Gretchen Boff, an aide at North Royalton Middle School, was named the Ohio Middle Level Association Support Staff Person of the Year. She was recognized by the Board of Education at the September 13 regular meeting.
“We have such amazing support staff at NRMS, and that was so very apparent last year when we worked to give our students the best education possible regardless of setting,” said Assistant Principal Erin Calabrese. “In watching the amazing work our staff did, there was one individual who stood out as a result of her commitment to knocking down barriers to learning, and the joy she brought to teaching and learning each day.”
“Gretchen puts her best foot forward everyday. No matter what may be going on in her life, she comes to work every day with a smile on and a positive attitude,” said Sixth-Grade Intervention Specialist Michelle Canestraro.” “She always puts students first and goes out of her way to make sure that every student is not only successful with their academics but feels love and nurtured. During the school’s full remote learning phase, Boff set up multiple small group sessions during every free period that she had in order to provide extra support to students in need. She has a magnetic energy that excites students and inspires colleagues. The world is a better place with Gretchen in it and we are truly lucky to have her in our School District.”
Additional excerpts from her nomination state…
“Gretchen exemplifies the idea of putting kids first. Her ability to connect with students and empower them in striving for their personal best is seen by all who work with her. She works tirelessly to make each day the best it can be for students and staff alike. Sometimes that means she’s bringing the energy with her crazy turkey hat, or wild spirit wear. Sometimes it means she’s helping students find their calm by organizing them for their day. While typically we see paraprofessionals take the role of Robin to Batman, Gretchen leads by example. Last year, for her own professional development, she engaged in a voluntary book study at NRMS, because she is always looking for ways to better serve the kids in our community. She is a tremendous asset to NRMS, and the families of North Royalton and Broadview Heights.
I would like to add how essential Gretchen is to the classroom teacher. Gretchen embodies everything an education professional should! When she was in my classroom I knew what a blessing it was to have another dedicated and passionate adult in the room with me and we just clicked! Gretchen did read alouds, ran labs while sporting matching tie-dye lab coats with me, and worked with all students equally. She never missed a beat while helping lead a classroom and lead kids to success. Gretchen will move mountains to make sure that all kids are getting their needs met.”