Ruth Brueland

The Walker-Hackensack-Akeley School Board meeting March 11 began with a nice success story for a long-time paraprofessional.

Ruth Brueland was picked as Sourcewell’s Paraprofessional Educator of Excellence. Brueland was WHA’s nominee and was chosen from among those nominated by 23 school districts in Region 5. She will be honored May 8 at the Educators of Excellence Awards Banquet.

Brueland will be retiring May 31 after more than 30 years of service at WHA. “I would never have thought when I started at WHA 35 years ago that I’d still be here,” she said. “I have seen a lot of changes over the years, some of which have really helped the paraprofessionals.”

Brueland is referring to the High Reliability Schools, which is a program that was implemented a few years ago, and she said really helps connect the students to the teachers and the paraprofessionals.

Other programs that she helped run include a Kinship mentoring program that paralleled Big-Brothers Big-Sisters of America and an after school child care program to help the kids that had the need.

Brueland said she is looking forward to spending more time at home with her husband and having more quality time with her three grandchildren.

Hers has been a story of nurturing and encouraging the generations. She said that she was now getting the children of some of her students from the past and she still felt the connections.

“A part of my heart will remain with my co-workers and the kids,” said Brueland. “Because this hasn’t just been my career, it  has been my joy.”

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