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Every Saturday, we highlight a non-teaching staff member on our Facebook and Twitter (@vcsc_teamvigo) account, turning Saturday into #Staffurday to introduce you to some of the people who make school happen!

Every year is a great year to celebrate our staff, but this year has shined a bright light on the flexibility and compassion of our incredible staff.

Today, meet A.J. Nicoson, a behavior interventionist at Meadows Elementary School.

What motivates you?
The students are my motivation. When they come to school I get to be a person they trust and feel safe around.

How has your job changed due to COVID?
COVID has put a damper on our big monthly celebrations. I used to be able to organize monthly parties for our Meadowlark lanyard winners. They would do things such as hot chocolate parties, glow parties in the gym, and popsicles with their peers. This isn’t something we can do since we would mix classes and be close with no masks. They had so much fun being rewarded for their good behavior. But, this has allowed me more one on one time with our students, and I’ve had to be more creative with recognizing the positive behavior, which is also fun!

What is something that people don’t understand about your job?
My job isn’t just about behavior. I have to learn how to connect with the students in our diverse population in order to understand how to help them. Sometimes it is discipline, sometimes I am a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes it is making them food before they go home because they are hungry, or washing clothes for them, or finding them warm things to wear. I love that our staff is so willing to help me help them.

Why do you love VCSC/your school?
I love being a Meadowlark! Mrs. Cook leads us in a way that makes us all want to do our best. She is someone that we all look to for guidance, but she also loves our kids like her own. Our staff is so caring and willing to help not only our students, but each other. We truly are one big family and we work together to help each student get the most out of their time at Meadows. Our teachers are top notch, their sacrifices during this pandemic definitely do not go unnoticed. The amount of creativity and love I have seen is incredible!

Be sure to check back on Wednesday as we highlight another teacher for #RedforEd Wednesday! We’ll continue both campaigns through the end of the school year.