MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A Meriden Public Schools employee has been named Connecticut’s 2023 Anne Marie Murphy Paraeducator of the Year by the Connecticut State Department of Education.

Don Askew was recognized Tuesday for his “whole child” approach to the education. Askew is known for providing extra snacks for students who come to school hungry and for giving students access to washers and dryers so they can do their laundry.

“It makes me feel like everything I’ve done over these years has been worth it, and I’m doing what I was meant to do,” he said. “And I’m just hoping that my grandmother’s looking down on me and she’s proud of me right now.”

Askew works at the Meriden Transition Early Learning Center. Paraeducators help certified teachers in the classroom and play a role in developing a student’s academic, social and emotional skills.

He will be honored again in November at the Connecticut Teacher of the Year ceremony.