This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion.
In a surprise assembly Tuesday morning, the National Education Association of Alaska awarded Soldotna’s Suzanne Goodwill the title of Alaska Education Support Professional of the year. Goodwill is an academic tutor and intervention aide at Skyview Middle School.
The Education Support Professional of the Year is the NEA of Alaska’s highest honor for non-certified education professionals.
Tim Parker, NEA-Alaska president, said there are as many education support professionals as there are teachers in the state of Alaska. He said Goodwill has shown the ability to do any job an education support professional might be tasked with.
“She can come in and sub; she can come in and do anything,” Parker said. “Staff always says she’s constantly moving, doesn’t sit still and that she has all this energy. She’s just a fantastic representative of what education support professionals do around Alaska.”
Goodwill found out during the surprise assembly she was the one to receive the award.
“I’m just surprised and shaking a little bit… “ Goodwill said. “I’m just surprised.”
Goodwill began working for the Kenai Peninsula School District more than 17 years ago when she started substitute teaching in Seward. In 2010, she was hired as a tutor. She said her favorite part about working at Skyview Middle School are the people she works with.
“That’s why I’m here, to help the students and staff,” Goodwill said.
Goodwill will take over for Sherry Shaw, who is a special education paraeducator and coach at Tanaina Elementary School in Wasilla. In addition to receiving the state Education Support Professional of the year award, Shaw also received the National Education Association Education Support Professional of the Year award.
Goodwill will receive a plaque and the official title in a ceremony in January.