Announcing Our 2021 Paraeducator of the Year

Announcing Our 2021 Paraeducator of the Year

Hartford Public Schools is pleased to announce our 2021 Paraeducator of the Year, Ms. Cheryl Johnson of Breakthrough Magnet School South. Ms. Johnson will represent Hartford Public Schools in the competition for the Connecticut State Anne Marie Murphy Paraeducator of the Year Award.

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.

Ms. Cheryl Johnson started with the Hartford Public School as a classroom Paraeducator in 2013. She spent a few years as an Adult Support Paraeducator and transitioned back to a classroom Paraeducator at Breakthrough South Magnet School in 2017.

Our nominees for the 2021 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 Three Finalists are:

POY 2021 Cheryl Johnson (r.) with Breakthrough Magnet South Teacher of the Year nominee, Patrick Habersang

  • Cheryl Johnson from Breakthrough Magnet (South) School
  • Anne Castelhano of Noah Webster MicroSociety Magnet School
  • Joy Hancock of Breakthrough II Magnet (North) School

Our 2021 Paraeducator of the Year Nominees are:

Vans Harper Annie Fisher STEM
Christine Guadalupe Betances Learning Lab Magnet School
Sasha Bentham Burr School
Joy Hancock Breakthrough II Magnet (North) School
Cheryl Johnson Breakthrough Magnet (South) School
Sandra Cruz Burgos Bulkeley High School
Priscilla Viera Burns Latino Studies Academy
Ada Acosta Classical Magnet
Jesus Suarez Environmental Sciences Magnet at Mary Hooker
Cynthia Hall-Diaz Expeditionary Learning Academy at Moylan
Daniella Pappalardo Hartford PreK Magnet School
Guillermo Mardales Hartford Public High School
Luz Delgado Kennelly School
Donna Rodney Case M.D. Fox School
Jamal Williams MLK Middle School
Maribeliz Rodriguez Naylor School
Anne Castelhano Noah Webster MicroSociety Magnet School
Maria Dominguez Parkville Community School
Steven Jernigan Pathways Academy of Technology & Design
Tashona Mathis Rawson School
Mirna Abaza Sanchez Elementary School
Yvonne White SAND School
Scott Wosleger Sport & Medical Sciences Academy
Iris Ortiz West Middle School

Congratulations, Ms. Johnson! And congratulations to our finalists and all our nominees.