ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WFRV) – Teachers give kids the tools they need for the future, but life outside of the classroom can sometimes hold students back. That is something Ashwaubenon School Social Worker Andrea Pasqualucci knows all too well.
“If they haven’t slept the night before, if their parents are fighting, if they haven’t eaten – they’re not available to take all of that good stuff in,” Pasqualucci said.
Described as a tireless advocate for students and someone with a passion for working with people in need, Pasqualucci goes above and beyond to make sure students needs are met outside of the classroom to be successful at school.
Pasqualucci says she did not get into this line of work to be in the spotlight and she prefers it that way.
“We’re kind of behind the scenes – helping parents and students feel comfortable and safe and stable in their education so they know that their job, when they’re here [in school] is to learn,” she said.
Pasqualucci looks for solutions to student needs. She has developed a number of programs and partnerships to help students in the Ashwaubenon School District, who are homeless or from low-income families.
“There have been school social workers for a long time, but the needs are just much more severe that we’re operating on crisis mode a lot,” Pasqualucci said. “Just to help kids feel a sense of stability here by working with their parents to make sure things are going well at home.”
Pasqualucci was instrumental in developing and managing the Food Pantry Partnership that serves families from the school and community. She also established a partnership with the local Optimist Club for the Weekend Backpack program to address all too common food insecurity.
Second grade teacher Constant Nolan works with Pasqualucci at Valley View Elementary School in Ashwaubenon. She says the list of Pasqualucci’s creative programs and partnerships goes on and on. From an email based donation system to providing laundromat vouchers, Nolan says Pasqualucci goes above and beyond to make a difference.
“Her position here is her passion and that comes out in her work,” Nolan said. “I believe that theses students wouldn’t have the academic success that they’re having without Andrea.”
While Pasqualucci is not the type of person to seek accolades or even a pat on the back, Nolan says she is definitely one who deserves them.
In early September, Pasqualucci was surprised in front of the entire Valley View Elementary community with the Wisconsin Special Services Teacher of the Year Award. State Superintendent Tony Evers will honor her again during his State of Education address in Madison on September 25.