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seven individuals standing in front of a brick wall that has be kind written
Region 15 Schools
seven individuals standing in front of a brick wall that has be kind written

Celebrating Region 15’s Paraeducator of the Year are (L-R) Maria Milo, LMES Assistant Principal, Dr. Jessica Sciaretto, Director of Student Services, Joshua Smith, Region 15 Superintendent, Carole Calzone, Region 15’s Paraeducator of the Year, Chris Wermuth, LMES Principal, Dr. Carrie Chiappetta, Assistant Superintendent Region 15, and Don Rapuano, Assistant Director Student Services.

Joshua Smith, Superintendent of Region 15 Public Schools, has announced that Carole Calzone, a Registered Behavior Technician at Long Meadow Elementary School (LMES) has been chosen to serve as Region 15’s 2024-25 Paraeducator of the Year.

Mrs. Calzone first began working in the district part-time in 2000 as a special education paraprofessional at LMES. In 2004 she moved from a part-time to full-time position at LMES. At the conclusion of this school year, she will have served Region 15 at LMES for 24 years.

A member of the Middlebury community, before her employment at Region 15 she was a volunteer, chaperone and class room parent in the district. Her position as a Registered Behavior Technician falls within the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) category of a Paraeducator, whose job is to assist certified teachers in the classroom and who plays an integral role in developing students’ academic, social, and emotional skills.

At LMES, Mrs. Calzone is calm, loving, and holds the students she works with to high yet achievable expectations. Staff describes how “she is absolutely amazing in her role.”  Through her gentle guidance, she very subtly helps a student she works with to stay on task and self-regulate. She is highly intuitive and knows when to appropriately cue a student, provide a break, or offer assistance. 

As a highly valued member of her assigned student’s team, she consistently collaborates with school staff and easily adapts to changing plans. Mrs. Calzone consistently goes above and beyond to seek out guidance, bring ideas to the team, collect data, report back observations, and provide feedback. She is highly organized and dependable, frequently taking notes of what other staff members are working on, to help her students learn to generalize skills. Her collaborative nature with all team members makes a direct positive impact on the students she works with.

“We all benefit from Mrs. Calzone’s dedication and commitment to her students and to our schools. We are grateful for all she has given to the district and celebrate her work through this recognition. Region 15 is proud to have her represent us,” said Joshua Smith, Superintendent of Region 15 Schools.

This recognition is through the Connecticut State Department of Education’s (CSDE) Anne Marie Murphy Paraeducator of the Year award.  CSDE recognizes Paraeducators selected each year by their districts for their accomplishments and contributions to the students they serve, their schools, and their communities.  Each year, one of these honorees is selected by the CSDE as the recipient of the Anne Marie Murphy Paraeducator of the Year Award. This individual serves as the spokesperson and representative of the paraeducator profession in Connecticut during the following year.   In March 2013, the CSDE and the School Paraprofessional Advisory Council renamed the Connecticut Paraeducator of the Year Award to the Anne Marie Murphy Paraeducator of the Year Award in honor of Anne Marie Murphy, a special education paraprofessional who lost her life during the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.