By Lauren E. Prince
6th grade student Wertheimer MS
Each school in the Lamar Consolidated Independent School District nominates both a paraprofessional and a teacher that have shown excellence in education. This year, the staff members of Wertheimer Middle school voted Mrs. Cheryl McGill for paraprofessional of the year and Mrs. Juanita Runge for teacher of the year because of the hard work and devotion that both educators have shown. These two ladies will move on to compete for paraprofessional and teacher of the year at the district level at the upcoming awards ceremony and dinner. Being nominated and voted by their peers is a special honor, and I was pleased to be able to sit and talk to them about their recent nominations.
Mrs. McGill was awarded the title of Wertheimer’s paraprofessional of the year. She works in the school’s front office and “wears many hats”. I was able to see this first-hand when I arrived for our interview, and she showed me that she was very talented at multitasking! This is the first year that she was eligible to be nominated for paraprofessional of the year, and it was easy to tell that she was deserving of the award. “It’s a great honor,” she told me, and admitted that she works very hard at her job. Although she helps keep things running smoothly in the front office, she shared with me that she also enjoys working with the students. I think that because she is so good at balancing her many tasks and always giving 110%, Wertheimer should be proud to have her as paraprofessional of the year.
Mrs. Runge was chosen as Wertheimer’s teacher of the year. She teaches special needs students, and Mrs. Runge confessed that her job can be very demanding at times. This was also her first time being voted for teacher of the year and it is obvious that the other teachers and staff members at Wertheimer recognize her efforts. “I was a little bit shocked, [but] I was excited,” Mrs. Runge told me. She went on to say, “I feel like I give all of myself to my students and I love them very much. I put everything into what I do.” Mrs. Runge shared with me that she works very hard to make sure that each one of her students feels like they belong. “I love my job. I love coming to work. That’s what important,” she professed. It is evident how much Mrs. Runge cares for her students, and it is easy to see why she was awarded this honor.
I enjoyed speaking with both ladies and it is obvious that they are educators of excellence. Congratulations to both Mrs. Cheryl McGill and Mrs. Juanita Runge on their accomplishments. Keep up the excellent work!