A group of paraprofessionals and other educational support staff have been nominated to be named the 2022 Delaware State Educational Support Professional of the Year.
The program, which recognizes outstanding service by school employees who provide direct or indirect services to students and their families, is open to paraprofessionals, custodial staff, secretaries, nutritional staff, school- and district-employed bus drivers and school- and district-employed bus aides.
The 2022 competition will be the second the state has held. Last year’s winner was Alice Williams, senior administrative secretary at Christina School District’s Jennie E. Smith Elementary.
A selection committee made up of DOE and non-DOE judges is reviewing the local winners’ state applications, and Dr. Susan Bunting, outgoing education secretary, will announce the state winner later this month.
“Whether they are providing individual instructional support, preparing nutritious meals, keeping our buildings safe and clean, safely transporting our students to and from school, providing the technical support our educators and students need or supporting our educators and families through their administrative office support, these individuals are vital to the daily operations of our schools and our students’ academic success,” Bunting said in a press release. “I laud each of these nominees for his or her outstanding work and thank them and all the colleagues whom they represent.”
Nominees are chosen by school districts or the charter school network. Each district/charter network winner receives a $1,000 personal award from the winner’s district or charter school. State winners receive an additional $1,500 personal award from the state as well as $2,500 to be used for the educational benefit of his or her students.
The 2022 nominees are:
- Appoquinimink: Wendy Schweiker, paraprofessional, Appoquinimink High School
- Brandywine: Angela Hamilton, paraprofessional, Concord High School
- Caesar Rodney: Alma Bartolomeo, paraprofessional, W.B. Simpson Elementary
- Cape Henlopen: Bryant Hazzard, paraprofessional, Mariner Middle School
- Capital: Darien “Stretch” Robinson, paraprofessional, William Henry Middle School
- Charter Network: Rachael Dallas, systems administrator, MOT Charter School
- Christina: Clara Doyle, ESL paraprofessional, Leasure Elementary School
- Colonial: Jennifer Dunford, child nutrition worker, Colwyck Center
- Delmar: Danielle Youngblood, administrative assistant/eSchool coordinator, Delmar Middle and Senior High School
- Indian River: Gwendolyn Gillespie, paraprofessional, Georgetown Elementary School
- Lake Forest: David Thomas, computer lab/technology paraprofessional, Lake Forest East Elementary School
- Milford: Patrick Seibel, technology specialist, secondary campus
- New Castle County Vo-Tech: Lindsay Gliniak, senior secretary, St. Georges Technical High School
- POLYTECH: Sandra S. Henning, information technology help desk technician, POLYTECH High School
- Red Clay Consolidated: Christopher ChuJoy, autism instructional support paraprofessional, Anna P. Mote Elementary School
- Seaford: Mark Murphy, custodian, Seaford Middle School
- Smyrna: Donella Berryman, financial administrative assistant, North Smyrna Elementary School
- Sussex Tech: Jacques O. Bowe, Jr., paraprofessional, Sussex Technical High School
- Woodbridge: Virginia Martinez, ESL paraprofessional, Phillis Wheatley Elementary School
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience.
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