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This Detroit Merit Para Brings the Energy

Fifteen years into her career, this fourth-grade paraprofessional at Detroit Merit Charter Academy (DMA) still loves her role as a para. Felicia Tate started her journey at DMA when the school opened and has since had the pleasure of working with most grades.

“Mrs. Tate is a wonderful person and a fantastic educator,” said Kristin Doyle, dean of upper elementary at DMA. “She is an excellent teammate who adapts well to any grade level. She maximizes student growth by making learning fun while reaching students where they are in order to push them ahead. Her energy and positivity are infectious. Kids know they can look to her for a warm smile and a caring heart.”

Mrs. Tate loves her job because of the opportunity to work with students in small groups. She loves tailoring lessons for her students and believes being a para gives her the chance to get to know her students, who are her source of motivation. “I love coming in each day to see that they’re excited to learn new skills in a fun way. I always come to work with energy and a smile,” Mrs. Tate explained.

She uses her energy to engage her students by playing games and holding mini competitions that incorporate ELA and math skills. She even does a token reward system that allows her students to win incentives. These are just a couple of reasons why Mrs. Tate is well-known in her school.

The impact she has on her school community has not gone unnoticed – she was an Excellence in Teaching Finalist in 2019, an award given by National Heritage Academies (NHA) that recognizes high-performing educators who are identified through various indicators such as personal performance, student growth, and parent satisfaction.

“I was very excited,” said Mrs. Tate. “It felt good to know that my hard work was recognized not only by my colleagues, but also by the students who were cheering when my name was announced.”

Keep up the excellent work, Mrs. Tate!