For 21 years, Celeste Tudino worked as a banker, where she enjoyed what she did and had many opportunities to grow within the company. After working in the same field for so long, she decided it was time to make a change and do something she would truly love. So, after getting married and having a child, Celeste decided to leave the bank and stay home for a few years to raise her son.
After 5 years away from the bank and with her son, Celeste decided to become a teacher’s assistant and started a 6-week program which led her to receive a para-professional certification. For the first few years, Celeste attended a few different schools to help teach, but her last 17 years have been spent working part-time as a teacher’s assistant at the North Scituate Elementary School, where she was happy to have her summers off. For over a decade, Celeste has loved immersing herself in the school and being involved with all the extra-curricular events that are put on for the kids.
As a teacher’s assistant, Celeste was on her feet all day, and for years she was experiencing a lot of pain in her foot. Thinking it was just plantar fasciitis, she ignored the pain for a long time, but once the pain took over, Celeste knew it must be something more serious. Last June, Celeste had an MRI on her foot, and with a history of gout attacks and mildly severe arthritis, the doctors told her it was time for surgery.
For 6 weeks of the summer Celeste was in a cast, and although she wasn’t missing out on work, she was missing out on all her favorite activities. Celeste loves to go shopping, bake, and go country line dancing, but all of that had to be put on hold. Although she couldn’t participate in her favorite activities, she did have her husband waiting on her hand and foot. “Between the doctors’ appointments, fluffing pillows, and preparing meals, he was such a great help” Celeste smiled.
When she got out of the cast and into a boot, she started physical therapy with Dr. Carolyn Rhoads at the Smithfield clinic. After a few months of hard work and dedication, Celeste was on the road to recovery. “It was a lot of work, and they didn’t let me get away with anything” she laughed “but everything they did was to help me get better” Celeste shared.
After her surgery, Celeste had to take off the first few months of the school year, but by mid-October, she was back to working part-time at North Scituate Elementary. Although still attending physical therapy, Celeste looks forward to reaching a full recovery and can’t wait to go shopping for the holidays and get back to her country line dancing, “I may not be the best at it, but it’s fun and great exercise! Check this out Getting Accepted at School With a Disability is Hard Disability Awareness