Saul RamosNational Education Support Professional of the Year
Worcester Public Schools
Saul Ramos, a one-to-one paraeducator and braillist in Worcester Public Schools, is a self-taught braillist and serves at Burncoat High School, where he transcribes school materials and classwork for visually impaired students into print or braille.
He began his career 18 years ago, working with a student who was visually impaired. He decided that the only way he could fully meet the needs of that student was to learn braille, so he taught himself to read and write in the braille alphabet. Ramos worked with this student until he graduated from high school.
Along the way, as a paraeducator who is part of a teaching team, Ramos incorporated braille into the general classroom to help more students understand different ways other students learn.
Ramos also is an advocate for English Language Learners and special education students, including those who are visually impaired.
His work extends far beyond his students and classroom. Ramos has worked to make the arts accessible to all students, especially Latino students. To reach Latino students, he wrote a bilingual adaptation of Romeo and Juliet for a summer theater group in New England, and started a non-profit Latino arts group. He has worked with libraries, and has helped organize collections of food, clothing and toys for students and families in his community.
Ramos has been an active member of his local union, too, and now serves as first vice president of the Educational Association of Worcester.
Ramos has received many honors throughout his years of service, including a recognition for being a Most Valuable Educator at a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park. Most recently, was honored as one of the 2017 Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) Award winners at a ceremony in Washington D.C. at the United States Botanic Garden in May.
Ramos was also inducted into the National Teacher Hall of Fame—the first ESP ever to receive this honor. While in Washington, Ramos visited with Massachusetts Congressman James P. McGovern, who praised him on the House Floor. The congressman’s remarks are now a part of the Congressional Record, the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress.
Like most educators, Ramos doesn’t take full credit for his work, and extends the honors and recognitions to his colleagues. “It’s not just about me. It’s about every ESP and every educator who do what they do to make sure they’re students are successful.”