Forestdale Principal Marc Smith shared the following tribute to Kim Aiello, an ESP at Forestdale School.
This year’s Forestdale Educator of the year has been working in the Sandwich Public Schools for over 20 years. In addition to working as an ESP in the district during that time, she is also the proud parent of two SHS graduates.
In considering what to share with you about this educator, I decide to look to the words of her colleagues, words that were shared as part of their nomination for this award. As I looked across all that was written, I noticed that everyone wrote not only about this educator in regards to the work she does with children, but also in regards to the person she is when she arrives at work each day.
In working with children, her colleagues say, “She is able to connect with and teach important literacy skills to struggling learners.” “She believes in her students – no matter what.” “She is encouraging and kind and leads by example.”
As a person, she is described as “She always has an upbeat attitude and smile on her face, regardless of the situation.” “She is incredibly flexible, responding to whatever needs arise.” “She is always supportive of her colleagues and never complains” “No matter where she is, she is always smiling.” and as one student pointed out, “She makes everyone happy.”
Now in our three years of working together, I have also had a chance to see this educator’s dedication up close. One example of her dedication to her job, and her commitment to her own learning occurred while we were in CPI training together. Now for those of you that are unfamiliar with CPI, it is a non-violent crisis intervention training that teaches de-escalation techniques as well as the proper way to defend oneself and/or physically restrain a child in a way that is safe for the child and adult should the need arise. Part of the training includes role playing where one person is the “acting out child” and the other person is practicing the newly taught techniques. Now most people that assume the role of acting out child, go through the motions… slowly and dispassionately punching or kicking or acting out. That dispassionate type of an approach is not reflective of this educator’s dedication to her craft. Instead, when it was her turn to be the acting out as the “acting out child” this educator brought the haymakers, flailed, and put her all into “acting out!”
All joking aside, I have seen this educator’s dedication to her students and colleagues up close. Her colleagues reflections of her never ending smile, constant flexibility and supportive attitude are what I see in this educator each day. She is an immeasurably valuable asset to the Forestdale School and is a model of compassion, collegiality and community… even if she is a Buffalo Bills fan.
I am proud to announce the the Forestdale School Educator of the Year is Kim Aiello.