Last week, we announced teacher assistants of the year in each school in the district. Now we are pleased to announce our district-wide teacher assistant of the year, Belinda Donald.

Belinda has been a teacher assistant in the Secret City Academy for 6 years. She serves as a behavioral interventionist, conducting Life Space interviews with students. Each interview connects feelings to actions, summarizes the chronology of incidents, and identifies alternative approaches that would have produced better results. Belinda continually supports and communicates with teachers and parents about how to make progress with students. Her additional duties during school meal times give her opportunities to continue conversations with students, developing relationships that foster further support in the classrooms. Just before students return to class from their meals, they spend some time being quiet. Belinda notes that this small climate change has resulted in a reduction of the number of classroom discipline referrals after lunch.

In addition to this recognition from the Oak Ridge Schools, Belinda received a certificate of excellence for work with autistic students from Green Tree School in 2002. She is a foster parent, a youth program volunteer in her church, and participates in the delivery of holiday meals to other families in our community.

Congratulations, Belinda Donald!