Margaret Warder, a Laguna Beach school district teaching assistant, was absent from class this week due to a ceremony Wednesday, May 11, in Washington, D.C., where she and nine other classified school employees from elsewhere in the nation were honored by the White House as Champions of Change, the district announced.
“As an intervention paraeducator, my satisfaction comes from working with young students to help them excel in their reading, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. This is such a gratifying experience,” Warder said in a statement.
On the job, Warder often works with students one-on-one, helping students reach their full potential. Warder, who is also the Laguna Beach chapter president for the California School Employees Assn., was one of five classified school employees statewide to be named a 2015 member of the year.
“It takes a special person like Margaret Warder to make real connections with students and help them experience their full potential,” said Ben Valdepeña, CSEA’s statewide president. “Through building relationships where they are most comfortable, Margaret challenges her students to reach goals they might otherwise have thought impossible. Her dedication and compassion make Margaret a true Champion of Change, and we salute her for making a difference in the lives of so many students.”
The program was created by the White House to spotlight individuals doing extraordinary things and has also included champions for climate equity, living wage and the Affordable Care Act, among others.