Paraprofessional Excellency

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Paraprofessional Excellency

Mrs. Thom was a finalist of the Paraprofessionals of Minnesota

Mrs. Thom was a finalist of the Paraprofessionals of Minnesota

Asiya Gazali

Mrs. Thom was a finalist of the Paraprofessionals of Minnesota

Asiya Gazali

Asiya Gazali

Mrs. Thom was a finalist of the Paraprofessionals of Minnesota

Asiya Gazali, Writer

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On Oct. 18, Ms. Shelley Thom got a special phone call from the paraprofessional union president, Ms. Ann Krampitz. Little did she know, she was going to be nominated as one of the top five paraprofessionals in Minnesota. The other four paraprofessionals nominated were from the Twin Cities, so she saw this as an opportunity to give Owatonna more recognition. She was then interviewed on her professional practice, the references she gathered and her advocacy and association involvement. The applications of the finalists were reviewed on Oct. 29.

Whether it be race, sexuality, disability, I believe in all students, and it’s to get them to believe in themselves.”

— Shelley Thom

Being a paraprofessional, Ms. Thom works with students that need a little more with their work. She has been working as a paraprofessional for ten years. Ms. Thom said, “Whether it be race, sexuality, disability, I believe in all students, and it’s to get them to believe in themselves.” Her favorite part about her job is making connections with students that people feel would not connect with others. Out of all the memorable experiences she’s had of being in her profession, Ms. Thom’s best memory would be receiving an art project that a student had made for her to thank her for the help she provided to the student. The artwork was a drawing of her favorite flower, a sunflower. 

Although she did not win first place, she is thankful to be recognized for the hard work she has put in. Ms. Thom said, “I’m still a winner because I’ve won at the relationships that I have with the students, the staff…I’ve got amazing relationships.”