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ESPs in the States



In the States


ESP Classroom Superhero
NEA ESP Member Donna West, a child nutrition manager at Brownwood Elementary School in Scottsboro, Alabama, expresses how inviting students to wipe down cafeteria tables, mop up floor spills or tutor other students during breakfast equips students to discover their own strengths of responsibility.

VIDEO: It's More Than a Job, It's a Career!
Listen to what Donna West has to say about her ESP career.

NEA and AEA Challenge Alabama's H.B. 56 
The National Education Association, Alabama Education Association and the National School Boards Association challenge Alabama's House Bill 56, the countries harshest immigration law.

A Boot Camp to Promote Healthy Foods
Read about lunchroom and child nutrition manager of Brownwood Elementary School in Scottsboro, Alabama, Donna West's experience at the rigorous culinary training she and others attended in Aurora, Colorado.

Visit the Alabama Education Association website.


Visit the Alaska Education Association website.


Arizona Educators Participate in National Netroots Nation Panel Discussion on Privatization
Privatization kills the best chance to give all students quality education. Education support professionals and teachers in Arizona outline to an audience of bloggers from across the country the threats posed to students and public education by privatization. Read how ESPs are actively rallying with parents and community leaders to blocking privatization attempts in their school communities.

VIDEO: It's More Than a Job, It's a Career!
Listen to what Michael Thomas has to say about his ESP career.

Visit the Arizona Education Association website.


Arkansas ESP Shares Lessons on Reaching for the Stars
Read what lessons Juain Young, an education support professional from Booker Arts Magnet Elementary School in Little Rock, Arkansas, has learned as an elementary educator. 

VIDEO: It's More Than a Job, It's a Career!
Listen to what Stephone Avery has to say about his ESP career.

Kay Yates: An Arkansas Bus Driver Who Goes the Extra Mile 
Yates is a professional bus driver in every sense of the word. She frequently participates in bus safety and evacuation drills, but she knows that a child's well-being includes far more than just a safe ride to and from school. "The one thing I want to do is to make sure that when they get off the bus, they will be motivated to go to school, they'll be focused to go to school, and they'll want to learn while they're there," Yates said.


Doing Her Part - And Then Some
Read how ESP member Celiza Hernandez of Redlands, CA jumped into action to ensure success for her students during a time of budget cuts.

School Buses: Are They Headed For Extinction?
School bus transprotation for middle and high school students in California is growing extinct at an alarming rate. Read about this growing trend. (The Press-Enterprise, April 14, 2012 )

Leadership in a Small Town
Sam Phillps, an American Indian and utility maintenance employee for Potter Valley Community Unified School District in California, takes the lead in student cultural familiarity and ESP rights.

Visit the California Teachers Association website.


VIDEOS: It's More Than a Job, It's a Career!
Listen to what Lori Burnell and Debbie Solis have to say about their ESP careers. 

Education Support Professionals Honored at 86th Delegate Assembly
The Colorado Education Association honored ESP members Amy Wilkening and Debbie Harman for their outstanding contributions to the Association and public education at an awards ceremony held during their 86th Delegate Assembly.

VIDEOS: Pueblo School District Custodians Speak Out On Outsourcing

Pueblo Custodian, Glen Saiz
Pueblo Custodian, Robert Sanchez

Pueblo, Colorado Custodian Makes a Difference 
Head custodian at Central High School in Pueblo, Colo., talks about the difference he makes on the job for the school and in the lives of students.

Visit the Colorado Education Association website.


DSEA ESP of the Year 
Read more about how paraprofessional, Joan Robinson earned her spot as DSEA ESP of the year working with severly handicap students in her school.

VIDEOS: It's More Than a Job, It's a Career!
Listen to what Mike Hoffmann and Jossette Threatts have to say about their ESP careers.

Visit the Delaware State Education Association website.


Visit the Florida Education Association website.


VIDEOS: It's More Than a Job, It's a Career!
Listen to what Gregory Davis, Angela Tucker-Holmes, and Deborah Lazarus have to say about their ESP careers.

Common Ground on Common Core
Read how paraeducators fit in as Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are implemented in classrooms across the country.

Clayton County Supports Education Support Professionals Day

ESP Day Proclamation Presented to CCEA ESP 
The Board of Commissioners presented Clayton County Education Association (CCEA) with an ESP Day Proclamation. This county proclamation as well as as the one received last month from Georgia Governor Nathan Deal was spearheaded by Deborah Lazarus, ESP Committee chair for Clayton County Education Association and current participant of NEA Leaders For Tomorrow class.  Clear evidence of the positive things ESPs are doing across the country as a result of their leadership training.

