Winooski School District

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Aftaba Mezotovic, Winner of the 2015 VT NEA Human & Civil Rights Award

Aftaba Mezotovic, Winner of the 2015 VT NEA Human & Civil Rights Award

Aftaba 2015-02-13

We are proud to announce that  Winooski employee Aftaba Mezetovic was recently awarded the NEA Human and Civil Rights Award.  Aftaba arrived  in Winooski in 1995, resettled from Bosnia through the Refugee Resettlement Program. For 16 years, Aftaba has been a home-school liaison for the Winooski School District. She tirelessly advocates for new arrivals from all over the world.  As the Bosnian community has become more settled in Vermont, Aftaba has not allowed herself to rest.  Instead, she has proved herself indispensable, skillfully working with each incoming culture of New Americans.  Aftaba’s efforts in the classroom have promoted academic awareness and achievement that prepare students for college and/or career readiness.  When working with young Vermonters of diverse backgrounds, by modeling graciousness and generosity, Aftaba has demonstrated the very characteristics required for peaceful integration of many different cultures.

More recently, in just one example of countless endeavors, Aftaba reached beyond the classroom. She put in significant hours organizing and hosting a community lunch for senior citizens of the Winooski community. Her “International Lunch” featured foods of many cultures prepared by local families, as well as cultural dancing and a poetry reading offered by Winooski students. It was a remarkable success. One attendee, a Winooski senior citizen, provided the following feedback, “This is what makes our community a wonderful place to live.”

Congratulations Aftaba, we are proud of you!