SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. (KTIV) — While teacher’s around Siouxland and the nation have been working especially hard this year due to the pandemic, one South Sioux City high school paraeducator got the surprise of a lifetime Friday.
“We don’t work for recognition,” said Vickie O’Dell, Paraeducator.
What she thought was going to be just a normal staff meeting turning into a full-on celebration in her honor!
Paraeducator Vickie O’Dell was awarded the Paraeducator of the Year award for the state of Nebraska. And while after she got over the initial shock of the surprise, O’Dell said she does it all for the students.
“Every student that comes in is a student that I don’t feel I’ve done my job unless they leave my room, the AC, with understanding. So that the words I want to hear is, ‘I can do this, I understand,'” said Vickie.
Colleagues of Vickie said with all her hard work with all the kids and the staff as well, she was very deserving of the award.
“Once I found out I’ve never been so excited for someone. When Vicky teaches it, they get it,” said Katie Konz, a special-ed teacher.
South Sioux City High School Principal Ashley O’Dell said it’s a great honor for her– and for the school. She said keeping it a secret from the staff, and especially Vickie was pretty difficult.
“To have something go on besides COVID, and to have it be such a celebration, and a well-deserving one at that, it was just very special to see the staff be able to celebrate something and come together,” said Ashley O’Dell.
Vickie said it was a day full of happiness.
“I’m so appreciative of the state of Nebraska for recognizing me,” said Vickie.
Vickie adds while COVID has had an impact on her teaching, kids still come in on flex days to get help with work they’re struggling with.