Sofia Gugliotta<br/>2022 Exceptional Service Award Recipient

Sofia Gugliotta
2022 Exceptional Service Award Recipient

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

Sofia came barreling into our school over a year ago with a go-getter attitude and the most experience of any of our teachers. She had previously worked with, and continues to be dedicated to, deaf and hard of hearing students. Sofia is fluent in sign language, a skill she continues to use with our students.
She quickly demonstrated a commitment to and compassion for her students, but also stood out as a role model for our less-experienced teachers. Sofia mentored other teachers in the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) tests. That mentorship included a lot of teaching, modeling, and a fair amount of emotional support through a process that can be very intense for newer teachers.
She spent hours working through Central Reach both to be proficient for her own students’ programming and to help her colleagues learn to better navigate the system. 
Sofia has also volunteered to help other teachers prepare their first Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or quarterly. She volunteers to come in early or stay late to help her colleagues learn and keep up with the demands of the teacher tole. She also is an excellent model for our move to focus on increasing our students’ independence. 
Finally, Sofia has recently accepted the prestigious role of co-president of our Fun Committee. The group meets monthly to plan at minimum quarterly staff events and assist in planning fundraising events for the whole school. We had our first team-building activity under her tenure last month. She also has taken a lead role in a school-wide contest to identify a new mascot. Sofia has been an amazing addition to our team!

Nominated by ?Cara Phillips, Executive Director of May Center School, and the administrative team, Wilmington, Mass.

Quotes from her community:

“Sofia is a devoted teacher who knows how to adapt applied behavioral therapy principles to the individual needs of a student and family. – Teacher

“Over the several years that our son has worked with Sofia she has learned how to read him beautifully despite him being mostly non-verbal and frequently struggling with health issues. He can be mercurial with his moods, desperately wanting love and attention one minute then space the next. She has not only figured out how to read him but taught other teachers his signals and how best to get him to work despite his tricks. We know he is safe and loves Sofia and that we can reach out to her with concerns. – May Parent

“Sofia seems to understand that our family is loving, stressed and a bit goofy, plus much farther away from the school than other families, so our needs are very different than other families. This helps us to be more open in our communication and willing to brainstorm with the staff to solve problems for our son’s best interest.” – Ruthanne and Mike Shanzer, May Parents

“Sofia’s devotion to her students along with all other students in the school is something that is unmatched. She makes an effort to learn every student's name, the things they like, and to build a positive relationship with them. She has a unique way of adapting all lessons to match each of her student’s individual needs and interests. She presumes competence when interacting with any individual with special needs. There couldn't be a better advocate for students/individuals with special needs. Her work ethic, and willingness to help all other staff is commendable." – Teacher
"Sofia is not only a great colleague, but an incredible colleague. She is a constant ray of sunshine. She is goofy, and fun, and it is difficult not to smile or laugh around her. She brings a positive attitude even in very difficult and tiring situations. She inspires others, including myself, to be optimistic and to be the best educator/advocate we can be.” – Chrissy Sheehy, Counselor 

See all of the pictures from the event on our Flickr album!


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