Cathy Dion has been a paraeducator at Flynn Elementary School in Burlington School District for 23 years. In addition to being a paraeducator, she spent a few years working in the after school program at Flynn Elementary School.
Cathy will be missed by staff, parents and students. She kept her calm and never gave up on students. She innovated, she educated, she advocated, she communicated and above all she cared for all of us.
…persevere and … use every ounce of compassionate patience that you have. Be you, do what you do.Cathy Dion
Words from Cathy:
What I am proudest of: My happiest moments being a paraeducator at Flynn are when I see kids I had years ago and they recognize me and I get a hug. My long-lasting happiness is just the time with kids. I live in the neighborhood near Flynn so I see kids a lot, which I really enjoy.
What I will miss: The people, coworkers, Flynn family, my friends. They’ve ridden the waves of my ups and downs. They’ve been caring, compassionate, concerned.
Advice to pass on: I think probably it would be to persevere and to use every ounce of compassionate patience that you have. Some days are really wearing, others are wonderful – interacting with kids and making progress. Be you, do what you do.
Future plans: Hopefully, with the passing of the pandemic, I will get to do some traveling. I have sisters and friends living out of state and I’d like to travel to see them. I’m hoping to move part-time to Texas where my son lives. My long-term goal is I want to go to Greece, to see the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean.
Words from Colleagues:
“It has been such a privilege working with Cathy over these years! For several years I worked directly with Cathy in our classroom, and observed and participated in her direct work with children that made their educations more rich and holistic, and which influenced their lives in positive, thoughtful ways. Cathy always strove to hold students (and their parents, and their teachers) accountable for their work, and urged us and taught us how to treat others in respectful and patient ways. No matter the challenges faced by the student, and the behaviors exhibited, Cathy is always ready to try new techniques, implement new plans, dust off old ones, urge, encourage, cajole, persuade and incentivize. She is relentless in her commitment to learning, tireless in her care for children, and is a fearless advocate for what is right for the children in our care. We have been blessed by her work and service with us at Flynn!” Love, Keith
“Cathy – Your dedication, knowledge, reliability and experience will all be missed. Good luck on your new journey!” Donna Moody
“I met Cathy about 8 years ago when we both were paraeducators at Flynn. She was kind and friendly right from the start. I always enjoyed sharing stories and laughing with her. Cathy makes it a point to connect with her co-workers which I valued in our hectic non stop schedule. Cathy is frank and honest, even with the difficult conversations and she is not afraid to tell you how she really feels. Cathy was often a conduit between students and teachers, letting us know things that had transpired that we may have missed. I know Cathy has deep care and love for our students at Flynn and have witnessed her connect with so many of our students over the years. She is truly going to be missed by both the staff and the students. Good luck with your next adventure! You deserve every minute of it!” Courtney Asaro
“Dear Cathy, You are such an incredible person and the Flynn community has been so lucky to have you for all these years! Academically, you are amazing with the children, but more importantly, you are constantly supportive, kind and someone to whom children can turn to for advice. I cannot thank you enough for everything you did for me this year! It was so fun working and laughing with you and I’m very disappointed that we didn’t get the entire school year together. Enjoy your retirement; you truly deserve to rest in the sun! Sending you lots of love!” Tania Campanelli
“Cathy has touched the lives of many students and families over the years. She has been a pillar of strength in our Flynn community and a friendly face every morning in the cafeteria at breakfast, encouraging many through their day. Cathy has shared her knowledge and strengths across all of the grade levels, helping countless numbers of students achieve their best during their elementary school years, giving them the courage to continue to grow and learn in middle school and beyond. She has earned our respect and extreme gratitude for all that she has done. Cathy will truly be missed.” Susan Held
“Flynn could not ask for a more dedicated para to teach our children. She has been a role model for so many, and truly cares about our Flynn family! Wishing health and happiness in retirement Cathy!” Susan Bradshaw
“If ever I needed help with anything or just a sounding board she was there to listen and offer her opinion. Cathy is one of the people who I would actually shed a sigh of relief when I found out she would be taking over my kids, that I had worked so hard with, over into the upper grades.” Valerie Deeb
“My mornings next year will start a little lonelier, a little less up-to-date about what’s hot on Facebook, and a lot less entertaining. I just loved my before-breakfast-duty chats whether we covered our country’s leader’s latest ridiculous antics or the upstairs neighbors’ latest ridiculous late-night noisemaking. I hope your replacement has this “librarian companion” in their job description! I have so enjoyed your company, Cathy. Be well, friend.” Yours, Amy
“Over the last eight years I have had the opportunity to work with Cathy during both the school day and during afterschool. During that time, I have always admired her unwavering consistency- both with staff and students- which allowed her to gain each person’s full confidence and respect. While always a strong and often strict presence, she also shows such care and dedication in every moment of her work and truly lets each person know how much she cares about them being the best they can be. She will be so incredibly missed in our school community and, I know for many including me, our personal lives as well.” Mandi Harris