Para Program Enables Employees to Reach Goals

Paraeducator Program Enables Employees to Reach Their Goals
Posted on 03/11/2022
Program participants at West libraryIn August of 2021, the Green Bay Area Public School District embarked on a new program thanks to a grant from the Department of Workforce Development. This program allows District employees currently in a monitor or noon supervisor role to advance their career in the education field through the attainment of a Foundations of Teaching Associate Degree. Thanks to grant funding, this opportunity is being provided at no cost to the 15 employees in the program. 

In March of 2023 when the program participants receive their associate’s degree from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC), they will be eligible to be hired by the District as paraprofessionals or substitute teachers. Paraprofessionals have full-time employment opportunities with benefits, and earn a minimum hourly rate of $19.32. 

Program participants had to apply and interview for the program, and be willing to commit to the accelerated 20 month program. These hard working students have been meeting for eight hours per week since August of 2021. Many of the participants have full-time or part-time jobs, are parents, and have still been able to commit themselves to the rigorous coursework. 

“This group of women are incredibly hard workers, and we are proud of how diligently they have been working to achieve their goals,” said District Effective Educator Sherry Smith. “Many have maintained a grade point average of 4.0, all while managing their other responsibilities and commitments.”

This is the first time the District has facilitated a paraeducator program in this capacity. The instructor, Rachael Poppe, is employed by both the Green Bay Area Public School District and NWTC. Bilingual support is also offered to the program participants, if needed. In addition, all credits earned are transferable to the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay or St. Norbert College if students choose to extend their education further.

Program participant Buffy Moravetz is currently a noon monitor at King Elementary, and jumped at the chance to be involved in the program. “As an advocate for Special Education, my ultimate goal is to be a Special Education paraprofessional so I can help anywhere I am needed,” said Buffy. “I am grateful for the individualized support I have received from this program. I think we have a really good group of women who work well together and communicate effectively.”

Sara Suprise, a classmate of Buffy’s, has worked for Head Start within the District for five years. “When I earn my associate’s degree I will feel very proud and accomplished,” said Sara. “The financial aspect of earning my degree was holding me back, and this program has allowed me to earn my education at no cost. I know my children will be proud of me.”

The Green Bay Area Public School District hopes to continue and potentially expand this program in the future. 

Program Participants:
Keeley Reiter - Monitor at Baird Elementary
Rebecca Morgan - Monitor at Head Start
Diana Neuses - Para at Chappell Elementary
April DeMoulin - Monitor at King Elementary
Claudia Sanchez - Monitor at Danz Elementary
Cristina Martinez - Monitor at Preble High
Buffy Moravetz - Monitor at King Elementary
Billie Fischer - Monitor at Danz Elementary
Christine Beaumont - Monitor at Jefferson Head Start
Sara Suprise - Monitor at Jefferson Head Start
Anacristie Rivas - Monitor at Edison Middle
Lizbeth Alvarez - Para at Edison Middle
Anja Pyper - Support Staff Substitute - District Office
Carol Borremans - Support Staff Substitute - District Office
Tera Johnson - Monitor at Edison Middle 
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