Empire Elementary office manager named top employee
Denise DiMarzo’s job description at Empire Elementary School is office manager, but her duties extend far beyond that.
From helping parents track down birth certificates to ensuring each child has shoes and enough to eat, DiMarzo is completely immersed in the school.
“It’s just wonderful to be able to live up to my full potential here,” she said. “I get to help families and kids every day.”
For her commitment to the students, DiMarzo was named the Carson City School District’s Classified Employee of the Year.
“I’m amazed and I’m completely honored by the whole experience,” she said.
Earlier this year, she was nominated as for the American Red Cross Unsung Hero award for her work at the school.
In addition to seeing the daily needs of the students, she also organized Thanksgiving and Christmas drives to supply families with holiday meals and gifts.
She oversaw the distribution of Thanksgiving meals for 75 families, Christmas meals for 85 families and adopted 300 children for Christmas gifts.
She gives the credit back to the service groups, churches, families and individuals who donated to the cause.
“It was amazing,” she said. “Some people out there went to such great lengths.”
DiMarzo has worked for the school district since 1996. It is her second year at Empire Elementary School.
“I absolutely love working in the schools,” she said. “I left for a short period of time, and I regretted that decision terribly.”
Every school she’s worked at, she’s invested in her students. While at Fritsch Elementary School, she even became a foster parent to care for a child there.
“I guess it’s just basically in my nature to be a child advocate,” she said. “I hate the thought of children not getting what they need. I feel I can make a difference.”
When she’s not at school, DiMarzo is often in Virginia City with her husband, Deke, dressed in Victorian-era clothing and re-enacting scenes from the Old West.
She has one daughter, Adair Nowacki, 25, who lives in Las Vegas.
The district employee of the year is chosen by a committee from employees of the year from departments throughout the district.
The winner is awarded a $100 gift certificate and a free vacation day.