2018-2019 Paraeducator of the Year
Melissa Balda

Image: Para-educator of the year with Administrators

Pictured L to R: Paul Smith-Superintendent, Mike Dalton-Assistant Principal, Hannah Balda & Emily Balda-Daughters and current High School students, Melissa Balda, Rodney Mosier-Director of Special Education, Frank Rizzuto-Principal, Mary Clark-Director of Curriculum

Melissa Balda 2018-19 Paraeducator of the Year

Melissa Balda works tirelessly to ensure that the students with whom she works at East Hampton High School strive for and achieve academic success. Her encouraging, intelligent, and warm style allows students to work easily with her and openly ask questions about content. Her support and high expectations for her students help them to study effectively and do well in their academic classes. If students are struggling with an assignment and haven't turned it in, they know Melissa will call them in for help during x-block and they also know that she will be there at their side until they finish their work. Melissa is committed to her craft. In fact, she has recently returned to school to attain a Masters of Education with a certification in Special Education.

Melissa is the type of person that everyone wants in class - students and teachers. She is task oriented, focused, and a master of organization. She always has a genuine and mooed-changing smile for everyone. She makes the classroom a more productive and kind place. Melissa Bald makes a difference every day to the community of East Hampton High School!

As a result of being named East Hampton’s Paraeducator of the Year, Mrs. Balda now will be considered for the State of Connecticut Paraeducator of the Year. The Connecticut State Department of Education and the Connecticut School Paraprofessional Advisory Council established the Anne Marie Murphy Paraeducator of the Year Program 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 was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting. The program honors one paraeducator in each school district 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.

Congratulations to Melissa Balda!