Tammy Dookhith, a teacher assistant who leads technology classes and activities at Torrence Creek Elementary School, was named Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ assistant of the year this week.
Among the crowd celebrating the announcement were Superintendent Ann Clark and Dookhith’s daughter, Shireen, a second-grader at Torrence Creek.
Dookhith, a Vance High graduate, has worked at the Huntersville elementary school for nine years. Her work as the school’s technology instructor includes organizing a technology field day, with hands-on activities and visits from experts, and a “genius hour” that teaches students coding skills. She also helped the school match autistic students with other classmates who serve as support buddies.
Jobs for teacher assistants have been cut in recent years, as state legislators tried to keep taxes low during the recession. Local educators have repeatedly argued that cutting assistants, who earn less than teachers, eliminates people like Dookhith who do far more than grade papers and monitor discipline.