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National Tutor of the Year

Michael Chambers, NTA President;
Maria Batista; and Wendy Cole,
Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Penn.,
at the NTA conference

Maria Gertrudis Batista, a paraeducator at Eloise's Snively Elementary, was named National Tutor of the Year by the National Tutoring Association (NTA) at a conference held in Chicago. The NTA represents more than 3,700 tutors and tutorial administrators nationally at colleges, K-12 schools, literacy programs and other organizations. The NTA has worked to promote tutor education, specialization and scientific research.

Maria, who is in her seventh year with Polk public schools, is a bilingual Title I paraeducator working with English as a Second Language students. According to the NTA, Batista was honored for her dedication and level of spirit and passion.

"Maria willingly works extra hours with her students and they gravitate to her level of enthusiasm," said Sandi Ayaz, NTA executive director. "She also is proactive in helping to bring additional tutorial programs to her community." Batista was also a named a finalist for Polk's 2005 Non-Instructional Employee of the Year in February. Students under her tutelage typically show dramatic improvements in reading.