Click here to view a picture of the event.

NEW: Clayton County Bus Driver Recognized 
Clayton County bus driver is recognized for his many years of advocacy and activism in behalf of public education.

Georgia Local Fights Privatization with YouTube 
Your local association can question and influence school board economic decisions. See how this local in Georgia uses the airwaves to advocate against privatization of 900 school custodial position. More on local advocacy...


Advocacy via Community Outreach Key to Influencing Political and Economic Decisions
As elected leaders, local association members are in a unique position to present critical information and analysis about the decisions of local school boards. It’s a natural extension of the duties and responsibilities of association office. School boards make political and economic decisions affecting community lives and business every day. As part of the participatory process, citizens and formal groups such as member locals, can and do observe, comment and attempt to influence such decisions.

Guesting on a radio show is one way to present your association’s observations, facts and recommendations for action upon any school board agenda item or decision. Advocacy takes many routes.

This YouTube video is of a radio interview with David Schutten, president of the Organization of DeKalb Educators in Georgia, along with former presidents Rosilind Taylor and Jackie Henry, about the school board’s proposal to privatize school maintenance and eliminate 900 jobs. Let the local know what you think. We’re sure they would like a word or two of support.

For more local updates and news visit the Georgia Association of Educators website.


Visit the Idaho Education Association website.


VIDEOS: It's More Than a Job, It's a Career!
Listen to what Jeri Stodola, Janice Hoffman, and David Arnold have to say about their ESP careers.

When Full-Time School Staff Qualify for Public Assistance it's Time to Fight for Professional Pay 
Had Marianne Murray taken an entry-level job at a fast food restaurant 20 years ago instead of with West Aurora School District 129 in Illinois as a Principal's office asssitant, she might be earning a living wage by now.

Visit the Illinois Education Association website.


Bus Drivers Work to Strengthen Trespassing Laws on School Buses
Donna Nielsen, LaPorte bus driver and ISTA/NEA Association leader, has been a leader in training personnel on school safety issues and bullying prevention. She, along with Terry Busse, LaPorte Transportation Director, provided testimony at the Indiana State School Bus Committee meeting around the importance of protecting student and school personnel. Read how she advocated for the placement of "No Trespassing" decals on the outside of all school buses in Indiana.

All School Personnel Need a Voice in Protecting Students
ESP know the importance of all school employees working together to keep students safe. Read this recent article on EdVotes to see how hounding a school district to pull together a training to help bus drivers prevent and respond to emergency situations benefited NEA ESP members in Indiana.

VIDEOS: It's More Than a Job, It's a Career!
Listen to what Betty Batliner and Donna Nielsen have to say about their ESP careers.

Indiana State Legislature Targets Worker Rights 
Indiana General Assembly is fast-tracking the right-to-work law, which research has shown will lower the average worker's wages by $1500 a year.

Visit the Indiana State Teachers Association website.


Visit the Iowa State Education Association website.


NEW VIDEO: It's More Than a Job, It's a Career!
Listen to what Linda Bush has to say about her ESP career.

Visit the Kansas National Education Association website.


Visit the Kentucky Education Association website.


Visit the Louisiana Association of Educators website.


Bus Safety Orientation for Parents and Kindergarten Students 
The best way to ensure bus safety throughout a students school career is to make them feel safe and help them understand bus safety from day one. Read how the Lake Region Non-Teaching Association in Maine does just that.

22 School Bus Drivers in Maine are Out of a Job
Communities in Maine are outraged about the RSU4 school boards decision to privatize school transportation in the 2012-2013 school year. The decision was based on a controversial vote of the board in an evening meeting. (WGME 13 News, April 12, 2012)

NEW: The Persistence of Privatization
Read how custodians at Maine School Administrative District 75 have beat back lingering privatization threats.

Maine's Lewiston Sun Journal: Tales From the Lunchroom 
The essays about cafeteria workers and how they personally impact student lives, and the subsequent newspaper write-up about the paperback with the essays being published, is one way of letting the community know about your work and how it too improves a community's quality of life.

Visit the Maine Education Association website.


It's More Than a Job, It's a Career!
Listen to what Maryland ESP member Karen Blackwood has to say about her ESP career.

