Cara Boyer has been a Title I paraeducator at Westside Elementary for 6 years. In this amount of time she has worked with students in grades K-6 in Reading and Math, Music, Art, P.E., Resource, and in the Regular Ed classroom. Currently she is working closely with our kindergarten students helping them with letter/sound identification and learning the basics of reading. Cara also assists our Special Education teachers in Math and helps regular education teachers as an added adult in the classroom. Cara is always willing to help with any situation. We can ask her to take a whole class, work with small groups, or work with a student one on one. She is willing and can do it all. The students enjoy her happy smile each day and Cara can say hi to most of our student body by name. Mrs. Boyer works hard, has genuine love for the students, and is respected tremendously by the Westside Faculty. Westside is an outstanding school because we have paraeducators like Cara Boyer that go above and beyond what their job description is every day.
Elementary Self Contained
Debby Dimmick has been in my classroom since I started with the district back in December 2004. She is exemplary in so many areas. She is precise in her work, I never have to ask her twice, and she goes the extra (times 10) mile. She is always willing to help in any capacity and she is very thorough with her work. She has taken on our Christmas program and made it great. She is in charge of my “enrichment” center (it is a center to enrich the theme of the week with various fine motor, art projects, math, writing, you name it). Debby takes time out of her busy life to make that center successful. The kids love Debby and the adults do to. She is always positive and looking for ways to improve the classroom setting. She is also prompt and very reliable. Debby is wonderful. I love her!
Secondary Self Contained
You have done so much good for our students and our community! The world is truly a better place because of you; thank you. You have a unique combination of abilities, talent, background, and experience that combine to make you great at what you do with these young adults. You are passionate, persistent, persuasive, professional, and at times most importantly bilingualJ Together those attributes make you ideal for what we are trying to accomplish with these students. Your combination of talents is why you are of such great value to these students. You have gotten these students into everyplace they have asked. Your abilities and experience allow you to make these students hopes to become a reality. You are changing lives every day for the better. That alone is compensation enough. To look into their eyes and know you were able to give them something nobody else could should bring you great satisfaction.
Thank you for all you do, and all you are, and all you are making of our students and their families.
We would like to nominate Lesley Johnson as an outstanding paraeducator. Lesley is an integral part of our special education team. She has knowledge of reading, English and math skills, and is able to help the students improve their own abilities. She demonstrates exceptional talent whether working one-on-one with a student, with a group or even an entire class. She respects the students and demands respect from them as well. She is always giving the students positive feedback, and doing what is needed to help them with behavior. Lesley takes our instructions, and her knowledge of strategies and techniques to do whatever is asked of her in a professional manner. When the tasks we give her are not enough to fill her time, she takes initiative to do things that will help the students achieve their goals. We never find Lesley “wasting time” chatting or sitting around.
Lesley supports a positive learning environment by being very positive herself. She adheres to the teachers’ behavior management plans and uses proactive strategies to help engage struggling learners. She is great with the students and has developed a good rapport with them. The students love her, and are always concerned about her well being when she is not in the classroom.
Lesley demonstrates professionalism as well as ethical practices. She carries out her responsibilities in a manner consistent with school procedures. She doesn’t cause problems by talking about other teachers or students. Lesley understands the importance of confidentiality, and maintains it. In addition, she is very reliable. We always know where she is, and she is always working. She continues to demonstrate her reliability even while going through cancer treatments over the past few months. She does not allow her “inconvenience” (as she calls it) slow her down and keep her from working with the students. All of us feel like we couldn’t do our jobs without her.
The para that I would like to recognize in my classroom is Michelle Carter. Michelle has been working in my classroom for almost 3 years. She is a huge help to me in many ways, but I think the things I admire most about her are her patience with a child in our classroom who have very difficult behaviors, the leadership and support she gives the other paras in the class, and the care she puts into preparing awesome centers for the kids. We have a child this year that had some very difficult behaviors and early on in the school year it was evident that he responded the best to Michelle. She has put thought into how to help him succeed and has given suggestions that have helped him be able to have a positive time at school. She provides him with support and is able to talk to him in a way that the other adults in the class cannot. She makes a difference in his life each day. Michelle is the veteran para in our classroom, and she has been a huge help training, supporting, and helping the other paras learn their duties. She always finds great ideas for centers, keeps us on task in class, and willing to learn and do new things. Her centers are always prepared several days in advance and she will put a lot of extra time into them. I really appreciate all of the time and caring she puts into our classroom.
When I started working at Nebo School District nine years ago, as a novice teacher… is when I first met my new technician Patty Bradford. Together we began to learn as we went, teaching and instructing Self Contained students at Brockbank Elementary. In all the years together we have always made a great team.
She has always been a great moral support for me. She would recognize when I had signs of stress, offer to help and, then the next day would bring a note of encouragement, and sometimes a dessert or treat. She has a good listening ear and gives me good feedback. I appreciate her honesty and being forthright with me about things she sees in the classroom. She helps me to see the parents’ perspective, because I am not a parent in my personal life. She follows through on assignments given and will always go the extra mile to typing up the project, or even take it home, just so that the students can start using it the very next day. If she doesn’t understand the disability of the child she will go home and research and figure what things we can use and incorporate in the classroom. In this way she becomes an advocate to the student. I never have to worry if she will be to school on time or if she will consistently be absent or late. It isn’t in her nature to be like that. She is a terrific help to the other faculty members of the school. If a PE tech, computer tech, resource tech, or librarian is absent and the school can’t find a sub, she has on numerous occasions filled in the rest of the day, with teacher-like status. The students at the school love her and respect her as one of the faculty.
In my self contained classroom, many behaviors (resulting from the students’ classification or family background) are very difficult to deal with, and can really test a person’s stick-to-it-ness, or follow through. She has always been able to follow through with behavior management plan(s). The students know that they will not get away with inappropriate activities, and consequences will follow. On the other hand she is quick to praise good behavior, and rewards will follow. The students’ parents love and appreciate her kindness to their students, and friendships have formed. I never have to worry about confidential information going out of the classroom; she will often refer parents or colleges to me.
I know that I wouldn’t be half the teacher I am today if it was for my tech. Patty Bradford. She has definitely brought out the best in me, other colleges, and students. She has high expectations of herself and brings it out in others. We are truly blessed to have her with Nebo School District.