Education Support Professional of the Year

Education Minnesota has named Melissa Terpstra, a paraprofessional at St. Peter Middle School, as the 2018 Education Minnesota Education Support Professional of the Year.

Terpstra has worked in St. Peter Public Schools since 2003, first as a special education paraprofessional at South Elementary School,  then as thinking room supervisor at South Elementary and now at St. Peter Middle School. She also serves as the local president of the Education Minnesota Paraprofessional Educators of Saint Peter union.

As thinking room supervisor, Terpstra is the first point of contact for students experiencing behavior issues in the classroom, lunchroom, hallways or during recess.

“What I have found is the key ingredient to success within schools and working with students is authenticity, and this is something that Missy brings to her job every single day and every single year," St. Peter Superintendent Paul Peterson said.

Terpstra will receive a $1,000 honorarium and an iPad, plus an expense-paid trip to the NEA Education Support Professional National Conference.

All current Education Minnesota education support professionals who have been members for three years as of Jan. 15 of the award year are eligible. Individuals can be nominated by anyone associated with Minnesota schools by submitting a one-page nomination form.