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District News - December 6, 2023

Magnolia Middle School Paraprofessional

Named Delaware’s 2024

Educational Support Professionals of the Year



Camden, DEAt a ceremony on Tuesday evening, December 5, Magnolia Middle School Paraprofessional Sinead Ronan was named the 2024 Educational Support Professional of the Year (ESPOY) by the Delaware Department of Education.  Ms. Ronan has 11 years of professional experience, and she came to the United States 16 years ago from Ireland.   


As a district ESPOY winner Sinead received a $2,000 personal grant.  As the state winner she will receives an additional $3,000 personal grant from DDOE as well as $5,000 honorarium to be used for the educational benefit of her students.


Dr. Corey Miklus stated, “The Caesar Rodney School District is proud of Sinead Ronan for being named Delaware’s Educational Support Professional of the Year. She is collaborative, creative, and approaches her work at Magnolia Middle School with a growth mindset. Her goal is to make learning an extraordinary experience for students, staff, and families. We are so proud to call her a Rider!”

DDOE honored 20 different educational support professionals from district and charter schools for their outstanding work supporting their students and school communities.

“Educational support professionals’ roles vary greatly. They provide one-on-one support to students in the classroom. They safely transport children to and from school. They keep our buildings clean and safe. They provide nutritious meals so our children have the focus and energy to learn. They keep our offices running. They support the technological needs of classrooms, and so much more. Their work often is behind the scenes and rarely do these employees get recognized for how important they are to the success of our schools,” Secretary of Education Mark Holodick said. “Each of these employees and the many colleagues they represent across our state deserve our gratitude. I’m honored to be able to recognize all of the educational support professionals for their outstanding contributions.”

As the 2024 state winner, Ms. Ronan will take over the title from 2023 Delaware Educational Support Professional of the Year Heather Hitchens, a paraprofessional at Lake Forest Central Elementary School in the Lake Forest School District.

Now in its fourth year, the Delaware ESPOY program recognizes outstanding service by school employees who provide direct or indirect services to students and their families. The Delaware Charter School Network also is invited to participate. Employees considered for the award include:

  • Paraprofessionals
  • Custodial staff
  • Secretaries
  • Nutritional staff
  • Information technology staff
  • School- and district-employed bus drivers
  • School- and district-employed bus aides