School: Young Elementary

School district: Springfield Local

Residence: Akron

Age: 37

Job title: Educational/teaching assistant

How long at the district: Four years

Family: Husband, John Bittinger; two daughters, Lilliana, 11, and Kaitlyn, 8

What is the most rewarding part of your position? The kids! As an educational assistant I get the opportunity to be with all the kids in the school during lunch and recess

What is the most challenging? After getting to spend four years watching these kids grow and then saying goodbye as they move on to fourth grade.

If you weren’t doing this, you’d be? I am so lucky to love what I get to do every day, the only other thing I could imagine doing would be a stay at home mom.

Tell us something about the students you deal with most people don’t know or appreciate. How special each one really is!

How do you unwind after a long day at work? I spend time with my family.

The students and co-workers would be surprised to know that I ... love to host and cook for others, whether it's family and friends or at church where we participate in programs to help the homeless.

What is the one responsibility about your position you didn’t know existed before taking it? I have a few different positions at the school. I'm an educational assistant on the playground and a paraprofessional in the classrooms and computer lab. On the playground, it's not just watching the kids play, it's cheering them on as they make it across the monkey bars for the first time, helping learn to jump rope, tie their shoes or zip their coats. When I started in the computer lab, I was really surprised at how many students had never used a mouse. In today's world it's all tablets and touchscreens.