Jennifer Palmieri is Monroe’s new Paraeducator of the Year

Jennifer Palmieri

MONROE, CT — Jennifer Palmieri, who has worked in the Monroe school system since 2006, has been chosen at the 2024-25 Paraeducator of the Year, according to an announcement from the school district.

She started her career offering one-on-one support to students in Masuk’s Life Skills program, before transitioning to Fawn Hollow Elementary School to follow her true passion in early childhood education in 2009.

Palmieri works one-on-one with second graders. In addition to her duties as a paraeducator, she also co-chairs Fawn Hollow’s before and after school Arts and Imagination program, which provides extracurricular opportunities for students.

“Jen’s commitment to staff, students and families is admirable,” Superintendent Joseph Kobza said. “She is a shining star and a major factor for the positive climate that exists at Fawn Hollow today. We are lucky to have her!”

Palmieri said she feels fortunate to give back to Monroe.

“I love my job because it keeps me connected to my community, allows me to work in the same district my son attends, and I love the connections I have made with all of my students and families through the years,” she said.

Parents, teachers and fellow staff members all wrote nominations for Palmieri, highlighting the immense impact she has had on the entire Fawn Hollow community.

One teacher wrote that Palmieri is “consistent, caring, and compassionate” and “goes above and beyond.” Another teacher commented that Palmieri’s “students always show the most growth and improvement as a result of her tireless efforts to challenge them while providing them with love and support.”

One parent recognized that, “Jen always stood out, not just for her seasonally themed hats that everyone looks forward to, but as an OUTSTANDING para who takes her role of supporting her students above and beyond all expectations. She is not only dedicated to the student in her charge, but to the entirety of her classroom, grade level and the Special Ed team.”

“Jen always puts the needs of her students first,” said Fawn Hollow Principal Leigh Ances. “Each year, I marvel at the amount of growth we see in the students she supports. Her impact, however, spreads well beyond the walls of the classroom. Jen is the first to pitch in and lend a hand wherever and whenever needed. She takes initiative and is the first to offer her assistance at school-wide events as well as daily arrival and dismissal.”

Ances said Palmieri helps foster a  sense of community by organizing fun staff events like ‘crocktoberfest’.

“We all benefit from Jen’s dedication and commitment to her students and our school,” Ances said. “She spreads positive energy everywhere she goes and makes a huge impact on our school community.”

Kobza said the entire Monroe school community is grateful for all Palmieri has given to their district and is thrilled to celebrate her accomplishments through this recognition.

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