Canton Patch readers have selected Senior and Social Services Director Claire Cote as the town's Person of the Year.
"It was a surprise and honor," Cote said. "On a professional level I've had the honor of working with every other person who was nominated on Canton Patch and I know how much they all have done and do for the Canton community."
Cote has been with the town of Canton since February 2009 and since then the department has grown substantially.
Senior and Social Services is responsible for all Canton Senior Center programming, as well as services for older adults and persons with disabilities in town such as transportation and nutrition services.
As the town's social worker, Cote provides services to residents of all ages.
The department consists of Cote and an administrative assistant. Currently she is also working with social work interns from Central Connecticut State University and University of Saint Joseph.
"In my capacity with the town, I have the ability to work with people of all ages and backgrounds," Cote said. "My job is probably one of the more unique ones in terms of a town department because our role changes depending on who we are working with and what we are doing — whether it's helping a single parent clothe their children, assisting a struggling family to put food on the table when there is a job loss, providing an in-home assessment for safety of an individual, or working with other community partners to assist an entire neighborhood, or group of folks who are in need. I am lucky to have been welcomed by this community and I look forward to continue the work of Senior and Social Services in assisting the folks of Canton."
Cote grew up in Farmington and graduated from Saint Joseph College with a bachelor's in generalist social work. She went on to pursue an education in Policy Practice Social Work at the University of Connecticut in West Hartford, concentrating on working with older adults yet again and interning at the state capitol with the CT Commission on Aging. Prior to working in Canton she worked for the almost ten years in the assisted living industry, and for the town of Farmington as their Elderly Outreach Coordinator.
Cote was selected as "Person of the Year" through a Canton Patch poll after she and readers nominated several other community leaders. The honor is not affiliated with the Town of Canton or any other organization.