Todd Mueller Named 2020-2021 District Support Staff of the Year

Posted on 03/04/2021
Todd Mueller

Mr. Todd Mueller, special education paraprofessional at Francis Howell High School, was selected as the 2020-21 District Support Staff of the Year for the Francis Howell School District (FHSD).

As a Howell High alumnus, Mr. Mueller says he starting working for the District after the loss of his first son three years ago.

“I was searching for a place of comfort and security,” he said. “I turned to Francis Howell and heard about an opening as a para.”

He landed the job and also began serving as the coach of Francis Howell High School women’s softball and men’s volleyball.

“Mr. Mueller is an outstanding, hardworking and reliable employee of the District,” said Jeanette Illingworth, Francis Howell High School head administrative assistant. “In our building there are some special education classrooms that can be more challenging than others. Mr. Mueller takes these challenges in stride and embraces the time he has with his students. He is not just here to get through the day but rather looks at each day as an opportunity to make an impact and a difference in the lives of those around him.”

Mr. Mueller says he likes to encourage his students when assignments come easily to them, as well as when they struggle. By being alongside them in the good times and bad, he shows them that their worth is not tied to an assignment. He takes a similar approach to coaching.

“When I connect with the athletes I coach, their worth is not defined by their stat line from that day’s game, but instead, who they are as a person,” Mr. Mueller said.

He places an emphasis on building the foundation of a relationship by getting to know who his students are, not just how much they know.

“The students feel that, they notice that, and they hear me talk about how I care about them as people way more than I will ever care about their test scores or homework assignments,” he said. “We talk openly about how they can build healthy relationships with their peers and how they can continually grow as a person and be happy in who they are now and in the future.”

Mr. Mueller prides himself on being someone others can depend on and recognizing he can control what he can, which means controlling how consistent and reliable he is every day.

“Francis Howell is my home. I knew it as a student and now as a professional,” he said. “I cannot picture myself working elsewhere. There is a feeling, a sense of pride and belonging that cannot be described except for those who’ve attended Francis Howell. I care deeply about my students and the success of the District. I believe there is not a better District in the county and the things we accomplish here are special.”

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