Lab techs. Secretaries. Bus drivers. Groundskeepers. Food service workers. The varied hats classified staff members wear cover a multitude of job roles, said Carl Williams, a senior custodian and president of the Lawndale Federation of Classified Employees. He had members pick up a hat and come on stage when they heard their job title called out.

“A school without classified staff would be like cereal without milk,” Williams, told delegates. The audience rose to their feet and cheered.

“You may not be a teacher,” Secretary Treasurer Jeff Freitas told Williams afterwards. “But you taught us today.”