Farmington Schools honors Hillside support staff member

Meenakshi Rajachudamani
Meenakshi Rajachudamani (Farmington Public Schools)

During a remote staff meeting held April 9, Supt. Bob Herrera, Board of Education President, Pam Green, Principal of Hillside Elementary School, Robert Kauffman, and the Hillside staff surprised Meenakshi Rajachudamani with Farmington Public Schools’ Support Person of the Year Award.

Rajachudamani has been with the District for 16 years, serving the last 10 years as a Bilingual Paraprofessional for several schools in the District.

Known as Mrs. Raja to students and staff alike, Rajachudamani has been nominated for this award six times and won the Farmington/Farmington Hills Multicultural Multiracial Community Council’s Rainbow Recognition Award twice. In 2018, she won the PTA Distinguished Service Award.

Rajachudamani works in all of the Kindergarten classrooms at Hillside Elementary School. Among many other duties, she supports language acquisition for English Learners and the academic needs of all students during reader’s and writer’s workshops with speaking, writing, listening, and reading skills. Outside of school, she assists families with transportation needs, befriends families that are new to the area, assists during conferences, and even helps families with summer enrollment.

A former FPS parent, Rajachudamani is a leader at her temple, where she teaches Sunday school, helps with holiday events, and contributes to fundraisers.

Hillside Elementary principal Robert Kauffman wrote, “Meenakshi Rajachudamani is single-handedly the most selfless person I have ever had the pleasure to work with in my 28 years in education. She is always smiling and happy. Meenakshi is simply adored by our kids. Her dedication is truly exemplary!”

Her colleague, Brenda Dymkowski, wrote, “You’ll often hear her inquiring about the student’s daily lives to create those important connections that let students know she cares. Parents seek her advice and appreciate her knowledge of the school system and community. The strongest quality that Meenakshi displays is a genuine love for all children and people.”

Colleague Kim Morrow wrote, “Meenakshi’s ability to connect with students, staff, and families is polished and genuine. Students look to her as a role model and a trusted adult. Her work ethic is unmatched by most people. While her inspiration is much greater than any award we could ever give her, those of us who know her, also know that such an award would never be needed. Meenakshi’s purpose in her work is only to serve, and that is the true definition of support.” Her students state, “She is the best!!! She helps me calm down when I am angry or frustrated. She is SO helpful and kind. We love having her help us!”

Rajachudamani will be honored during the May 19 Board of Education meeting.

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