Congratulations to AHES Teacher and Educational Support Person of the Year!

Congratulations to AHES Teacher and Educational Support Person of the Year!
Posted on 01/10/2017
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AHES is SO proud to announce this year's Governor's Educator and Educational Support Person of the year! We know that we have an amazing school, so picking just one person for each category was truly a daunting task for our committee, but after reviewing the many nominations submitted by parents and staff we are so very pleased to announce that:


Mrs. Melissa Phair is our Teacher of the Year
AND
Mrs. Daria Hajisafari (Nurse Daria) is our Educational Support Person of the Year


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AHES Principal Mrs.Janet Walling spoke of Mrs. Phair at the February 2017 Board of Education meeting, 

"I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to honor Melissa Phair as the 2016-2017 Atlantic Highlands Teacher of the Tear!  Anyone who knows Melissa knows how important all of the students and staff of AHES are to her.  While her primary responsibility is teaching students with special needs, she truly considers this entire building her responsibility.

Examples of this are seen on a daily basis through her personal interactions, positive support, and gentle encouragement.  Over the course of her 13 years here at AHES, Melissa has made a strong impact on the emotional and academic growth of many of her students.  In addition, she has worked closely with our social worker, Rachel Robinson, for the past 3 years to develop a strong Social Skills Group for many students in the building.  These students, many of whom she does not directly teach, work together to increase their interpersonal skills, and complete various schoolwide projects including the ever-popular homemade cookie sales to staff.

Additionally, Melissa has spearheaded programs to help bolster school pride including this year’s “Mugging” activity and helping with our wonderful “Staff Shout-Outs”. Other teachers will also turn to Melissa for support and advice when they have questions regarding how to approach a specific child.  As stated by another staff member:  “She comes up with proven methods and will even help create new ones if the ones we try don’t work.  She will follow through, checking in on the students, giving of her own time freely, and work until we find something that works.”

On a personal note I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed watching Melissa grow over these past 13 years.  When she first came to AHES, as a beginning teacher, she and I shared a classroom of 9-13 students, and about 4 paraprofessionals – let me tell you, it was a busy place!  But boy did we have a lot of laughs!  From watching her hide behind a desk dunking my mother’s freshly made latkes in ketchup to this seasoned professional standing beside me this evening, I must say I couldn’t be prouder!  We are honored to have you as part of our staff!"


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Principal Walling also spoke about AHES' Educational Support Person of the Year, Mrs. Daria Hajisafari,

"I am honored to recognize Mrs. Daria Hajisafari as our Educational Support Person of the Year!  Nurse Daria had become such an integral part of the AHES family that it is hard to believe that she only started with us 3 years ago!  From the first moment that I met with Daria during our interview I knew that she would be a fabulous fit for AHES!  She had the perfect balance of motherly concern and medical experience that we needed.  I could tell immediately that she would be able to provide our students with the hugs and support that many of them need, while not allowing them to snow her into believing that they really needed that 10th ice pack or cough drop every single day.

She quickly got to know every student by name and their individual needs.  She also continuously goes the extra mile to make sure that our “Familes in Need” are supported, whether it is through helping to coordinate the BackPack Crew, organizing the annual PTO fund, or purchasing snacks, breakfast, and clothing on her own – Daria makes sure that all of “her” children are cared for!

Daria also makes it a point to ensure the staff is cared for as well.  She has organized flu shots, CPR courses, and National Wear Red Day.  She sincerely cares about our families and us, and asks about everyone on a regular basis – this does not go unnoticed!

As one parent wrote:  To know Daria is there for our children when they feel sick or sad is such an amazing feeling for a parent.  She cares for our kids as if they were her own and we always know they are in good hands.  She is always willing to talk about issues of concern and will offer advice/guidance where she can.

Daria, thank you for taking care of all of us!  We are so proud to have you as a member of the AHES family!"

Their outstanding dedication that both Mrs. Phair and Mrs. Hajisafari give to every student they work with is to be commended and we thank them for the support they give to all of our school community in so many ways!! CONGRATULATIONS to them both!

Their outstanding dedication to every student they work with is to be commended and we thank them for the support they give to all of our school community in so many ways!! CONGRATULATIONS to them both!
Their outstanding dedication to every student they work with is to be commended and we thank them for the support they give to all of our school community in so many ways!! CONGRATULATIONS to them both!
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