NEW ULM - Deanne Pizel, a paraprofessional at Washington Elementary School, caps her career in District 88 with a special recognition.
On the brink of retirement, she was elected District 88 Support Person of the Year for 2012.
"For that, I am very honored and humbled," says Pizel.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Deanne Pizel is retiring as a District 88 paraprofessional after 31 years on the job.
"Deanne goes above and beyond to help students and staff at Washington Elementary School," said Joyce Resoft, LD teacher at Washington Elementary, who works with Pizel.
"Substitute teachers have shared that she is very helpful when I am gone. Students enjoy working with her. Deanne says 'yes' to every request with a smile on her face. She has touched many, many lives during her employment in District 88."
Pizel grew up on a farm outside Hanska. She attended a one-room country school across from Lake Hanska Lutheran Church until sixth grade; after that she continued on to Hanska elementary school and high school.
She got her start in the field of education when the then-principal called her and asked her if she would like to be the Title I person for Hanska Elementary School, she recalls. She jumped at the chance.
Pizel was at Hanska Elementary for 16 years; then, when Hanska became a charter school, she transferred to New Ulm. She started at Jefferson and eventually moved to Washington. She has been with District 88 for a total 31 years.
Her favorite subjects are reading and language, and her favorite age range of students is grades four through six.
Pizel said she never considered a career change.
"When my children were in school I had the perfect hours - I was working when they were in school and home when they were - and I truly enjoy children."
Pizel says her favorite part of her career is "seeing the advancement of students and the interaction that takes place."
She likes "being able to be one on one with the students and getting to know their personalities," she says.
Her retirement plans are to travel with her family and friends, visit distant family, stay up late, take chances and sleep in."