ASD’s Classified Employee of the Year: Kelly Schaper

ASD employee of the year, Kelly Schaper, Jeff Grose, school board, Pathways Program, Rainier Middle School,
Courtesy Photo: ASD

The Auburn School District Board of Directors have selected who they will be honored as Classified Employees of the year.  Jeff Grose and Kelly Schaper will be officially recognized at the March 12, 2018, school board meeting.  Grose is the Executive Director of Capital Projects, working in the ASD administrative offices.  Schaper works as a one-on-one para-educator in the Pathways program

The Pathways Program is for students with emotional, social and behavioral needs.  There is one central school at each level designated for students who qualify for the Pathways program.   Lea Hill Elementary houses the elementary program, Rainier Middle School(RMS) the middle school program, and Auburn Mountainview the high school program.  Schaper works at RMS, with 2 certificated teachers and three other para-educators.

Schaper began working in the ASD in 2006 as a one-on-one para-educator.  Being successful in her role, she was selected to join the Pathways program when the decision was made to house the program at RMS.  “I love every minute I spend working with my “special” needs students because that is exactly what they are, special kids with needs,” said Schaper. “I want to be a bright spot in every student’s day.”

In her role, Schaper helps coordinate services for 10 students, two teachers, and the four para-educators. She works with families to help the counselors provide after-school activities, wraparound counseling services, weekend meals and solicits donations from community sponsors for holiday gifts for Pathways students’ families.  According to teacher Kat Sherer, “Kelly is the glue that holds the Pathways program together.” 

“Kelly is the glue that holds the Pathways program together.” 

Beyond her work with students in the classroom, Schaper also assists with student supervision for events such as parent-teacher nights, back-to-school days and sporting activities.

Working one-on-one with the students is Schaper’s favorite part of her job.  “Seeing them accomplish goals that they may not have been able to achieve in the past or learning skills/strategies to get them through the day is very rewarding.”

Schaper also shared insight into the students she worked with, and the importance of her role, “A lot of the students I work with have had serious traumas in their lives so it is important to build trust with them so that they know they have a safe place to go and a caring person to help them through the rough times.”

12th man, Rainier Middle School, Schaper, ASD
Rainier Middle School shows their Seahawk spirit | Courtesy Photo

In ASD, Schaper is the only classified staff member who serves as a district Right Response instructor.  Right Response is ASD’s approved restraint and de-escalation program.  The Right Response program is important as it teaches staff a means to safely and effectively deescalate students.  When utilized properly, it keeps all students and staff safe during an escalation.

Schaper grew up in Auburn, attending all Auburn schools.  She received her AA from Green River Community College, with a focus on child development and education.  With a daughter in San Antonio and a son in Tampa, who plays for the Tampa Bay Rays, Schaper enjoys traveling.  When home, she relaxes with a good book and proudly wears her Seahawks jersey on blue Fridays.

Next Up: ASD’s Employee of the year, Jeff Grose

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