A Clover Park School District story.
Our Clover Park School District Staff Spotlight this week features Hillside Elementary School paraeducator Angela Cruz-Tereja.
Angela has deep connections to Hillside as she was a student there when she was a child. Today, she and her sister are both paraeducators at the school they spent their formative years in. “My mom also worked here for 25 years,” she said. “I feel like I’m part of the Hillside community, so I love working here and greeting each kid by name every day.”
Angela’s father was a member of the Army for over 20 years, and their family moved to Washington State for ten years. “We love visiting Puerto Rico, but Washington always felt like home,” she said. “As someone who grew up relocating, I love working with these resilient military students.”
As a paraeducator, Angela works with students during lunches, recess, and small-group interventions. “I enjoy building relationships with them because you can tell if they have something going on in their life that they might need support for,” she said. “Especially working with students whose parents might be deployed.”
Above all else, Angela is grateful to have the unique opportunity of working with her sister to brighten their students’ days at a school she cares so deeply for. “We’re making core memories with them,” she said. “Supporting students on their emotional days and doing silly things with students to cheer them up are memories that I know these kids will cherish forever, and that’s such a cool thing to be a part of.”