Announcing Our 2023 Paraeducator of the Year

Announcing Our 2023 Paraeducator of the Year

Hartford Public Schools is pleased to announce that Diane Vargas of SAND School is our 2023 Paraeducator of the Year! On May 5, Diane received a surprise visit from Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, Principal Gerardo Heredia, Assistant Principal Courtney McCoy, 2022 Paraeducator of the Year, Kevin Copeland from Kennelly School, and Teacher of the Year 2021 Victoria Shears to announce the great news in Ms. Randazzo’s 2nd Grade classroom.

 

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) and the School Paraprofessional Advisory Council have established the Anne Marie Murphy Paraeducator of the Year Award to recognize the important role of the paraeducator in supporting student achievement. The award is named in honor of Anne Marie Murphy, a paraeducator who lost her life at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. The program honors one paraeducator who has demonstrated exceptional skill and dedication in the performance of his/her job, thereby earning that person the respect and admiration of other paraeducators, students, teachers, administrators, co-workers, and parents.

Celebrating (left to right) are HPS Teacher of the Year 2021 Victoria Shears, SAND Principal Gerardo Heredia, 2023 HPS Paraeducator of the Year Diane Vargas of SAND School, Assistant Principal Courtney McCoy, 2022 HPS Paraeducator of the Year, Kevin Copeland from Kennelly School, Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, and Ms. Randazzo’s class second graders

 

Diane Vargas has been a Paraeducator with HPS since February 4, 1998, and was born in Hartford, attending West Middle School, Quirk Middle, and graduating from Hartford Public High School in 1995. Diane has been a paraeducator for 24 years starting out at Burns Elementary School.

Our nominees for the 2023 Paraeducator of the Year exemplify the best that Paraeducators have to offer our beautiful and capable students. They bring their personal and professional commitment to this key role in our schools.

The work of our paraeducators is vitally important to our students. It helps to advance the mission of Hartford Public Schools by inspiring and preparing all students to meet success in and beyond school.

Paraeducators help our students with behavioral challenges, multiple disabilities, and complex medical needs learn according to the requirements of student IEPs. They go above and beyond daily, making sure all our students are prepared to graduate, and ready for college and career.

Our 2023 Top Ten Nominees:

First Name Last Name School
Jacqueline Shannon Betances Learning Lab Magnet School
Vivian Bennett Global Communications Academy
Zazzarro DeCarish Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy
Natasha Goode Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts
Elizabeth Sanabria Latino Studies Academy at Burns Schools
Nancy Citino Naylor School
Mildred Ramos Noah Webster MicroSociety Magnet School
Maria Martinez Parkville Community School
Yasmin Reyes Sanchez Elementary School
Diane Vargas SAND School

Please see all of our nominees for POY 2023.

First Name Last Name School
Brittany Libman Dual Learning Academy at Dwight Bellizzi
Jacqueline Shannon Betances Learning Lab Magnet School
Yolanda Garcia Breakthrough North Magnet School
Nyla Williams Breakthrough South Magnet School
Lidia Kwiatkowska Bulkeley High School
Elizabeth Sanabria Latino Studies Academy at Burns Schools
Lillian Gonzalez Burr Middle School
Tyshia Carmichael Capital Preporatory Magnet School
Ada Acosta Classical Magnet School
Carrie Wilson Environmental Sciences Magnet at Mary Hooker
Brittney Willis Expeditionary Learning Academy at Moylan
Vivian Bennett Global Communications Academy
Zazzarro DeCarish Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy
Eboni Allen Hartford Pre-K Magnet School
Marisol Santana Hartford Public High School
Jessica Cotto Kennelly School
Natasha Goode Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts
Lynn Robertson M D Fox
James Josey McDonough Middle School
Cheryl Shuff Milner Middle School
Cristian Calle MLK Middle School
Nancy Citino Naylor School
Mildred Ramos Noah Webster MicroSociety Magnet School
Maria Martinez Parkville Community School
John Gaskin Pathways Academy of Technology & Design
Afrah Abdi Rawson Steam School
Yasmin Reyes Sanchez Elementary School
Diane Vargas SAND School
Gwendolyn Bailey Annie Fisher STEM School
Luljeta Doci Betances STEM School at Burr
Bernadette Jones Weaver High School
Alexandra Barberan West Middle School
Moneish James-Baronette Wish Museum School

Please click here to listen to our Let’s Talk, Hartford Public Schools with Mr. Rich podcast featuring last year’s HPS Paraeducator of the Year, Kevin Copeland from Kennelly School!

Congratulations, Diane Vargas! And congratulations to our finalists and all our nominees.

For more information about the Paraeducator of the Year program, please contact:

Janet Serrano, Senior Staffing Specialist

(860) 695-8702 Voice

serrj001@hartfordschools.org