By Aniela Zawisza
From long days at school, to long nights at home, Tammy Luiz has put her family and her students first no matter what. Her determination is truly inspiring and has a long lasting affect not only with the kids she works with as a paraprofessional, but also her own children.
Tammy grew up in Hartford, Conn. Her younger years were filled with joyful memories of her sister and brother. She attended South Catholic High School and after completing high school, Tammy did not go to college but instead pursued the career of a receptionist for an elite attorney’s office.
In her twenties, Tammy met her husband, Bob Luiz, and they began a life together. Once settled down, Tammy did mortgage loans as a profession for most of her life. This job suited her until she had her first daughter, Sarah. After having Sarah, Tammy believed it would be better becoming a stay at home mother while her husband continued to work. After Sarah, Tammy also gave birth to two boys, Joe and Jimmy. She continued to be a stay at home mother for 12 years. She speaks of this choice with great confidence saying she, “Values family and wanted to raise her own children.” Being a stay at home mom allowed her to tend to her children's needs and also live her own life. After her last son was in first grade, she got a job as a para at one of the local elementary schools, Emerson Williams.
Mrs. Luiz continues to work with Kindergarten and first graders at Webb Elementary School in Wethersfield as a para with kids on the Autism Spectrum. Tammy says, “I never know how my day will start, it depends on how they arrive to school. While some days are hard for me, so many more are so rewarding because of the growth I see in students.”
Being a para for kids with special requires a certain set of skills and characteristics. You need to be patient and understanding as Tammy explained to me. Seeing her kids reach the goals that they've been working on for months, as simple as even walking across the hall to art class without getting upset, truly warms her heart. All the difficulties of the job are worth it in the end.
Everyday when Tammy’s students run up to her, she gives them a huge hug and says “Make today the best day ever!!!”
Tammy inspires her students and own children to always try their best and work towards their goals. She contributes so much to our Wethersfield community with her welcoming hugs and dedication to her students. It may not seem big, but her contributions play a huge role in the lives of students she works with. Tammy is the mom that always has freshly baked desserts on the kitchen counter or trays full of candy waiting for her kids and their friends. She loves having guests at her house to entertain and enjoys being the house that her kids friends always want to go to.