Kelly Newman

Kelly smiles, wearing blue marble shirt, flowers behind Kelly's head

REGION: 2 – Broome 

DSP: Kelly Newman 

Position: Developmental Assistant I 

Years of Service: 17


The Broome DDSOO selected Kelly Newman as Direct Support Professional of the Year because she is a team player and has a positive attitude. 

“Kelly resonates positivity,” says Maria Shimer, Habilitation Specialist II. “She is a team player, offering her help to all when she sees the need. She takes on additional duties without hesitation and is always eager to learn.” 

“Kelly sees everything as ‘glass half full’ – she doesn’t complain or talk negatively,” adds Shimer. “She is uplifting to others, especially the people in her care. She always wears a smile and she is welcoming and compassionate.” 

Kelly has taken the lead with challenging people at the site. One person can be aggressive, Shimer says, but Kelly offers to be her main advocate and assistant during program, when the other staff appear to be an irritant to this person.  

“Even on difficult days, Kelly smiles and talks to her in a calm, supportive tone. She keeps this person engaged in activities that she enjoys and provides emotional support to de-escalate challenging situations. Kelly provides encouragement, guidance, modeling and close supervision to help this person be successful.” 

Shimer says Kelly also has supported OPWDD’s mission by carrying out activities and conversations that people show interest in. She participates WITH them and praises their efforts. She models compassion, dignity and concern constantly. 

Kelly’s coworkers and mangers look up to her. She is described as open and honest, always willing to take on additional tasks when asked. She will take it upon herself to help other classrooms when she sees the need and will also assist with challenging people when she observes a teammate having difficulty. 

“Kelly is a strong member of the Broome Day Services team,” Shimer says. “She puts the needs and interests of the people she supports first, ensures the environment is always safe, initiates activities and conversations to include the people in her care, and never hesitates to offer help to teammates, going above and beyond her assigned job duties.