Maryland State Affiliate Name Change More Inclusive of School Employees
Maryland State Education Association. The new name recognizes the critical role of all Maryland public school employees in providing great public schools for every student, and it came from several years of internal organizing by members and leaders -- education support professionals and teachers alike — who knew the time for change and recognition of everyone’s work had arrived. The state affiliate was previously called the Maryland State Teachers Association. (September 2009)

Maryland ESPs Ramp Up Visibility to Save Jobs 
Sharon Fischer, president of the Carroll Association of School Employees, said bargaining is coming up this year and district officials are considering staff cuts. “We are going to highlight our work,” says Fischer. “The public needs to know what we do for the students of this district, and what won’t get done if our positions are eliminated.” The ESP local represents 266 Licensed Practicing Nurses, secretaries and clerks and paraeducators.


VIDEO: MTA Leaders thank ESPS for the hard work and contributions they give to public education.

ESP Lead Farm to School Program in Massachusetts 
Read how ESPs in Haverhill Education Association used NEA ESP Quality Department's Farm to School grant to start a new program that allowed physically disabled high school students to take pride and ownership in the food they helped grow and later prepare.

Promise to My Mom 
Read how Newtown native paraeductor Jean Faye's promise to her mom has stirred her to continue to fight for safe and nurturing enviroments for all children to learn and increased mental health services for students.

How to Arm Our Schools
Read this Washington Post blog to see what NEA ESP member Jean Fay says is the best way schools protect our nations students.

School Garden Fights Obesity With Healthy Food Choices 
Read how ESPs in Massachusetts are working to create school gardens, develop Farm to School training opportunities for ESPs, promoting annual Kitchen Table Talks and getting ESPs to work closer with parents, local businesses and farmers.

VIDEO: It's More Than a Job, It's a Career!
Listen to what Massachusetts ESP member Wende O'Brien has to say about her ESP career.
Special Education Worker Talks About Empty Paychecks
Massachusetts public school special education employee, Kathy Meltsakos, speaks on living with a career that yields zero net pay.

Visit the Massachusetts Teacher Association website.


VIDEO: It's More Than a Job, It's a Career!
Listen to what Connie Boylan has to say about her ESP career.

SLIDESHOW: Fighting Privatization in Court and at the Ballot Box 
After Michigan support professionals are fired due to privatization, the state Association sues the school district while the ESP president runs for the school board. Both win.

Privatization Threatens Northwest Bus Drivers
Just weeks after settling a three-year contract with the union representing school bus drivers and mechanics, some Northwest school officials are considering outsourcing those jobs to a private company.


What Does NEA Have That Others Don't? 
Read why three different unorganized groups of ESPs in three different areas of  Minnesota voted to be represented by Education Minnesota.

Visit the Education Minnesota website.


Visit the Mississippi Association of Educators website.


VIDEO: It's More Than a Job, It's a Career!
Listen to what Karmen K. Hill has to say about her ESP career.

Keeper of the Flame : ESP President Elect Heike Janis
In choosing a new president, members of the Ferguson-Florissant NEA (FFNEA) in St. Louis County, Missouri wanted a savvy leader who could uphold their statewide reputation as being a strong, inclusive local where teachers and education support professionals (ESP) work as partners.

Visit the Missouri NEA website.


VIDEO: It's More Than a Job, It's a Career!
Listen to what Montana ESP member Lynn Witts has to say about her ESP career.

Visit the Montana Education Association - Montana Federation of Teachers website.


Planning for the New Health Law
Read how Nebraska district officials, school support staff, and Association leaders worked together to address recent changes to the Affordable Care Act.

Visit the Nebraska State Education Association website.


Visit the Nevada State Education Association website.

New Hampshire

Visit the NEA New Hampshire website.

New Jersey

NJEA Highlights ESP Members
Each month NJEA runs a new ad, during weekday working hours, spotlighting the work ESP do in their school communities. The ad is heard by the Greater Philadelphia Area, which includes part of Pennsylvania, South and Central New Jersey and Deleware.

Aging School Kitchens Undermine Healthy Meal Preparation
A new report states only one in 10 school districts surveyed (12 percent) have kitchen equipment needed to serve nutritious and appealing meals to students. Read how schools are forced to improvise.

Protecting ESPs Who Are Threatened for Refusing Unsafe Work
Read what kind of hazardous work goes beyond the training of most custodians and why the New Jersery Education Association (NJEA) is pushing back for proper training and equipment for their ESP members.

