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ESGR in the News


MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. – Kayla Christy, the Director of After School Care at Visitation School, received the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriotic Employer Award Aug. 8. Visitation is a private pre-K-12 school that is coed through 5th grade, then all girls from 6-12th grades. Christy was nominated by Minnesota Army National Guard Sgt. Indira Valerio, whose duties at the school include being the head coach for the Junior Varsity soccer team and working in the After School Day program and K-5 summer camp. ESGR volunteer Christie Nixon presented the award.

Valerio has served ten years in Minnesota Army National Guard as a Light Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic, including a deployment to Kuwait. She responded on State Active Duty to the civil unrest in Minneapolis and trained as a Certified Nursing Assistant as part of the Guard’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Kayla Christy has been Indira’s supervisor in the after school and summer program since Valerio began working at Visitation four years ago, just two weeks after returning from a Kuwait deployment. Christy understands Valerio’s work priorities changing when she is called to military duty and has gone above and beyond to ensure her daughter is cared for. She shows empathy and a great level of support in understanding the difficulties inherent in transitioning from civilian work to military duty and back.

Rene Gavic, the Head of School at Visitation, signed a Statement of Support of the Guard and Reserve at a previous award ceremony.

ESGR is a Department of Defense program which seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit

Posted in: Minnesota
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