School District Names Maria Lopez Paraeducator of the Year

The Consolidated School District of New Britain has announced that it named Maria Lopez as its “Paraeducator of the Year,” noting her for her dedication to the students at the Gaffney Elementary School.

“My dedication and love to Gaffney School and the Consolidated School District of New Britain is for the success of our students,” said Lopez. “It is an honor to be named the districtwide Paraeducator of the Year.”

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Lopez has been a New Britain paraeducator since 1999.

Superintendent of Schools Nancy Sarra said that, “Our paraeducators play a large role in developing and growing our students.”

Sarra said that, “Maria is a hard-working professional who is an integral part of our Gaffney KEY Program. She is a calming presence for her students and is a shining example of what we look for in our paraeducators.”

Gaffney School Principal Anita Fazio said that Lopez is deserving the Paraeducator of the Year honors for many reasons, saying that, “She continues to shine a bright light not only to her students, but to anyone who has the pleasure of working with her each day. We consider both our staff and students fortunate to have her here at Gaffney.”

In addition to Lopez, other paraeducators received “Paraeducator of the Year” honors in each school. They include,

  • Sharon Bernaiche at Chamberlain Elementary School
  • Stacy Rubino at DiLoreto Elementary & Middle School
  • John Schoeninger at Holmes Elementary School
  • Nancy Beaudoin at Jefferson Elementary School
  • Deborah Wojas at Lincoln Elementary School
  • Lucy Snow at New Britain High School
  • Kim Verrett at Northend Elementary School
  • Luz Oquendo at Pulaski Middle School
  • Mitzie Hernandez at Roosevelt Early Learning Center
  • Queen Newton at Slade Middle School
  • Carina Palmucci at Smalley Elementary School
  • Melissa Aiudi at Smith Elementary School
  • Rosa Figueroa at Vance Elementary School

Lopez said that, “I look forward to serving as a model for my peers and continuing the work in the classroom with our students.”