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Ridgeway ESP of the Year Ellen Kurilla

Remarks by Principal Nikki Mazur

Good Evening Everyone. Congratulations to all our Teachers of the Year and our Educational Support Professionals of the Year. I hope you all know how proud we are of your service and the efforts you make each day.

Tonight it is my pleasure to introduce you to Ridgeway's Educational Support Professional of the Year, Mrs. Ellen Kurilla. Mrs. Kurilla is joined tonight by her husband Mark and son Nick. Her daughter Emily is currently at a rehearsal at the Performing Arts Academy for an upcoming show, and I know she sends you her positive thoughts. Welcome.

Mrs. Kurilla has been employed by Ridgeway for nine years, and in that time, she has worked as a paraprofessional in kindergarten, first grade, the self - contained classrooms, and in preschool. In her current position, she is a paraprofessional in the K - 2 self-contained classroom.

On a daily basis, Mrs. Kurilla will be seen working one to one with an autistic student, as well as students who have behavior challenges, communication difficulties, learning disabilities, and developmental disabilities. She is professional and compassionate, always putting the students first and supporting their academic needs as well as their social emotional needs.

Mrs. Kurilla is self motivated and spends time researching ideas that benefit students. She is truly a role model for other paraprofessionals and often will work closely with behaviorists, teachers and administrators to develop and implement strategies that make a huge difference in the success of our students.

One of our Ridgeway teachers said it best when describing Mrs. Kurilla's professionalism in the classroom. She said, "Ellen is always calm during crisis situations, and seems to instinctively know what students need." The teacher further explained, "Ellen can be counted on to make sure the students stay on their routine and she takes the lead in many situations because she simply knows what to do, when to do it, and how to do it."

Outside the classroom Mrs. Kurilla volunteers to laminate for the entire school. For those of you who laminate posters for teachers, you know this is no easy feat. It's an unending pile of posters, flyers, stories, math pieces, and other items that have to be meticulously laminated, cut, and organized. The staff trusts that Ellen will get it all done in a perfect manner every time, and they appreciate the time she spends to help with this endeavor.

Also, every Ridgeway event that includes raffling or giving away a basket, Mrs. Kurilla is on it. Whether it be for Winterfest, Kevin's Kids, a gift auction, a baby shower, a bridal shower, or really any event, it will be done creatively and perfectly every time. Long before Pinterest was popular, Mrs. Kurilla was Ridgeway's basket designer. She is an active member of the PTA, and through the years she has been a class mom, a CCD teacher, and an involved Manchester citizen. I can tell you first hand, because I taught her children, that Mrs. Kurilla is the kind of parent that teachers hope all students are going home to at the end of the day. She is a model of kindness, growth mindset, and truly an advocate for students. I am not surprised that these are the very traits that she has brought to Ridgeway.

It is my pleasure to introduce you to Ridgeway's Educational Support Professional of the Year, Mrs. Ellen Kurilla.