Whether driving kids to read, feeding students’ bodies and minds, or advocating for children and public schools, Southern Door School District bus driver and school nutrition employee Ted Chaudoir delivers every day.
Chaudoir is the Wisconsin Education Association Council’s 2014 Education Support Professional of the Year. He was selected from thousands of Wisconsin support staff employees for the honor and was presented with the award on Wednesday, March 12.
“Through his humble service, Ted shows by example that school support staff employees are absolutely essential to a high-functioning school,” said WEAC President Betsy Kippers, who presented the award.
“My deepest admiration comes because of Ted’s commitment to students, showcased by his one-of-a-kind Books on the Bus program he started almost accidentally in Southern Door,” said Kippers. “With support from others in the district, Southern Door students are reaping benefits that will last long after they get their drivers’ licenses or graduate.”
In addition to working as a Southern Door bus driver and nutrition services employee, Chaudoir is co-president of Southern Door United Educators, treasurer of Bay Lakes United Educators, and a WEAC member. He is active in his community and church and recently received a state literacy award from the Wisconsin State Reading Association.
“As with any association whether between people or an organization, the old saying still holds true, they won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” Chaudoir said in accepting the award Wednesday night. “That is the thing I’ve been trying to get across to our school board. Support staff care for the success of students as much any administrator, teacher or parent. And in our way we teach, if only passively. I could reference that caring among many of my fellow Education Support Professionals. I’ve respectfully asked the school board that we be invited to the table so that our ideas can be considered because we can be part of the solution.”
Southern Door Special Education Associate Cathy Bosman said, “He is the kind of person who puts all others first.” Bay Lakes United Educators’ President Dean Debroux said, “We need more local leaders like Ted.”
“Ted is a great example of our support staff here at Southern Door who go above and beyond their daily responsibilities to make a difference in the lives of our community’s children,” said Southern Door Superintendent Patricia Vickman. “Through his passion for literacy and his advocacy for children, Ted’s leadership has brought literacy into our students’ lives from early in the morning until late at night with the Books on the Bus program. On behalf of our school community, we congratulate him on this special recognition and thank him for the dedication, service, and leadership he provides to us here at Southern Door.”
On March 27 Southern Door will host a Fine Arts Festival from 5 to 7 pm. WEAC representatives, including President Betsy Kippers, will be in attendance to assist with a book drive for Books on the Bus.