Paraprofessional Mrs. Rawaa Kareem wins Sparkle Award

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Photo courtesy of Mrs. Rawaa Kareem

Ninotchka Valdez, Editor-in-Chief

Rochester Community Schools hosts the Sparkle Awards every year to recognize exemplary employees who work with students with special needs. The award is presented by the school’s Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) during the annual appreciation evening.

Nominations can be submitted by students, parents and other staff members, and all nominees are recognized. However, one special recognition is awarded to one person per category which consist of early childhood special, education, lower elementary, upper elementary, middle school, high school, post high-school district and cross district.

Parapro Mrs. Rawaa Kareem discusses her initial reaction after, not only being nominated for the award for the first time, but also winning the overall award.

I was surprised and very happy,” Mrs. Kareem said. “It is such a big honor for me to have it.”

Special education teacher consultant Mrs. Lorna Adams highlighted the characteristics that lead to Mrs. Kareem winning the Sparkle Award.

Ms. Kareem goes above and beyond her job description when working with students,” Mrs. Adams said. “She is kind and compassionate. She has great expectations for the student, and guides them in the direction they need to go, supporting them all the way.”

Mrs. Kareem also spoke out on the effect the award has on those working with special education students.

“The award is to recognize the hard working people who really care about their students,” Mrs. Kareem said. “The nomination comes from students and their families; it is always great to feel that you are appreciated for what you do and worked really hard for it.”

The evening of appreciation was an overall success.

“The Sparkle Award’s ceremony is a well-attended, amazingly heart-felt evening for both those who nominated someone, and for the award winners,” Mrs. Adams said.