CYFD Announces Five Employees of the Month


SANTA FE – New Mexico’s Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) and Cabinet Secretary Bill Dunbar have bestowed the honor of Employee of the Month to five outstanding individuals representing three different service areas for the month of August.

The recipients are Polly Arzola from Protective Services (PS), Frank Cortez, Michael Dichiora, and Lysa Harter from Juvenile Justice Services (JJS), and Mark Prizzi from Early Childhood Services (ECS).

Arzola, a 12-year CYFD employee, serves as a permanency planning supervisor in the Rio Arriba County PS office. She is recognized for leading her unit to excellent results by focusing on outcomes and goals for children. She is further noted for being a critical thinker, an outstanding problem solver, and a leader with a positive attitude.

Cortez is a food steward for the Eagle Nest Residential Center (ENRC). He has been instrumental in the implementation of the Procurement Card Program for all JJS small facilities, including ENRC, and is assisting the Department of Finance in producing a guide for using the Procurement Card. He is also noted for his excellent record in ensuring his facility passes inspections.

Dichiora, a teacher at the Camino Nuevo facility in Albuquerque, has received praise from his students for his innovative and engaging methods of teaching government concepts and current events. He is further recognized for being accessible to students with problems and for helping substitute teachers organize and prepare lesson plans.

Harter is a therapist at the Albuquerque Boys’ Center. She is described as being organized, punctual and professional with assignments and as being integrally involved with unit management to support all aspects of the programming that JJS offers clients. She has earned the respect of both co-workers and clients for her work ethic and helpfulness.

Prizzi works with Child Care Services in Albuquerque and is noted for his positive attitude, efficiency and support. He often has demonstrated his dedication by helping with cases not assigned to him in times of short staffing. Prizzi is also commended for his helpful and respectful approach to both clients and new employees.