Position: Behavior Coach
School: JFK Elementary School
School District: Winooski School District
City, State: Winooski, VT
Music that Describes Amanda
Amanda Babcock was nominated by her colleague Savanna Bechard.
Mrs. Babcock has been working in education since 2005, and has been the Behavior Coach at JFK Elementary for the past three years. Since her arrival in Winooski, she has made a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of students and staff members. She is extremely dedicated to the students and staff. She is a professional educator who creates a positive environment for the school community.
JFK Elementary is located in Winooski, VT. It's considered a large elementary school in Vermont, with almost 400 students. It's located in the same building as the district's offices, as well as its middle and high schools. Around 80% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch. Additionally, Winooski is a national refugee resettlement city, resulting in over 20 languages spoken in the district. Fifty-eight percent of Winooski's 884 students are Black, Asian, Hispanic or Multiracial, making Winooski the only "minority-majority" district in overwhelmingly white Vermont. The net result of these numbers means that around 90% of the population has experienced developmental trauma.
This unique population creates a unique school and unique challenges. Mrs. Babcock has embraced these challenges and works every day to meet them. Many of her students require extra support throughout their day, so she implements behavior plans or incentives to help the students successfully navigate through their day.
Mrs. Babcock is a true leader in her school. She is the school PBIS coordinator and a member of the JFK Leadership team. She also attends PBIS Coordinator meetings and has been instrumental in getting the PBIS (Positive Behaviors and Interventions) system up and running. This has become one piece of the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, and she has had a hand in developing each of the tiers. The climate and cultural changes in the school since implementing PBiS and MTSS have been amazing. Her school is a positive, happy place, and the majority of students love coming to school.
While Mrs. Babcock works hard at school to support her staff and students, she also has a family and recently finished graduate school for her Administration Degree. She takes extra course work around the subject of trauma to learn how to better help her students. She does a wonderful job of balancing being a wife, the mother of two children, two step children, a “gram gram” of two little ones, and a fantastic employee and colleague. She uses her knowledge from the coursework in the building every day, often talking to her colleagues about things she learns and how they could use them to support the Winooski community.
"I have been in education for seven years. I have never had the privilege of working with someone as highly skilled, dedicated and kind-hearted as Amanda Babcock," said Bechard. "Each day, I continue to be amazed by her knowledge, intellect, and her commitment to our school. Amanda is a true LifeChanger, and she deserves this opportunity of a lifetime."