Elliott’s Lewis named paraeducator of the year
Katie Lewis from Elliott Elementary School has been named the 2019 Nebraska Paraeducator of the Year.
Lewis learned of the honor during a surprise staff meeting after school on Oct. 25. Alisha Bollinger, a special education supervisor for Lincoln Public Schools, presented Lewis with the award and read a portion of her nomination letter.
“Katie’s dedication and commitment to our students is visible, authentic and genuine each and every day with the work that she does. Katie emphasizes with Elliott students and families while maintaining high, developmentally appropriate expectations. Her care and compassion for students and their unique needs is evident in her ability to listen, engage and support them despite the severity of needs, behaviors or challenging circumstances. Katie sticks with students and families through the highs and lows, celebrating the smallest of accomplishments and growth, while maintaining focus on next steps.”
A paraeducator, typically referred to as a para, is a teaching-related position generally responsible for specialized or concentrated assistance with students.
Lewis said afterwards she was humbled to have been selected and spoke of the team of “amazing” paraeducators she works with at Elliott.
“Helping our kids is a team effort and I wouldn't be able to do my job successfully without them,” she said. “I am also incredibly thankful to have a job I love to go to every day. Although it can be challenging at times, I am grateful to work with the kids I do. They have taught me the value of patience and flexibility. All children have great value and are worth the time and sacrifice it sometimes takes.”
Published: November 1, 2019, Updated: November 1, 2019