Retiring Parapro Says TK is Like Family

Moore officially retired today, but she has a strong feeling she will be back often as a substitute or finding other ways to help.

For the last 17 years she worked alongside teacher Miranda Baranek. “It’s going to be hard without her. She is amazing. She can put out fires before they have a chance to start and handle three tasks at once. She knows exactly what to do,” said Baranek. “She’s a hardworking, amazing person.”

Moore is a 1977 TK graduate and she has worked with hundreds of children during her years at TK as a special education paraprofessional and at the TK daycare. “It’s always felt like family here. It’s such a great place and I’ve loved working here,” she said.

It’s not a job she was necessarily looking for but one she says, “I just kind of fell into. It was a good fall. I started as a sub and then it turned into full time when my kids were in school. I’ve loved it ever since. It’s been the best job ever.”

She has worked in each of the schools in the district at some point. She has also worked at the TK daycare in the mornings and afternoons. The best part of her job, she said, are the snuggles, hugs and smiles she gets from the young students. She also enjoys watching them meet their milestones and celebrate their accomplishments.

Baranek said it is not a job everyone could handle. “You have to have a tremendous amount of patience, lots of love, and some stubbornness. It’s not an easy job,” she said, adding Moore has always done the job of two people with energy, patience and empathy.

The two joke that they are always able to lift each other up on those difficult days. “We’ve just worked so well together over the years. We don’t have to tell each other what we need, we just know. She’s become my right-hand person. It’s going to be different coming to school without her,” said Baranek.

Moore couldn’t hide her tears as she shared some of her memories. “It’s all happy tears,” she assured everyone.

In retirement she plans to spend more time with her three grandchildren, continue gardening, take walks and care for her two dogs. Other than that, she has no plans, but she’s sure she will be busy. “I’ll fall into something again,” she said.

Sarah Hammer, director of special education, said Moore will definitely be missed. “You made a difference. Not everybody can do this job. You will always have a home and a family here.”