Parents recognize staff for going ‘above and beyond’

May 23, 2023

Three Dartmouth High School students and 21 Dartmouth schools staff members were nominated to be recognized for their relationship with students who have disabilities.

Individuals were recognized by the Dartmouth Special Education Parent Advisory Council on May 16.

People who were recognized went “above and beyond through friendship, kindness, and acts of leadership for students with disabilities,” said Kathleen Amaral, who is chair of the council.

Nominations were submitted by parents of impacted students. Of the 24 nominees some were nominated multiple times.

Lindsay Vafides, a special education teacher at Quinn Elementary School, was nominated three times.

One parent said Vafides “provided exceptional care for [their child] during the first two years of school, which included the start of the pandemic, and was pivotal in his flourishing in his environment.”

Another teacher nominated by more than one parent is Lindsay Ribbing who works at Cushman Elementary School.

One parent said, “She goes above and beyond, and to know she has a newborn baby at home but still attends school every day with so much enthusiasm makes me admire her even more. You are a superstar, Mrs. Ribbing! Most importantly, my child absolutely loves her.”

Of the other teachers nominated, many parents appreciated the support and patients they gave to their child. Many parents cited times during the pandemic when the staff was still able to make an impact on their child.

All three of the students nominated were involved in unified sports in the high school.

Evan Moniz’s nomination said that he “makes an extra effort to ensure that students have every opportunity to be included.”

Piper Harrison and Jillian Hughes’s nominations lauded their commitments to advocating for their friends on the unified track team and being role models for all involved.

The other nominees were Peter Bangs, Sandy Fernandes, Melissa Fitzgerald, Sherri Houle, Kristen Johnson, Ashley Kocur-Pierpont, Jessica Lassey, Rachel Lassey, Maryann Sorensen, Mellissa Sullivan, Paula Lauzon, Michael Cappello, Kim Carreiro, Ashley Couture-Raposo, Lindsay Perry, Tricia Weaver, Melissa McHenry, Heather Noyes-Fredette and Elizabeth de Barros.