Massachusetts Paraeducator Named 2017 NEA ESP of the Year
2017 NEA ESP of the Year Saul Ramos
Like many multi-skilled people with a wide range of interests, Saul Ramos is hard to peg. While Ramos has demonstrated his ability as a paraeducator and union leader within Worcester Public Schools in Massachusetts and nationally through NEA, he has had an equal impact directing local art projects and adapting Shakespeare for theaters in various New England communities.
Yet, for all his talents, those who know Ramos best say his greatest accomplishment to date may be the life-changing effect he had on a single child, a visually impaired student he worked with from kindergarten starting in 1999 until the student graduated from high school in 2011.
After 18 years, the self-taught braillist currently serves at Burncoat High School transcribing school materials and classwork of visually impaired students into print or braille, a writing system in which characters are represented by patterns of raised dots that are felt with the fingertips.
“He helps students become independent, both academically and personally,” says Madeloni, who was one of the first people to hug Ramos when he was named the 2017 National Education Association (NEA) ESP of the Year during the awards banquet March 11 at the NEA Education Support Professionals Conference in Dallas, Texas. The annual award is NEA’s highest for an ESP.
At the event, NEA President Lily Eskelsen García presented Ramos with a trophy, bouquet of roses, and $10,000 check.