MPS 2023-2024 Teacher and Paraeducator of the Year

Teacher of the Year: Rene Chin

Rene has been teaching for 13 years and currently works as a second grade teacher at Ryerson Elementary School. Seen as a leader among her peers, Rene has presented at numerous workshops and helped lead the learning on Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month for the whole school. Inside her classroom, her students – “Chin Champions” – learn to persevere through challenges, take risks, and fully engage with their learning. Principal Kelly Spooner said, “Rene evokes curiosity, confidence and academic drive within every young child under her care. To be in Rene’s presence is to understand how talented and remarkable she is as an educator.”

Dr. Cooke, Rene Chen, Gail Dahling-Hench, Liz Battaglia, Kelly Spooner

Para of the Year: Kathleen Durkin

Kathleen has worked at Ryerson Elementary School as a special assignment paraeducator and now as a Registered Behavior Technician for the last eight years. She is known for her positive attitude, compassion, and dedication. Kathleen works with some of the most challenging students in the school and works tirelessly to build positive relationships with those students. Her colleagues regularly praise her work ethic and her efforts to support and encourage staff members and students alike. In addition to her para assignment, Kathleen volunteers as a member of the KHR Unified Sports team and serves on the Sunshine Committee.   

kelly Spooner, Kathleen Durkin, gail Dahling-Hench, Liz Battaglia, Dr. Cooke