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home : education : schools August 22, 2017

6/24/2014 11:01:00 AM
Moyer served students for 28 years
Donna Moyer remains an Outlaw. photo by Jim Cornelius
+ click to enlarge
Donna Moyer remains an Outlaw. photo by Jim Cornelius

By Jim Cornelius
News Editor

All kinds of students have trouble with their lessons now and then. For 28 years, Donna Moyer helped those students learn as a paraprofessional.

"A paraprofessional is a Teacher's Assistant," Moyer said. "Just a fancy name."

She worked K-12 in all subjects, focused mainly on math at Sisters High School.

Moyer retired as this school year ended.

"I loved working with the students," she said. "Each and every one of them are unique. We all learn differently. I just took each one as a person and never compared."

The most challenging situations were also the most gratifying.

"I've taught kids in high school that couldn't even read and got them up to a fourth-grade level," she said.

Relationships with teachers were as important to Moyer as those with the kids.

"Yesterday (Thursday) was such an emotional day for me," she said. "I've worked with some of those teachers for 20 years and we're family."

Teachers understood that Moyer knew their processes and trusted her in her work - a trust Moyer valued.

Sisters School District is feeling budget pressures, and parapros face the budget ax, but Moyer said that wasn't her impetus to retire.

"I would have been the last to be cut," said the 67-year-old.

She wants to spend more time with her grandchildren.

By the same token, she's not entirely abandoning her profession or the kids who have depended upon her.

"School is getting harder," she said. "Kids want to give up. Our IEP (Individual Education Plan) kids are going to struggle. And if they keep cutting parapros, they're not going to have the help."

So those kids will likely still see Donna Moyer in the classroom.

"I feel I'm needed out there," she said. "So I'm going to volunteer a lot - especially in the math department."

She'll also do some tutoring and she and her husband Dave will continue to volunteer at Outlaws sports events.

Because, she says, "always, I'm here for the kids."

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