NYSUT Communications |
Saturday May 04 2024 11:57 AM

Mashantuck Bell, School-Related Professionals Member of the Year

Living in the same district as her students gives Mashantuck Bell a unique perspective. “It’s important because I tell them all the time, ‘I am you. I was in the same spot that you are in, in the same district that you are in, same area that you live in. I am you.’”

Bell has been a paraprofessional in the Brooklyn area for 23 years and works in the same district where she was born and raised. She is the Brooklyn Borough Coordinator for the paraprofessionals of Brooklyn and the UFT chapter leader at IS Gateway 364.

The youngest of 13 children, Bell grew up babysitting her nieces and nephews. She said she always knew she wanted to work with children, and education seemed like a natural path for her. She got involved in the UFT because she wanted to help her colleagues. “I just love helping people. It’s in my nature. I love to support people and give them the information they need. I get a lot of satisfaction out of it,” she said.

In addition to her responsibilities in the classroom, Bell is also the chorus instructor at her school. Singing is one of her passions, and she is grateful that she can introduce her students to the world of music.