Farmington Public Schools officials on May 7 surprised Visions Unlimited administrative assistant Patricia Zimmerman with the news that she’d been selected as the district’s Support Person of the Year.
A 21-year FPS employee, Zimmerman has served at Visions for the last seven years.
Visions Unlimited is a post-secondary educational program that serves students ages 18 through 26 who have physical and developmental disabilities.
In addition to her administrative duties, Zimmerman helps teachers with ordering materials, students with IEP goals, and all staff with IT issues. She lends a hand with the school’s yearbook and talent show, students in the fitness center, and more.
According to her nomination form, Zimmerman is creative, knowledgeable, compassionate, motivated, inspiring, and an all-around phenomenal human being. When she hears about everyday hiccups like an extra charge on a phone bill, a medical bill that was overpaid, or a credit card bill requesting only the minimum due, she does more than resolve the issue – she asks everyone involved to think about how a person with special needs navigates these systems and advocates for inclusivity.
“Patricia Zimmerman’s dedication, skill level, and willingness to go far above and beyond for our students, staff, and families truly strengthens and improves the learning environment,” Visions principal Bobbie Goodrum writes. “She exudes gratefulness and grace as she navigates each day, helping everyone she can, however she can. The Farmington Public School district is extraordinarily fortunate to count Patricia Zimmerman as one of its staff members.”
Colleague Herb James, writes, “Every school has that ‘someone’ who is the ‘go-to- person’. The someone who gets it done. That is our Patty, who can multitask like no one I have ever met. Not only is Patty a very hard worker; it’s the fact that she has a servant’s heart. She helps for the sake of helping others, and she does it willingly with a huge, vibrant smile on her face.”
A student writes, “She is a technology genius. Every time there is a computer or smartboard glitch, she fixes it. The best thing about her is that she is friendly, helpful, and always has time for every student.”
Zimmerman will be honored at the May 21 Board of Education meeting.