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Saline Para-Educator Named 2022 Michigan Education Support Staff Professional of the Year

LANSING – Heather Dew, a para-educator with Saline Area Schools, was named Michigan’s 2022 Education Support Staff Professional of the Year, according to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE).

Dew, who has worked as a support staff professional for more than nine years, was selected from among more than 100 nominations for this year’s award. She is described as someone who does her job out of a genuine love, caring, and belief that every child deserves to have educators believe in them, who serve them and who care about their well-being and success.

“It takes an entire school community, working together, to help our children achieve to their fullest extent,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “Heather Dew has shown devotion to and care for Saline students for many years as a para-educator. I want to offer my appreciation and congratulations to her on being named Michigan’s 2022 Education Support Staff Professional of the Year.”

Each school community benefits from the contributions of countless individuals who work tirelessly to ensure the needs of the whole child are met. Education support staff professionals play an essential role in a child’s education, and MDE salutes all educators and support staff as part of its efforts to uplift and honor Michigan’s educational staff.

“Heather Dew has been a dedicated para-educator working for Saline Area Schools since 2013,” said Monica Ellis, assistant director of student services for Saline Area Schools. “She has worked in both elementary and secondary schools, primarily serving students that are deaf and hard of hearing. In addition, Heather also goes above and beyond to provide interpreter services for families at different events or meetings in the district. We are so fortunate to have Heather on staff and it is wonderful that she is being recognized for her dedication to our students. She is very deserving of this recognition.”

As part of its ongoing commitment to highlighting and recognizing the contributions of individuals across the state who go above and beyond for their students, MDE is proud to partner with the American Federation of Teachers-Michigan, the Michigan Education Association, and American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 25 to offer this award. This was the fourth year that MDE partnered with Michigan’s educational labor organizations to present this award.

For more information about the Education Support Staff Professional of the Year award, please visit Education Support Staff Professional of the Year or contact Jennifer Robel at