American Education Week: Honoring PA Support Professionals
They work with students in the classroom, in the school office, or even in the cafeteria – and to celebrate American Education Week, state organization honors Pennsylvania education support professional for her dedication towards the students.
Dee Scales was named Dolores McCracken Education Support Professional of the Year by the Pennsylvania State Education Association. Scales, a paraprofessional and union leader for the Woodland Hills School District in Allegheny County, said she was grateful for the award and for the work support professionals do to keep schools running.
âIt means a lot to me because it highlights all the hard work that not only myself, but other support professionals are doing across the United States,â she said. âWe have other support staff such as bus drivers. We have our guards and maintenance workers. There are so many different titles that we support staff in the public school system. “
Wednesday also marked Education Support Professionals Day. Scales has been a paraprofessional in Woodland Hills for 26 years, where she currently works with students in an emotional support classroom.
Outside of school, Scales is also heavily involved in her hometown of Braddock, where she was recently elected extraordinary member of the board. She volunteers for the annual 15104 Clean Up Day, which focuses on garbage pickup in Braddock, and 412 Food Rescue, which helps feed thousands of people around Pittsburgh.
Rich Askey, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, called Scales a “role model.”
âDee makes a huge difference in the lives of his students every day,â he said. âShe brings with her so much knowledge and dedication; this is the key to Dee’s success with the children. She also gives a lot back to her colleagues as she is a strong advocate for education support professionals.
Scales is President of the Western Division of Educational Support Professionals of the PSEA and sits on the organization’s racial justice and fairness working group, among other committee positions.