Salute Our Heroes: Betty Lambotte helps students reach their goals at Rossville Grade School

Published: Apr. 12, 2021 at 10:39 PM CDT
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ROSSVILLE, Kan. (WIBW) - The pawprints that lead to Rossville Grade School head towards a classroom that makes every student feel welcome thanks in part to paraprofessional, Betty Lambotte.

“I love children and I love helping people and I could just see a need,” she said.

She has worked with the Kaw Valley School District for over 25 years.

“I started out with the preschoolers and I just felt a need to be there.”

It took some convincing from a district official all those years ago to take on the job.

The condition, at the time, was that she would only work half days, which did not last long.

“I had seen half days for two weeks and I’ve never seen another half day since [the official] won that’s what happened, she won,” she recalled.

Now, she is helping out third grade students and taking pride in helping students reach their goals.

“If you are with a student and they could be struggling, say with reading, because to me reading is so important, at the end of the day if they can read a complete sentence and not struggle I’m satisfied.”

She has seen many special students in her classrooms from her own great-grandchildren to Rossville Grade School’s own Principal, Travis Van Vleck.

“She still has the energy she had when I was a student and that I’ve known my entire life,” Van Vleck said.

“She’s just someone that the kids look up to they don’t see her as Ms. Betty, 90 years old, they see her as Ms. Betty, the caring person who loves them and cares for them.

She comes to work every day with a smile and she just cares about kids and that’s what you want I mean what else could you ask for?”

Lambotte knows, however, it is not always easy to keep a student motivated.

“You have to let them know they can do it and I refuse to let a child tell me that they can’t do it,” she said.

Lambotte recalled one memory in particular.

“I once said to this student, ‘I just don’t get this can you help me?’ and he said ‘oh yes, I can help you’” she remembered.

“He stood up and did a perfect job I was so thrilled with that child and he said to me when we were finished ‘If you need any more help you let me know’ and the next day it just went just perfect!”

Lambotte also recognizes the team effort needed during the pandemic.

“Our teachers are great, everyone that’s in this building, I feel like the puzzle comes together,” she said.

“We all blend together and I think that’s what makes it work, you have to be able to come together, put the ideas together and the results are great.”

She hopes students take one thing away from their education.

“I hope that they will take with them the will to help someone to share everyone’s knowledge is important and to me, every child is a gifted child,” she said.

“They all have something that they do very well and you have to let them know that you have to know that they are important and we have that here at this school.”

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