Successories: Teachers, staff honored for supporting students

Collage of five school employees with B-P logo on the left
Presenting the third quarter Successories winners: From the left are fifth grade teacher Jim Paquin of the IS, social worker Lauren O’Donnell of TLC, third grade teacher Mary LaPort of the IS, mental health counselor Julie Lapham of the MS and physical education teacher Rob Klug of the HS.

IS teacher Jim Paquin wins the day off

Gift cards to be awarded to Lauren O’Donnell (TLC), Mary LaPort (IS), Julie Lapham (MS) & Rob Klug (HS)

We’re proud to announce the 3rd Quarter Successories winners! Congratulations to all of this quarter’s winners and nominees! Don’t forget, all nominees are entered into a drawing in June, and could be the grand prize winner of a $100 gift certificate.

Parent to Jim Paquin: ‘Thank you for being the type of teacher that every parents dreams that their child will have’

1,000 paper cranes
fifth grade teacher
Jim Paquin

Jim Paquin has been a teacher at Broadalbin-Perth for 21 years, and has taught grades three through six. Paquin received two heartfelt Successories nominations this quarter from parents who recognized how greatly their children benefited from his advocacy and personal connection with them. Paquin went as far to change his teaching assignment from fourth grade last year to fifth grade this year so he could continue working with a student as she grapples with a serious medical condition.

“Mr. Paquin has been a vital part of our daughter’s school voice,” the first nomination says. “He has become a voice of reason, a voice of encouragement. He knows how hard she can push herself and knows exactly when she should just try again tomorrow. He has offered to be a part of not only her academic success two years in a row, but to be a vital part of her health care team, too. He has gone above and beyond the call and duty of a teacher, even going as far as offering to learn to help with her medications to make things easier on her parents. Thank you Mr. Paquin for being a voice of hope, reason and most importantly our daughter’s success during the last two years.”

When talking about his connection to this student, Paquin could not contain his emotion. 

“Talk about perseverance and courage,” he said. “She just breaks my heart. She wants to be at school so I do everything I can to keep her here. I do anything I can to make her comfortable and not worry.”

Paquin said the student does origami as part of her physical therapy during her treatment. An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by the gods.

“She’s working toward making a thousand paper cranes so she can be granted her wish,” Paquin said. “It’s her way of dealing with what she’s going through. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to keep her as my student so I moved to fifth grade with her.”

Learning from mistakes

Paquin’s second nomination was submitted by a parent of a child who looks to Jim as a role model. 

“Thank you, Jim, for understanding my son,” the nomination said. “Our son knows that no matter what, he can talk to you about anything whether it be big or small. Our son knows that when he goes to school, he always has someone in his corner. To a parent, that means everything and more. Thank you for being the type of teacher that every parents dreams that their child will have.”

Paquin said this particular student recently made a mistake, and Paquin remembered how nervous the student was about disappointing him. 

“We talked about how he could learn and grow from the situation,” Paquin said. “This student was looking for a positive role model, and I guess he found it in me. There have been many connections like this that I’ve had with students over the years. It reminds me that as a teacher, I do have an impact, and it reminds me that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”

Lauren O’Donnell (TLC)

elementary school social worker
Lauren O’Donnell

Lauren O’Donnell has been a primary-level school social worker at B-P for the past 11 years. Some of O’Donnell’s responsibilities include ensuring that the students with whom she works have a seamless transition between second and third grade as they change campuses. O’Donnell received a Successory nomination from a parent who showed appreciation for that work. 

“Lauren goes above and beyond to help and care for the well-being of our son,” the nomination says. “She helps him and guides him to build strength in his struggles. She has shown SO much love and care helping us make the right decisions to prepare our son for third-grade and a new school. Words cannot describe how much we appreciate Lauren!”

“I was very moved that a parent took the time out of her busy schedule to make that effort on my behalf,” O’Donnell said. “My priority is always the students, but a significant part of my job is supporting parents to make them feel more confident and capable.”

Mary LaPort (IS)

third grade teacher
Mary LaPort

Mary LaPort has been a teacher at the intermediate school for the past 19 years. She has been a classroom teacher for grades four through six as well as an AIS teacher. LaPort was nominated by a parent with whom Mary has worked closely in order to help a student overcome academic struggles. This was LaPort’s first Successory nomination and she was honored to receive one. 

“Thank you for going above and beyond for my child,” the nomination says. “She makes sure that my daughter has the tools that are needed. Thank you for making me feel as though I have support and you have my child’s back!”

“I was touched when I received the nomination because we all work hard to support our kids,” LaPort said. “This is something we do on a daily basis and it’s not outside of the realm of scope or sequence in this job. We all work hard every day and each one of our students receives support from multiple people who work just as hard as I do.”

Julie Lapham (MS)

middle school mental health counselor
Julie Lapham

Julie Lapham is the district’s new mental health counselor. She started this year — in case you missed it, watch her in our “Meet a Teacher” series Lapham’s nomination helps illustrate how B-P students are benefiting from having mental health support and resources in a school setting. 

“Thank you for all the extra time and encouragement you give our boy on a daily basis,” the nomination says. “Thank you for going above and beyond to help him see that he is worthy and liked. You have been more supportive than you could ever know! Thank you!”

Lapham said she was honored to receive a nomination, especially because she is new to the B-P community.

“Often times in this line of work, the focus is on the difficulties someone might be having, so hearing what this family had shared was really refreshing and made me feel like I am making an impact,” Lapham said. “It’s been about strengthening relationships and showing this student he is capable, and worth it, and giving him what he needed to believe in himself.”

Rob Klug (HS)

high school PE teacher
Rob Klug

Rob Klug is a high school physical education teacher and soccer coach. He has worked at B-P since 2005. His wife Stephanie is a kindergarten teacher at TLC. Klug was nominated by the parent of a student who might have been selling herself short of opportunities after high school. 

“Mr. Klug went above and beyond his job as a physical education teacher and soccer coach,” the nomination says. “Our daughter was content with going to the local community college and Mr. Klug pushed her outside of her comfort zone and made her realize she had several other college opportunities rather than just one. With his help, she had several soccer coaches reach out to her to arrange college visits. She ended up getting a scholarship from the college that she had only dreamed about and will be playing soccer at Sage in the fall. We cannot thank Mr. Klug enough for pushing our daughter to take a chance.”

“I’m grateful to be nominated, but I don’t think I deserve the credit. The students are the ones who push themselves and play the game — I just guide them,” Klug said. “Sometimes kids sell themselves short and they have more to give. I saw a hardworking kid who had lots of potential, so I worked with her to get that out of her.”