Honoring RISE Award Finalist Susan Lombardo From Westbrook

Sue Lombardo

Susan Lombardo is a hard-working Ed Tech at Congin School in the Westbrook School Department. She was recently nominated for the RISE Award and honored by the Maine Department of Education (DOE) as a finalist. The RISE Award (Recognizing Inspirational School Employees ) honors classified school employees who provide exemplary service.

Katlyn Preston and Angela Pecoraro, colleagues from school, nominated Susan and Principal Jennifer Mull-Brooks endorsed the nomination. Here are a few thoughts they shared about Susan.

“Susan Lombardo is a compassionate, caring, and dedicated educator who goes above and beyond each and every day for her students in the K-4 functional life skills classroom. She demonstrates a warmth and loving presence towards her children (with various developmental delays) as she helps them navigate their daily routine so they can grow to become independent and productive citizens.”

“Sue teaches her children the importance of grit and perseverance and she is determined to help them succeed no matter what their disability is. Sue always treats them with respect and kindness, no matter what challenges are being presented on any given day. She does all this with a contagious smile and great sense of humor.”

“A common phrase is “I want to be Sue Lombardo when I grow up” amongst the younger teachers. Everyone you talk to will tell you “she’s amazing! She’s so patient and so kind but firm. I don’t know how she hits the balance just right.”

When asked what she loves most about her job, this is what Susan had to say:

“This job started as a long-term substitute position when my youngest child started school and turned into a job that brings me more rewards than I could ever have imagined.  I am considered a teacher to these special children who live with autism; however I find that I learn so much from them.  Each child is unique, presenting strengths and challenges in their learning.   My job is to not only help them learn and socialize to the best of their abilities, but to advocate for them and teach others about what they need to succeed.”

RISE Award nominations were submitted from across the state by local educational agencies, school administrators, educators, professional associations, nonprofits, parents and community members this fall. More information on the Maine RISE Award can be found here the national RISE Award can be found here.