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12 paraeducators honored with CSD Recognition of Excellence Awards

One is considered a “child whisperer.” Others lead with empathy and patience. And many are described by their colleagues and supervisors as being “amazing,” “marvelous” and “exemplary,” among other complimentary terms.

Paraeducators around Canyons School District, a group of devoted Education Support Professionals who are no strangers to calmly dealing with difficult situations, stepped up to help make this challenging year a rewarding one for special education students.

With a grateful shoutout to all of the paraeducators, we pay tribute to 10 exceptional examples who consistently make a difference at CSD schools — winners of Canyons’ 2021 Paraeducator Recognition of Excellence Awards.

Catie Hooten

Canyons Transition Academy

In her supervision of students, Catie is a model of consistency and addresses behaviors in a professional manner. She is friendly, kind and builds positive relationships with all students. To her credit, some of the most difficult students will pick their classes based on Catie being the paraeducator.

Michelle Elbel

Silver Mesa Elementary

Michelle is simply marvelous with the kids. Not only has she seen it all, but she has gained invaluable experience in proper behavior management techniques. She is a pro at ignoring attention-seeking behavior and quick to reward students for making good choices.

Bonnie Healy

Mount Jordan Middle School

Bonnie is always helpful and available to problem solve with kids. Students like to work with her and willingly ask her for help, which shows the trust they have in her. She is the epitome of dedication to her students.

Briana Bellon

Altara Elementary

Briana is the best of the best. She comes to work early and stays late, individualizing her small group lessons and reviewing data needs. Briana is actively involved with all students every minute of the instructional day.

Stephanie Porter

Jordan Valley School

Stephanie is not only a hard worker who truly cares for her students. She relates to them with such a positive and genuine interaction that allows them to respond to her with the same positive demeanor according to their abilities.

Jennifer Burns

Brighton High School

Jen wears many hats and has been an integral to keeping the resource classrooms running smoothly. Her years of experience have made her a great sounding board for new teachers and paraprofessionals while providing her valuable insight into students’ strengths and needs.

Misty Crofoot

Willow Springs Elementary

Misty is often called the “child whisperer.” She develops a caring and trusting relationship with students and is able to calm agitated children and help them feel safe at school. Misty has a way of discovering every child’s strengths. Her opinions carry great weight in the classroom.

Carlita Lucero

Park Lane Elementary

Carlita is a true leader in the classroom. Her 20-plus years of teaching experience showcase her organizational skills, leadership, and an eye for detail in selecting creative activities for the students to complete in class. She is a dedicated worker and a reliable asset to students.

Caitlin Willard

Bell View Elementary

Caitlin always does what is asked of her, with efficiency and accuracy. She follows behavior plans as they are explained to her. She sees needs before they arise and takes them on. She is a team player with student needs at the forefront of all she does.

Chris Peterson

Jordan Valley School

Chris is willing to support any student, no matter how challenging. He has helped in both the Bridges program and the behavior units of Jordan Valley with grace. He follows student behavior plans to fidelity and supports lead teachers in daily data input.

Aimee Luers

Union Middle School

Aimee lightens the load for others. She teaches small group lessons while reinforcing positive behaviors. She gathers data, files paperwork, and makes sure students are where they are supposed to be — all while accomplishing what feels like a million more tasks each day.

Shelly Blair

Jordan High School

Shelly is highly respected by the faculty and is considered the go-to person for any questions or concerns about her students. She maintains her good humor even under the most trying circumstances, and never complains. Jordan High’s special education team feels fortunate to have her on board.

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Lucie Chamberlain

Alta View Elementary

If a movie about super teachers were ever made, Lucie Chamberlain would be a prime candidate for a leading role. Fortunately for her kindergarten students at Alta View Elementary, she already thrives in a supporting role for them. Parents thank her for being a “super teacher.” She is also described as an “amazing colleague.” Whether students need help in the classroom or from home while sick, Lucie goes above and beyond to help them learn, overcome fears, and feel important and cared for. Lucie is the reason a number of kids went from hating school to loving it, according to parents. The way she exudes patience, sweetness, positive energy, and love for her students with special needs melts is appreciated and admired. One parent noted: “Both my kids wish she could be their teacher forever.” Another added:  “She treats every student like their learning and their feelings are her priority.” Super teacher, indeed!

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