All of us are teachers or shepherds to someone. Williams/Ledger Elementary School Paraprofessional Melissa Womack finds her calling in the classroom working with exceptional needs students.
Womack has worked at Williams/Ledger since August 2014. Before that, she was an instructional aide at Mae Stevens Early Learning Academy for four years. She worked as a substitute teacher for an additional year prior to that.
Principal Marla Sullivan said Womack demonstrates a calm, patient presence in all her interactions with students.
“Even when responding to a student in crisis, Melissa is calm and nurturing and works to help de-escalate the emotions of the moment,” Sullivan said. “Melissa is always willing to help not only her special education team members, but anyone on the campus who needs assistance. Every morning at bus duty, she greets arriving students with a smile and a warm welcome. She is committed to helping our students start their day on a positive note.”
Sullivan said Womack’s longevity of working with exceptional needs students illustrates her commitment to the school and community.
“She is working with students who have some of the highest needs academically and behaviorally. Melissa is a positive role model who also demonstrates empathy and compassion,” Sullivan said.
Stephanie Williams, Williams/Ledger Elementary lead special education teacher, said Womack is a valued member of the special education team.
“Melissa is a teacher at heart; she simply lacks the certification. She goes above and beyond to think of different ways to engage learners,” Williams said. “Melissa does an outstanding job of intervening with students before they get to a point of escalation.”
Williams/Ledger Elementary Instructional Coach Brittany Thomas said Womack works as a partner in the classroom.
“She often brings a fresh set of eyes to classroom lessons and sees students learning in many different ways. She is always willing to share her ideas and is an important part of the Special Education team. Her positive attitude and calming energy has a daily impact on the students and their motivation to learn,” Thomas said.
Womack was named the 2018 Williams/Ledger Elementary Paraprofessional of the Year.