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Golden Heart Honoree: Susan Roberts

Susan Roberts Susan Roberts’ dedication to her students goes far beyond the classroom.

Roberts, a special education para educator at Meadow Point Elementary’s preschool, is fully invested in providing excellence for every student, no matter their background, their challenges or their unique experiences. For Roberts, connecting with students means creating meaningful and lasting connections, and that work often means spending time and working diligently outside of the classroom.

Indeed, Roberts is known for making preparations long before the school day starts to make sure she’s properly prepared to address the individual needs of every student. That means studying up at home on most effective approaches and pedagogical tools for special education student; that means designing curriculum that’s tailored to the needs of her kids and creating tools that she’s happy to deliver to a student’s home; that means creating a variety of structured tasks and materials designed to engage students, even in the midst of a pandemic.

This willingness to invest her own personal resources beyond the boundaries of the school day speaks to Roberts’ unfailing investment in her students. According to colleagues, Roberts is happiest when she’s working with kids who’ve been deemed as “challenges,” young students who’ve never been in an English-speaking environment, who face significant behavioral or learning challenges.

“Susan will willingly assign herself as those students’ one-on-one para educator,” Roberts’ colleague at Meadow Point wrote, “Her decades of experience as a paraprofessional to students with special needs makes her indispensable in our classroom, and to our team of specialists.”

The efficacy of Roberts’ dedication is clear in countless stories of children who learned to communicate and to operate in a complex classroom environment, thanks to the investment and patience of a caring adult.

It’s a commitment that’s contagious. Roberts’ “Golden Heart” has a positive effect not only on her students, but also on her fellow educators who benefit from her wisdom and her years of experience.

-- Posted 3/30/21 at 11 AM