Compass Charter Schools Recognizes Employees of the Year

By June 10, 2019 News

Thousand Oaks, CA – Compass Charter Schools announced today that Kristy Smith, Director of Options Learning, and Jessica Franco, Director of Operations, have been honored as the 2018-19 Employees of the Year.

Each school year, CCS honors their staff with the Employee of the Year award. All CCS staff are encouraged to nominate fellow employees they feel are high-achieving, have a strong work ethic and excellent leadership skills. The previous years’ honorees review all of the nominations and select the new Employees of the Year.

Kristy Smith, Director of Options Learning – Certificated Employee of the Year

Kristy has an extensive background in education. She began her career as an all-levels math teacher at a brick and mortar high school. After ten years, she transitioned to working with independent study charter schools. For 12 years, she has shared her expertise in both online and homeschooling models and is even homeschooling her own children.

“Every child is unique,” shared Smith. “They each learn in such different ways but traditional classrooms are often set up as if all kids learn the same way. It’s so rewarding supporting the wonderful ways families meet their scholar’s different needs.”

She is an innovator in the field of personalized education, guiding families and educational facilitators in their efforts to develop and inspire each scholar toward academic and social-emotional success. Kristy is currently the Director of Options Learning where she creates a positive attitude and culture which empowers her team of facilitators to be innovative and flexible in their support of their scholars.

Jessica Franco, Director of Operations – Classified Employee of the Year

Jessica has worked in education for eight years. In 2014, Jessica joined the Compass family and has since helped implement positive organization changes and growth. “There is nothing better than working with people who have a growth mindset and who share the same ideals in regards to serving our community,” she shared. “With that said, I work directly with some of the most dedicated and talented individuals! The members of the Operations Team keep me moving forward and inspire me to continue evolving as a leader, CCS staff member, and as a person entirely.”

Jessica initially went to school to become a registered nurse, but when she started her career in education at 19-years old, she helped open a new learning center in Oxnard and completely fell in love with the charter world. She quickly changed her major that same year to business administration and now is now back in school to earn an MBA.  

“I am feeling super grateful and humbled by the recognition because there are so many amazing staff members deserving of this honor. Shout out to Dario for being an honorable mention, he has been THE enrollment specialist and we are so blessed to have him on the team! I will say this year was one of my most challenging but also most rewarding,” shared Franco. “This award reminded me that all of the hard work and sleepless nights were worth it. Thank you to all who voted, I sincerely appreciate this opportunity and look forward to serving the CCS organization for many many years to come!”

“Congratulations to Kristy and Jessica for receiving this honor. Your hard work and dedication is sincerely appreciated. Your excellence in leadership and support is reflected in the achievements of your teams,” shared J.J. Lewis, Superintendent and CEO. “Please join us in celebrating our 2018-19 Employees of the Year, and thanking both Jessica and Kristy for all that they do to support our scholars, learning coaches, and staff to ensure the Compass Experience fulfills the mission, vision and values of Compass!”

The Employee of the Year Program started in the 2015-16 school year. Previous honorees are:


Certificated Employee of the Year: Kelli McCaulley

Classified Employee of the Year: Vanessa Plascencia


Certificated Employee of the Year: Kasey Bentley

Classified Employee of the Year: David Brasch


Certificated Employee of the Year: Karle Roberts

Classified Employee of the Year: Karla Gonzalez & Sophia Trivino


About Compass Charter Schools  

Compass Charter Schools (CCS) is a WASC-accredited virtual public charter school serving thousands of scholars throughout the state. Catering to TK-12 grade scholars, CCS offers the choice of either their homeschool or online academic program. CCS is committed to creating a collaborative virtual learning community, inspiring scholars to appreciate the ways in which arts and sciences nurture a curiosity for lifelong learning, and preparing scholars to take responsibility for their future successes.

For more information about CCS, visit, via Twitter (, on Facebook ( or on Instagram (

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