For the first time ever, the Tolland school district has chosen a paraprofessional of the year. And from more than a hundred paraprofessionals working in the schools, Linda Binheimer, with 32 years of experience, is the first to have the title.
"It's difficult to pick one person for the title, because one person doesn't succeed by themselves," Binheimer said of the honor, giving credit to her team of fellow paraprofessionals, teachers, adminsitrators and parents for helping her get the job done.
Binheimer has worked with all age levels during her time in Tolland, but currently works at Tolland Middle School as an "inclusion" paraprofessional. She rotates to a number of general education classrooms, helping special education students who are being integrated into those classes, as well as other students who may need a bit of extra assistance with lessons.
In addition to the satisfaction of seeing her students progress academically, Binheimer said she simply enjoys getting to know the kids that she works with.
"Every day there's something different," she said. "They keep you going and smiling and laughing."
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"No matter what the task, Linda carries out her responsibilities with a positive attitude and a confident manner," Superintendent William Guzman said of Binheimer when she was recognized at last week's school board meeting. "Linda has a keen sense for meeting the emotional and academic needs of students and they, in turn, respond positively to her firm, fair, and consistent style."
Birch Grove Primary preschool teacher Linda York was chosen as the 2012 teacher of the year.