LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Angela Dedeaux

Position: Tier 3 Tutor/Paraprofessional
School: Poplarville Upper Elementary School
School District: Poplarville School District
City, State: Poplarville, MS

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Angela Dedeaux's would like to remain anonymous.

Mrs. Dedeaux began working as an assistant teacher because she wanted to make a difference.  As the mother of three boys, two of whom struggled through school, Mrs. Dedeaux has a heart and a soft spot for children who have challenges with learning. Because of her personal story, she is extremely sensitive to the needs of struggling learners.  She is able to provide nurture and patience to frustrated students because she has lived it.  So many of these students do not get the type of support in their own homes that Mrs. Dedeaux's own children were blessed to have. In her classroom, however, she pushes these students to do their best with patience and prodding.  She is stern and won't accept their excuses, but the students perform for her because they know she loves and supports them.

As a reading and math tutor for 36 students, Mrs. Dedeaux works diligently every day to make a beneficial difference in the lives of students.  She is diligent in ensuring students get exactly what they need to fill the gaps in their learning. It doesn't matter if it means working on multiple skills with multiple students at the same time - she makes it happen with the skill of a master teacher.  

Even though her schedule is jam-packed, Mrs. Dedeaux finds the time for what is important.  Her daily schedule is laid out in 17 minute increments that she does not deviate from. She still finds the time, however, to promote reading in her classroom and devotes time each day to learning multiplication facts.  She knows both of these skills are imperative to be a successful student, so they are a focus each day.  Students work hard to meet her goals, and she rewards them for it.  Students who were previously struggling in their math classes are now succeeding because Mrs. Dedeaux took the time to ensure they knew this important skill!

Reading classes award "book bucks" to students who read a book and complete a book report form.  When Mrs. Dedeaux found out in October that students could earn these bucks, she began questioning her students to see if they had been reading and completing forms.  Sadly, none of them had. She explained to them how it worked and found books that the students could ready easily.  Within days, most had earned multiple bucks. On the day Mrs. Dedeaux's nomination was submitted, one of her third graders got out of the car, reports in hand, because he was excited and proud to show her what he had done!

The students Mrs. Dedeaux pulls and works with are with her because they struggle. She works with them in small groups because the data shows they're performing at a lower level than their peers. These are the students who often just don't get it and who struggle immensely in class. In the time she has had them, their confidence has soared. Many of them are succeeding for the first time in their school career.

"I think she would do anything within her power to help a student learn," said her nominator. "She uses rewards, incentives, field trips -whatever she thinks will motivate the students to get them to work for her.  And boy, do they!  For most of them, the prizes are just an extra.  They work with Mrs. Dedeaux, plain and simple."

In addition to her daily tutoring, Mrs. Dedeaux is an instrumental part of the Christmas Blessings Program.  Her church adopts a handful of needy students each year to buy Christmas gifts for.  Over the years, this has grown to be a community-wide event, which she is a key part of.  Each year, Mrs. Dedeaux spends hours shopping (often on Black Friday) to get the most for her dollar to provide a good Christmas for students who might not otherwise get anything. This is a huge undertaking that requires hours of planning and preparation!

Mrs. Dedeaux often gives her own time to the school. She recently spent a weekend buying mums and planting them in the planters in front of the school because they have an awards ceremony coming up, and she wanted the school to look nice.

Mrs. Dedeaux was recently named Employee of the Month.  Teachers and other staff were asked to provide reasons why they thought she deserved this honor.  These are some of their reasons:

"Angela Dedeaux deserves to be Employee of the Month because she is always working hard with students to help them succeed. She is a positive member of our team and is a great person to work with and be around. So thankful for all she does to contribute to this school."

"Ms. Dedeaux works hard helping to get students on target. She is the reason the students do so well."

"Angela works hard with each one of her students."

"Angela cares about the students and wants to help them succeed. She is dependable, hard working, and an asset to our school."

"Angela deserves Employee of the month because she is always taking her job seriously. She really helps our students to get better at reading and math. Angela is always willing to do extra jobs."

"Angela is dedicated to her work. She has a heart for the children and it shows. Most of all, she works very hard to make sure that each child has the help they need."

"Quality tutoring is consistent. Next to the word consistent in the dictionary is a picture of Mrs. Angela. "

"Our jobs would not be possible without her. She goes over and beyond daily."

"Angela Dedeaux is a vital part of our school," her nominator said. "Winning this award would show her just how much we love and appreciate her and all that she does to ensure that students are successful."

Comments (3)

Renay Rigney Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Dedeaux is the kind of tutor that every child who is struggling academically should have. Her students know that she expects the very best from them, and they work hard because she is also their biggest cheerleader. Our regular education teachers know that time spent with Mrs. Dedeaux is never wasted, and the yearly progress her students make is proof of that. I can't think of anyone more deserving of this award than Angela Dedeaux.

Rocky Duckworth Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Dedeaux is an outstanding tutor/paraprofessional. She works with struggling students to assist them in overcoming the difficulties they are having in their academics. By Mrs. Dedeaux working with the struggling students, it lightens the classroom teachers’ load so that they can help other students who may be struggling. Therefore, she is helping an entire classroom, not just the students she directly works with. Furthermore, she may work with struggling students but she maintains high expectations for her students which she helps them to meet. Mrs. Dedeaux is an asset to our school, our teachers, and more importantly, our students.

Melissa Pearson Posted over a year ago

Angela is a GREAT tutor. She has taken students who struggled in the regular classroom and given them confidence to succeed. Angela never gives up on a child. She treats them just like she would her own. Her students love her and look forward to seeing her every day. Angela takes those struggling students who need more one on one and gives them the help they need. As a teacher, I am thankful that she is at our school. I know that I don't have to worry about any of my students when she takes them from the classroom. I know that she is supporting my efforts in helping these students, also.