SSDA Press Release



Contact: Gwen Bell


Phone: (916) 750-0722

2023 SSDA State Conference Awards

Joan Lark is recognized as the Board Member of the Year. Gianna Machado, Carmynne Neimoyer, and Taryn Parmeter receive the Executive Assistant of the Year Award, and four students receive student scholarships.

SACRAMENTO, CA, March 2023 – Thank you to all members that attended the 2023 SSDA Annual State Conference held in Sacramento two weeks ago. Each year, during the conference, we award select individuals for their dedication and contribution to the success of their small school districts. We are pleased to announce this year’s winners.

The Board Member of the Year Award was given to Joan Lark of Bret Harte Union High School District. Lark has been a board member for 37 years and is a proven facilitator of change in small school districts. Her experience and leadership have been instrumental in the building of the Dr. Elliott Smart Theater, the Tony Tyrell Sports Complex, Science/Math building, and the Michael Chimente Multipurpose Room. Lark recently led the board in passing an $18 million bond to continue to develop and maintain facilities in her school district.

Gianna Machado, Carmynne Neimoyer, and Taryn Parmeter were honored with the Executive Assistant (EA) of the Year Awards.

Gianna Machado is the MAA Coordinator at Lake Elementary School District. She is committed to ensuring that every individual who interacts with their school feels welcomed and supported. Her exceptional communication, organizational skills, and diligence have been essential to the smooth operation of her school district.

Carmynne Neimoyer has been an executive assistant for 14 years and works for the Happy Camp Elementary School District. During the height of the pandemic, Ms. Neimoyer lost her home in the Slater fire but that did not stop her from being the first one back at the school,  setting aside her personal challenges, to help others in her district.

As the EA for Montgomery Elementary School District, Taryn Parmeter wears many different hats; she is the district and school secretary, the registrar, the librarian, the event organizer, and the COVID Liaison. She is also responsible for HR, IT, and AP/AR. Taryn’s drive to take on these essential roles keeps the wheels on the bus, and her district running smoothly.

SSDA Conference Chair and Placerville Union School District Superintendent, Eric Bonniksen, presented four students from small schools in California with student scholarships.

·      Valerie Grimaldo, Golden Valley Unified School District

·      Zachary Campos, Kairos Public Schools

·      Britney Conway, Wheatland Union High School District

·      Lola Ramos, Union Hill School District

The mission of the Small School Districts’ Association is to provide relevant information and proactive assistance to small school district governing boards and superintendents through legislative advocacy, collaboration, professional development, and support services. To learn more, visit or email Taylor Smith at