It is with great pride that I announced last Monday that our Head Custodian, Claudia Portilla was selected by the Support Staff Personnel Committee as one of the two 2018-19 Support Staff of the Year Award winners. This award is given on a yearly basis to two outstanding ancillary staff members.  In addition to having her picture hang on the wall at ISC, Claudia will be recognized at the Teacher of the Year ceremony on Monday, May 6 at Berry Center and will be invited to attend the Salute to the Stars Gala at Berry Center on October 17. 

Below is the nomination I submitted about Claudia’s drive, spirit and dedication to Berry Center and CFISD! 

I would like to nominate Claudia Portillo for Support Staff recognition. My nominee meets the criteria for the following reasons:

The Berry Center opened in April 2006. Over 850,000 people pass through the Berry Center on a yearly basis attending sporting, meeting, theatrical, concerts, banquets, parties and trade shows. The one consistent question guests ask us is “how do you keep the facility looking brand new, your floors are so clean we could eat off of them?” The answer, Claudia Portillo’s commitment and dedication to the facility and the leadership she demonstrates to her staff. The Berry Center’s success is in large part due to the hard work and dedication Claudia has invested in the facility for 10 years.

Claudia Portillo is the Head Custodian for Berry Center. Since 2009 she has led a team of 16 custodian and countless part-time helpers cleaning before, during and after each event Sunday through Saturday; often working overnight. Claudia’s job as head custodian is very different from that of a head custodian at a school. Although the Berry Center follows the cleaning guidelines of the Operations Department of CFISD, Claudia and her team report to the Assistant Director of the Berry Center.

Claudia is her own area manager in that she is responsible for ordering products, scheduling deep cleanings, deciding who is hired, training new staff, conducting reviews and scheduling staff. Claudia is a tremendous leader and problem solver. She is organized, thoughtful and thorough. She does her homework to plan ahead to ensure that she makes the best possible decisions for the facility. Recently, using the Operations Department employee manual as a guide, Claudia wrote an employee manual customizing it to include specific Berry Center equipment and needs.

Claudia leads by example and she and her team are like tornados cleaning the arena’s 21 restroom facilities in between each of the 22 high school graduations so every guest feels welcomed. The carpets and upholstered chairs are shampooed regularly so no trace of any spills can be detected. They even scrub the stone tiled walls in the atrium to remove shoe marks. While all these tasks are part of her daily responsibilities, the extra effort she demonstrates is the reason guests are shocked the Berry Center has been opened for 13 years.

For most people a job is a job. For Claudia, her job is about commitment and a sense of pride. CFISD is so lucky to have her as an employee and Berry Center is blessed to have her as a leader on our team!

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