County Celebrating Educators Luncheon at the Riverside Convention Center Tuesday, May 22.

The 2018 Teachers of the Year were named in mid-2017 to align with the 2018 California State Teacher of the Year competition. The 2019 Riverside County Teachers of the Year will be announced in May or June 2018.


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