Support Staff Member of the Year
Our recipient this year currently serves as an Educational Assistant. A colleague shared that she has demonstrated a total dedication that goes beyond the call of duty. The person that nominated our recipient had this to say about her: “Her duties are not the typical duties of an Educational Assistant. Her special students, who begin attending our program as early as the day they turn three, come to us with a variety of special needs that must be met while being educated and prepared for kindergarten. Her duties include the typical receiving and exiting students to and from the bus. Her students are often crying or asleep, in which case she often carries them and soothes them. She puts on and takes off coats, mittens, hats, and scarves during the winter months. She also feeds students that are unable to eat without assistance and potty trains many of the students that she serves. Every Kindergarten teacher who gets a student who is fully potty-trained and stays clean during the school day should thank her for the endless hours she spends taking three to five year olds to the potty. The nominator wrote, “We are talking about five to six students per morning and afternoon sessions, and each of them more than twice per session, so you do the math…she should definitely have a desk and chair in the preschool bathroom.” She cleans dirty noses and wipes sneezes from sleeves, sits in proximity to students who need constant supervision for safety reasons and may often get bruised by some exuberant behaviors. She does it all without losing her temper, ever. She smiles and speaks in a calm, soothing voice that wins the heart of every difficult child she educates. She has been assigned to work with some of the most difficult students because it is widely known that she can work miracles. She has been kicked, pinched, and bruised many times. Yet, she continues to treat each of the students she serves with the utmost respect and kindness. She is an educator by heart. Not only does she teach sign language to many non-verbal students, she has also trained teachers during her lunch time. While with her students, she grabs every opportunity during the day to teach them social skills, language skills, quantity and quality concepts, colors, phonemic awareness skills, literacy skills…all while potty training, feeding, wiping noses and nurturing their souls with love and kindness. She has been heard teaching rote counting while changing diapers and the ABC’s while pushing a swing. She is truly one of a kind. Those who work with her call her Saint Sharon. She is an amazing person and educator.
Please join us in congratulating this year’s Support Staff Member of the Year, Mrs. Sharon Haas.