Looking back, it’s difficult to imagine a different course for either of them after their paths converged at Burton Glen many years ago.
“As time went on, I believe that not only did I choose to be a paraprofessional as my career path, but it chose me,” Dimond said. “I truly believe that every child has the right and deserves a safe, loving, caring, and the best education possible.”
Dimond was employed at a neighboring school for nine years before coming to Burton Glen. Benefits caught her eye but were not being offered for paraprofessionals at the time. Boatright started at Burton Glen in food service before becoming a paraprofessional.
Cindy Dimond says promoting reading skills has been one of her greatest joys of teaching.
They both have connected with so many students over the years, teaching ranging from novice to advanced concepts of reading and forming relationships in and out of the classroom during extracurricular activities. As they go from class to class, the sheer number of familiar faces grows each day and reflects their reach.
“If I had a flower for every book that I purchased for our students to take home to have something to read at home, I would have fields and fields of flowers,” Dimond said. “I truly believe that where I am at as a career has been my calling. It is true that it takes a village to raise a child. Every child has the potential and has every right to the opportunity.”
Boatright’s three children have attended Burton Glen, which outperforms the local district in all subjects. Even after they have moved on from the school, they still yearn for a connection to the place that shaped them during their formative years.
“My kids always want to come back to visit at the end of the year if they have a day off to say hi to everyone,” she said. “They still have friends here.”
In addition to working at Burton Glen, Jamie Boatright’s three children have attended the school.
Dimond pointed to the students and her co-workers, including her intervention coach Tom Smith, as reasons why she keeps coming back to Burton Glen every year. Boatright said the staff’s shared mission makes her responsibilities feel like anything other than a job.
“I just think of it as something I love to do and don’t think ‘Oh, I don't really have regret coming here,’” Boatright said. “Everyone at the school is very helpful. With their guidance, they make you have a good day every day.”
Both Boatright and Dimond are thankful to have worked closely with each other for so many years and value the care and compassion they bring each day to Burton Glen.
“I love working with her, she's very caring and she's very supportive as well,” Boatright said. “If she needs something for me, I'm there for her. If I need something for her, she's there for me.”
Keep up the excellent work, Ms. Boatright and Ms. Dimond!
Check out a school near you!
Burton Glen Charter Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Burton, Michigan, serving students in Young 5s through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes 99 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit nhaschools.com.