Magee Stapley, a paraeducator at Morgan Middle School, has been awarded the Utah Outstanding Paraeducator Award in the secondary resource category. The award will be presented at the Utah Paraeducator Conference in Provo Nov. 8 to 9.
“She is outstanding. I am very excited for her,” said Steve Wood, special education director for Morgan School District. “She is my right arm and then some.”
For the past six years, Stapley has run a study hall and study skills program, helping many struggling students succeed. A paraeducator is a paid school employee whose position is either instructional in nature, or who provides other direct services to students and their families.
“She is able to pull the most troubled students out of their shells and find ways for them to develop self-confidence and shine within the structures of the school,” Wood said in a letter of recognition to the selection committee. “She is definitely a leader in advocating for the needs of students by being an expert in accommodations and modifications of curriculum and assignments. She teaches students skills for their long-term well-being as students, but more importantly as members of our community. She helps them feel needed and important.”
Particularly inspiring is that Stapley has been pursuing a degree in special education at Weber State University while working for the Morgan School District.
“Maggee is a quality person with volumes to offer those around her,” Wood said. “She is family oriented with an excellent family. She is community oriented with church and community responsibilities.”
“I have always appreciated her willingness to serve not only students with disabilities, but her ability to include the traditional students in her endeavors for all students’ academic success,” said Terry Allen, Morgan Middle School principal, in a letter of recommendation. “There are students that I can honestly say would have fallen between the cracks if it were not for her.”
Allen says Stapley’s influence is felt beyond the classroom.
“Maggee’s students, with her help are developing skills not only in the classroom but in life as well. I have seen these students’ countenance change as they have realized that they are loved and cared for no matter what the circumstance,” Allen said. “I have witnessed students who others had given up on come alive as Maggee has helped them to discover that they can be successful.”