Sara Beck is 2023 Paraeducator of the Year

Sara Beck and Dr. Charles Dumais

Sara Beck with CES Executive Director Dr. Charles Dumais after her award was announced at the 2022 CES Convocation.

TRUMBULL, Conn. – Cooperative Educational Services is proud to announce its 2023 Paraeducator of the Year is Sara Beck, an Educational Instructor in the Therapeutic Day Program (TDP) for CES Special Education.

Sara started at CES in 2011 as an Instructional Aide and became an EI two years later. Her desire to teach and work with disabled students started when she was a camp counselor in 2005 and summers she worked as a paraprofessional for a young girl. Those experiences led her to apply for her first position at CES.

“Sara is a positive force in TDP. Her energy level is unmatched and her kind interactions are appreciated by staff and students alike,” Special Education Director Dr. Michael McGrath said. “There is none more deserving to be Paraeducator of the Year than Sara.”

Sara is from Milford and is working on her degree in Education, with a concentration in Mathematics, at Central Connecticut State University. She hopes to become a teacher at CES after completing her studies.

“I love and truly believe in our philosophy at CES,” Sara said. “My love for the students and the amazing staff I work with are all reasons for why I continue to work in this program.”

This honor makes Sara eligible for the state Department of Education's Anne Marie Murphy Paraeducator of the Year award, which was created to recognize the important role of the paraeducator in supporting student achievement. The winner will be announced later this fall. The award was renamed in 2013 to honor the memory of Murphy, a special education paraeducator who was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting.

Criteria for the award are outlined by six standards identified from the National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals Model and include assisting teachers with: building and maintaining effective instructional teams, maintaining learner-centered supportive environments, planning and organizing learning experiences, engaging students in learning, instruction, assessing learner needs, progress, and achievement, as well as meeting standards of professional and ethical conduct.

Past Honorees
Paraprofessional of the Year for 2022 Jamel Small
2021 C.E.S. Paraeducator of the Year Michael Cueto
2017 Paraeducator of the Year Alyson Shopovick (DLC)
2017: Alyson Shopovick (DLC)
2016 Paraeducator of the Year Jamie Toppin (RISE)
2016: Jamie Toppin (RISE)
2015 Paraeducator of the Year Ben Megna (PLC)
2015: Ben Megna (PLC)
2014 Paraeducator of the Year Julius Britt (DLC)
2014: Julius Britt (DLC)
2013 Paraeducator of the Year  Luciana Perelli (PLC)
2013: Luciana Perelli (PLC)