The two Connecticut educators of the year are from the same school and it's the first time in state history that both honorees came from the same district and school, according to the governor's office.
State officials announced that Connecticut’s 2021 Teacher of the Year and 2021 Paraeducator of the Year both work at Poquonock School in Windsor.
Rochelle Brown has been named Connecticut’s 2021 Teacher of the Year and Maria Sau has been named the 2021 Paraeducator of the Year.
"I'm beyond honored to be standing before you today as Connecticut's 2021 Teacher of the Year, This is not something I envisioned for myself," Brown said.
She was emotional while thanking those who have helped her through her career and called on other teachers to keep doing what they are doing. Even on the toughest days, what teachers do matters, she said.
Brown is a kindergarten teacher, according to the school directory.
Sau said she was honored to accept the 2021 Paraeducator of the Year award.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the hybrid learning model in place because of it has changed the way paraeducators do their job, she said. "We are living history," and paraeducators need to show flexibility to assist classroom teachers, Sau added.
She offered words of encouragement to other paraeducators and it was to keep trying and not give up.
"We are all in this together. We have to be strong for our families," she said.
"Thank you everybody. Thank you for the support," she added.
Gov. Ned Lamont and Connecticut Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona made the announcement today during a news conference at 10 a.m. at Poquonock School in Windsor.
"When you have the two best teachers in the state ... that tells you, we're something special," Lamont said.
Lamont went on to say he thinks Connecticut has the best schools in the world, so Brown and Sau are the best educators in the world.
Windsor Mayor Donald Trinks thanked the educators for their positivity.
“You guys are amazing,” Trinks said.