Simple, heartfelt service makes a difference
By Daniel Arens
It’s a quiet, simple, yet demanding position. It’s a challenging occupation. It’s an ultimately significant and rewarding vocation.
It’s what Mary Ann Klein does each day.
Klein’s role consists of many different functions. She’s a paraprofessional, or para, at Hazen Elementary School, and she also tutors kids before school, during the lunch break, and after classes end in the afternoon. Sometimes, she subs for teachers as well. She has worked in Hazen’s schools since the start of the 2012-2013 school year.
Klein is also involved in North Dakota United, the state’s public teacher union, which she said supports and advocates for its teachers.
During a monthly elementary school assembly on Jan. 30, Hazen received a special guest. Nick Archuleta, president of ND United, came to present Klein with an Education Support Professionals (ESP) of the Year award. This high honor recognizes an exemplary paraeducator, custodian, cook, or other supporting professionals throughout the world of education in North Dakota.
“I feel like I just do my job,” Klein said. “I love my job here, I love working with my students.”
Archuleta presented Klein with the award in person in front of the assembled students, teachers, staff, and administrators, and Klein also spoke, thanking the district and her co-workers and students.