Carmel Elementary instructional assistant named Support Staff of the Year


By Chris Bavender

A longtime Carmel Elementary instructional assistant has been named Carmel Clay Schools’ Support Staff of the Year for 2018. Donna Quilligan, who started with the school district in 1995, learned about the honor May 16 during a surprise ceremony.


“It made my day when I was told about it. But I also feel it’s a responsibility to continue to support the staff and students and to do a good job at Carmel Elementary,” Quilligan said. “I appreciate that the school system acknowledged the contribution support staff plays in our schools.”

As an instructional assistant, Quilligan works with students in first, fourth and fifth grades for math, language arts, science and social studies, either in groups or individually.

“Donna is not only an exceptionally hard and dedicated worker, she has a calm and supportive presence.  She connects with our students on a deep level, and they look forward to working with her each day,” Carmel Elementary Principal Megan Klinginsmith said. “Recently, a student commented that Mrs. Q was her best friend in the building. Donna is always first to help any colleague or student in need. Teachers all over the building love when Donna works in their classroom because they know what an incredible impact she has on the students.”

Support Staff Member of the Year nominations are made by students, parents and colleagues each spring. Nominations for Quilligan noted how she goes above and beyond, how she remembers staff birthdays with a card and treat and has a warm smile, friendly face and kind heart.

“I know when people smile or speak to me it makes the day go better, so I try to do just that for others. A friend told me once that when you celebrate someone’s birthday you are telling them you are glad they are a part of your life,” Quilligan said. “So, I just have to let the staff at Carmel Elementary know I’m glad they’re a part of my life. And, after all, who doesn’t like a little treat?”

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