Ciara Shaughnessy<br/ >2019 Exceptional Service Award Recipient

Ciara Shaughnessy
2019 Exceptional Service Award Recipient

May Center School for Autism and Developmental Disabilities
Wilmington, Mass.

[Read press release here.]

Ciara joined the May Center School in Wilmington as an Assistant Teacher in 2016. She moved into the teacher role on July 1, 2018. Ciara has always stood out for her work ethic, intelligence, and impressive organizational skills.

She has nearly completed her graduate training in Special Education, and is already an excellent teacher. Ciara’s classroom is incredibly well-maintained and her paperwork is top notch. Most importantly, her students are engaged, happy, and achieving their goals. The students in Ciara’s classroom have the lowest rates of problem behavior in our entire school. This is in large part due to Ciara’s classroom management skills. She is genuinely committed to the success of every student in her classroom, treating each with dignity and respect.

Although that alone might be sufficient to engender a nomination for this award, I am nominating Ciara for her efforts in training the staff and interns who are assigned to her classroom. Ciara is one of our best trainers. She leads by example, demonstrating appropriate and positive interactions with the students while keeping them on task in their learning environment. Ciara also takes the time to explain the rationale for procedures, and to allow the staff to develop fundamental skills and then gradually build on those skills. Staff retention is always an issue when working with individuals with problem behavior. However, we have better than average retention for staff working under Ciara’s supervision. In addition, in the past year, Ciara has trained multiple interns. Each of those individuals has expressed interest in returning to work here full-time once she graduates. I firmly believe that is a product of Ciara’s mentoring. She is an asset to our school, and deserving of recognition.

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