Celebrating Support Professionals: Darcy Dufresne, Teaching Assistant at Kensington Road School

teacher with students in classroom smiling“The unique part of what I do on a day-to-day basis comes from the heart—I care for little ones as individuals in whatever aspect they need,”says Kensington Teaching Assistant Darcy Dufresne. “In kindergarten it ranges from academic needs to social redirection, or they just may need a hug. The one thing that constantly runs through my head and heart is: how would I want someone to treat my child in the same situation? Always with a little tender care.”

As a kindergarten TA, Mrs. Dufresne helps children stay on task while teachers conduct their lessons to the class. She works with students in small groups to help them have a better understanding of the concepts and skills being taught.

“There is no doubt that our KRS students are in good hands with her,” says Principal Jen Hayes. “She is a kind and caring individual who takes pride in her job.”

“Darcy is a top-notch person to have in the room,” says kindergarten teacher Shannon Fox. “She is quick to help students stay on task, understand the information easier, or even give a hug because they need it.”

“She is often seen sitting on the floor writing and reading with our littles,” echoes kindergarten teacher PJ Mottsiff. “Darcy always gets down to their level and helps them accomplish large and small tasks every day.”

teacher smiling with student working on an activity at small table

Mrs. Dufresne is constantly thinking of strategies to meet students’ individual needs. “If the student is struggling to understand something, I try to have them think of other ways to figure out what has been taught,” she says. “My main focus is that every child feels successful in their education and enjoys being at school.”

“The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the children with smiling faces early in the morning,” Mrs. Dufresne continues. “The second best thing is when we are working together and I can tell they finally understand by the gleam in their eyes—that makes my day. I love getting cute pictures and a random hug.”

“Darcy truly does it all—and without having being asked,” says kindergarten teacher Kirstin Preuss. “I am so thankful to work side by side with her. She is sensitive, supportive, hard working, and just nice to be around. She brightens my days and truly cares about the students she works with.”

Education has evolved in that children need more skills before they start kindergarten, notes Mrs. Dufresne. “We have to do more in our jobs to make sure that those skill demands are met. So my thinking and strategies have changed over the years to figure out what the child/children need to do their best in school and in everyday life.”

Mrs. Dufresne grew up in the area, graduating from Warrensburg Central School in 1991. In 1995, she earned her degree in Early Childhood Education from Herkimer County Community College. This is fifth year at Kenington Road School. Outside of work, she volunteers as a Cub Scout Den Leader and has been doing this since 2016. “My boys love it being in Scouts and I feel that it is a great learning experience for them,” she says.