Chatfield High School paraprofessionals being recognized this week are Lorri Lowrey, Donna Oellrich, Pam Stephas, Karen Forde, Monica Taylor and Nathan Whitacre. Not shown are Claire Gurtner, Adam Hurley and Kate Kennedy.
Chatfield High School paraprofessionals being recognized this week are Lorri Lowrey, Donna Oellrich, Pam Stephas, Karen Forde, Monica Taylor and Nathan Whitacre. Not shown are Claire Gurtner, Adam Hurley and Kate Kennedy.
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They're the teachers' right-hand women and men.

And, it's time to give them a hand during Paraprofessional Recognition Week.

"Chatfield Public Schools would like to take this opportunity to thank our paraprofessional staff during Paraprofessional Recognition Week, Jan. 14 to 18, 2013," read a statement issued by the Chatfield Public Schools and Chatfield Superintendent Ed Harris, recognizing the paraprofessionals - or classroom aides - who lend a hand to make education happen each day in both the elementary and high school classrooms.

It went on, "Minnesota is home to more than 25,000 paraprofessionals who provide services in multiple settings within a school, including instructional support, student activities; and numerous tasks that contribute to the educational success of our students. The support and services provided by paraprofessionals are integral to student achievement and effective Minnesota schools. At Chatfield Public Schools, we are very fortunate to have 35-plus very caring paraprofessionals who work with your children in the elementary and high school. They are making a difference in many lives on a daily basis."

Chatfield Elementary School Principal Craig Ihrke commended the paraprofessionals who work with students at the school on the hill.

"There are 26 individuals who work as paraprofessionals in the elementary building," he explained. "These individuals work in a variety of capacities. Some specialize in supporting student learning in technology, reading or library skills. Others work more generally to support students who have special needs and or provide transportation. Many work to supervise either the lunchroom or our playground areas. The paraprofessionals are first and foremost here to serve our students and do so in a variety of ways. They build relationships with students, serve as an additional caring adult in the lives of children, and help with academic needs when appropriate. They assist teachers by carrying out specified learning interventions in math, reading and social skills, and in many other ways."

Paraprofessionals serving at Chatfield Elementary School - in the classroom helping students understand a concept, ushering them from one classroom to another and keeping watch over them while they play in the snow on the playground - include Kim Muller, Greg Silha, Donna Novotny, Natasha Carter, Sue Peterson, Sara Chase, Marsha Thieke, Geri Ann Hanson-Schmeckpeper, Heather Hopp, Connie Costello, Lois Dokken, Lorri Lowrey, Karin Halverson, Jill Wright, Sara Schroeder, Andrea Reinhardt, Stephanie Erickson, Terri Fumagalli, Nancy Rowland, Helen Lange, Connie Walker, Sue Tangen, Cheryl Meyer, Nadine Merkel, Leslie Roline and Tim Hebrink.

Irhke stated, "Our school and community are fortunate to have these individuals in the lives of our students. They genuinely care about the students, the school and the community, and are deserving of recognition and thanks."