Mariner Middle School paraeducator Bryant Hazzard was named the Cape Henlopen School District 2021-22 Educational Support Professional of the Year at the Sept. 23 school board meeting.
Now in his seventh year at the school, Hazzard said his favorite thing about his position is the ability to interact with students on a personal level.
“For me, it’s about having the opportunity to have conversations with students outside the realm of education, and connecting with them,” Hazzard said.
Hazzard said his areas of responsibility can vary each day; he supports teachers with instruction and behavioral redirection in the classroom, oversees lunch duties and helps wherever a need arises. Hazzard has been a basketball coach at Mariner for several years and was set to be head coach last year, but middle school sports were canceled due to the pandemic.
“Fingers crossed, this will be my first year as head coach,” Hazzard said.
Hazzard lives in the Slaughter Neck area and attended Cape district schools until 10th grade; he graduated from Delmarva Christian in 2007. He said he may be biased, but he thinks Mariner is the best school in the Cape district.
“I just enjoy working here at Mariner and serving the community in that aspect,” Hazzard said.
Paraeducators, custodians, secretaries, nutritional staff, and school- and district-employed bus drivers and aides were eligible for the award, which was first presented last school year.
Other building winners are Ella Betts, paraeducator at Beacon Middle; Connie Murray, paraeducator at Milton Elementary; Robin Bucci, paraeducator at Sussex Consortium; Dawn Hughes, paraeducator at Shields Elementary; Victoria McCowan, paraeducator at Love Creek Elementary; Jayne Fetterman, paraeducator at Cape High; Sandra Monigle, paraeducator at Rehoboth Elementary; and Judy Smyk, senior secretary at H.O. Brittingham Elementary.
The state-level Educational Support Professional of the Year will be announced in November.