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Joffe named Mill Creek’s Staff Member of the Year

Deidre Joffe, or ‘coach’ as students call her, is Staff Member of the Year at Mill Creek Elementary School.

University of Florida Gator's mascot, Alberta, holds Deidre Joffe's check as Mill Creek Staff Member of the Year.

Joffe assists Jennifer Klein in teaching physical education to more than 900 Mill Creek students in grades K-6, along with staging field days and Jump Rope for Heart, which raised more than $12,000 last year. “We’re now teaching lacrosse,” she said.

“Coach Klein sees us as a team … just as we tell PE students that they’re part of the Mill Creek team,” Joffe said. “I truly feel I’ve learned from one of the best.” Learning about her honor, Joffe immediate shared the news with Klein.

“Home was where the Army sent us,” Joffe said. She was born in Florida and grew up in several states and Germany.

“My high school history teacher/track coach, Mr. Logue, has always remained near and dear to my heart,” Joffe said. “He still resides in Kansas. We keep in touch.”

Joffe earned a bachelor’s degree in special education at the University of Florida and completed graduate work in learning disabilities and emotional disorders. After graduation, she taught special education students in Florida.

“My son and I moved to Madison after my husband, a police officer, passed away in 2001,” she said. Her parents live here.

“As a young widow with an eight-month-old baby, it was truly a blessing to have family to count on,” Joffe said. In 2007, she started working as a special education paraprofessional in Madison and then was hired at Mill Creek.

Joffe’s son, now 12, is a seventh-grader at Discovery Middle School.

“I interact with all Mill Creek students every day. It’s so rewarding. The kids are so fun to be around,” she said. “Never a dull moment in the gym!”

Away from school, Joffe enjoys watching college football, especially the Florida Gators. “To show the kids my dedication to my alma mater, for years I’ve worn a black Gator shirt on Mondays” if the team loses. She also plays basketball and football with her son and makes bottle cap and beaded lanyards.

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