Thursday May 09, 2013
Tara Gauding, an Education Support Professional, has won the VT-National Education Association support person of the year award. This award recognizes the contributions of support professionals, and is awarded to only one person each year. Gauding, a 24 year South Burlington resident, is in her 14th year working at Frederick H Tuttle Middle School. She began as a classroom paraeducator, but for the past 8 years, has been a coordinator for the FHTMS Enterprise Program, which is a tutoring program for students who need help succeeding in the general curriculum.
“It is a great honor to have received this award, especially when looking at the works and accomplishments of the past recipients,” Gauding said, “Some of the best parts of receiving this recognition have been the opportunities to be more involved and recognized within my school, district and the NEA, attending national ESP conferences and even broadening my comfort zone by having to do some public speaking. The best part about this is that it has all happened while working in a great place, with great students and great colleagues. It makes it easy to come to work every day.”
Gauding began working at FHTMS the day her youngest daughter started kindergarten (she has had three children go through the SBSD school system). “Before this, I had volunteered at Chamberlin School for various activities, such as Girls Scouts, Book Bag Program, PTO and other classroom activities. I thought that being a paraeducator would be perfect; I would have a similar schedule as my children. I actually only applied to the elementary schools, but it was the middle school that called and asked me if I would consider working there. My thought was that I would work at the school until my children were old enough to be at home by themselves and that was 14 years ago, well past the time that my children needed me at home.”
Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School principal Karsten Schlenter said, “As a school we are extremely proud of her being selected for this award as it is well deserved. Tara is a hard and dedicated worker who goes above and beyond to do what is best for kids. She is in charge of an excellent student support program that provides individualized assistance to many of our students in their core subjects. Tara is actively involved on building and district committees and has been the coordinator of the homework club. She is a perfect recipient for this award.”
Kathy Buley, third grade teacher at Chamberlin Elementary and co-president of the SBEA added, “Tara Gauding exemplifies the professionalism, intelligence, and dedication modeled on a daily basis by the support staff of South Burlington.
One of Gauding’s favorite parts of being involved with middle school age children is observing the transition that happens in maturity and overall growth from 6th to 8th graders, both socially and educationally. “I have grown to love the middle school years,” Gauding said, “It is why I enjoy my job so much. I also realize that I am good at what I do. What started as a temporary, convenient job has grown into a great career.”
Outside of the classroom, Gauding can be found coordinating and chaperoning the Bolton Ski and Ride Program. She is also a member of the EST (Educational Support Team), VT-NEA/SBEA Building Representative, Chief Negotiator for the SBEA-ESPA contract, and Secretary for the SBEA.
SOURCE: Corey Burdiick, Correspondent