Snapshot: Chrissy DeVellis
Occupation: I am a paraeducator in the Newtown school system. I’ve been doing that for 15 years; this is my fifth year in the high school, and before that, I was with kindergarten. I was a certified teacher before I had children, then went back to work when my youngest started school full time. I work in special ed and just love working with the kids. It’s a dream job for me.
Family: I’ve been married for 32 years to my husband, Joe. He’s an assistant principal and has been in education for 30 years — 20 years in Norwalk and ten years in Bridgeport before that. I have four boys, who all went through the Newtown school system. My son Joey is married to his wife, Kim, and he is a special ed teacher at Westhill High School in Stamford. My son Jake is married to his wife, Perissa, and he just returned to school to become a teacher. My son Justin just graduated from Sacred Heart with a Master’s Degree in Sports and Media Communications and is working in that field. My youngest son, Jaret, is a senior at WestConn.
How long have you lived in Newtown? Twenty-five years. My husband and I both grew up in Bridgeport just a street away from each other and were high school sweethearts. When we started looking for a home, we were able to afford moving to Newtown, and even though we have a small house, my children planted great roots in town.
What do you like to do in your free time? I love to bake and drop things off to people as a little surprise. If someone tells me they like something, you can pretty much bet they are going to get that ASAP. I love making all kinds of cookies, and I have a recipe of my grandmother’s that I like to use. Lately, I’ve also been into running, and I love to spin. Up until last week, I loved to watch my kids play sports for about 25 years. My son just had his last college football game, so that is an era that has come to an end.
What is your favorite travel destination? Anywhere there’s a beach. Every summer, we love to rent a house for a week on the shore in Connecticut where we can rest and recharge. It is a time we can all be together.
What is the best part about Newtown? For me personally, I have made some lifelong friends here that I met when I first moved to town, and they are still my BFFs.
What has been the greatest influence in your life? Last year, I started helping with the Unified Sports program at the high school. I am so inspired by not only the athletes who are participating, but also their partners. It sounds so silly to say, but it gives me hope for the future because I see these kids who can probably pick any other club or sport, but they are coming to work with the kids with special needs.
If you could spend the day with one person, who would you choose and why? My Nonnie. She was a wonderful grandmother. We lived downstairs from her in a typical three-family house in Bridgeport where the whole family lived there. I miss being able to play cards and have tea at night with her.
Who is your favorite musical artist? I love Kenny Chesney. I go see him every year with one of my sisters and all of our kids. I love country concerts, and I already know I’m going to see him in April 2019.
Do you have a favorite TV show? My husband and I have our date night on Tuesdays to watch This Is Us. No matter what else is going on, we sit for that hour together.
What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever been given? My husband will stop me and his advice will be to “be better” and to take the higher road.
What is something you cannot live without? My boys, my husband, and my KitchenAid mixer.
What is your proudest accomplishment? The family we have built. I’m such a happy person because I really have so much to be thankful for. I am so blessed.
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