Purcell Elementary Para-educator Norma Reyes is one of a handful of support personnel in the running to become the 2012 Florida School-Related Employee of the Year. This makes Mrs. Reyes the only school related employee in Polk County to be nominated for this prestigious Florida Department of Education award.
Purcell Elementary Principal Beth Nave describes the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) paraeducator as the “soul of celebration.” Mrs. Reyes is known for her uncanny ability to effortlessly juggle event planning responsibilities, always making sure school meetings and events run smoothly. She has planned a list of events including: the Back to School breakfast, Relay for Life, Toys for Tots, and Pasta for Pennies.
This tireless dedication to finding and facilitating activities that engage families and students is only rivaled by her unwavering devotion to her students. She is considered an icon for the Hispanic students she teaches. She expects much of them, always challenging them to push beyond language barriers and master lessons. This desire to see them succeed is balanced by a warm-heartedness that ensures she is always there to offer an ear if they need someone to speak with.
Mrs. Reyes will find out whether she is the state winner when she attends the May 10th State Board of Education meeting in Tampa.
Good luck Mrs. Reyes!
The Florida Department of Education awards the Florida School-Related Employee of the Year Award in recognition of outstanding education support personnel for their contributions to their schools and communities. The program honors one state representative and four finalists who have demonstrated exceptional skill and dedication in the performance of their jobs, thereby earning them the respect and admiration of students, teachers, administrators, coworkers and parents.