Warding Off Privatization, Paraeducators Gain Strength and Influence Through Organizing
Read how paraeducators from Old Bridge, NJ take creative information from the NJEA summer leadership conference back to their home town to engage parents, students and their community in understanding school curriculum and supporting student needs.

VIDEO: ESP - It's More Than Just a Job, It's a Career
Listen to what New Jersey ESP member Stacy Yanko has to say about her ESP career.

Privatization Efforts Find New Target in School Secretaries and Teaching Assistants 
Despite submitting a balanced budget in March of 2012, Englewood, New Jersey school Board members voted to outsource school secretaries and teaching assistants to fill a new $4 million budget shortfall. Citizens of Englewood are not convenced the Board has looked hard enough for alternatives.

HEA Blocks Firing of Custodians
Hainesport Education Association successfully engages parents and their community to win a six-month campaign to keep the Hainesport Board of Education from firing their six custodians and replacing them with a for-profit cleaning service.

Pinch Hit for an ESP 
Be an ESP for a day. Show community members how they can participate by shadowing ESP careers.

NJEA ESP of the Year Has Passion for Advocacy
A recent speech by the NJEA ESP of the Year, Anne Christiansen of the Hamilton Township Education Association in Atlantic County, is a good reminder to all of the power of one — who looks out for all. 

New Mexico

NEW: Joseph Leonard Almaguer Honored as NEA-NM ESP of the Year 
NEA Leaders for Tomorrow class of 2012 participant, Joseph Leonard Almaguer, is honored as NEA New Mexico's ESP of the Year.

VIDEO: It's More Than a Job, It's a Career!
Listen to what New Mexico ESP member Joseph Almaguer has to say about his ESP career.

Visit the National Education Association New Mexico website.

New York

NYSUT School-Related Professional Member of the Year: Janis Bianco
At the recent annual NYSUT Representative Assembly, Janice Bianco, a school secretary and a third vice president of the Rondout Valley Federation of Teachers and School-related Processionals, received the School-Related Professional of the Year award.

Visit the New York State United Teachers website.

North Carolina

Legislative Attempt In the Dead of Night
North Carolina Governor, Bev Perdue, slams the state General Assembly for its cloak-of-darkness vote to stripe North Carolina Association of Educators' ability to collect dues from its members.

VIDEO: It's More Than a Job, It's a Career!
Listen to what North Carolina ESP member Chris Bridges has to say about his ESP career. 

NCAE President Sheri Strickland Goes Back to the Classroom 
NCAE President Sheri Strickland goes back to the classroom in honor of American Education Week.

Visit the North Carolina Association of Educators website.

North Dakota

Visit the North Dakota Education Association website.


Tough Lessons in Hard Times: Mansfield, Ohio
When Tina Adams took a job as head cook in a Mansfield City Schools cafeteria in 1984, the job paid $7.60 per hour, only 35 cents more than the minimum wage today in Ohio. If she thought the pay unfair, correcting such matters came as second nature.


Visit the Oklahoma Education Association Education Support Professionals website.


VIDEOS: It's More Than a Job, It's a Career!
Listen to what Doris Jarid and Tamera Davis have to say about their ESP careers.

ESP Classroom Superhero
NEA ESP member Juan Trujillo, a Community Outreach Coordinator at Hallman Elementary School in Salem-Keizer, Oregon, is often treated like a family member when making home visits. Read why community families welcome him so openly even when meeting for the first time!

"Lunchroom Bounty: Serving Up School Nutrition Programs to Solve the Hunger Problem"
Oregon ESPs Say Fresh, Locally Grown Food Can Link Students to Academic Success. Read how.


Community Rallies Around ESPs, Defeats Privatization Plan
Read how Exeter Township Education Support Professionals Association came up with an anti-privatization plan, centered on gaining community support, to fight back against transportation privatization plans of Board members of the Exeter Township School District in Reading, Pennsylvania.

West Chester ESPs Feed Needy Families
Read how West Chester ESPs have literally put food on the table this holiday season.

PSEA's 'Vision For Great Public Education' Has Strong Inclusion of ESP
Read how the Pennsylvania State Education Association's vision provides a detailed look at their goals for public education and acknowledges the hard work of all school employees -- including education support professionals -- to increase student achievement and better public education.

Visit the PSEA ESP News website for more stories.

Rhode Island

VIDEO: National Spotlight Shines on Education Support Professionals
Nearly 20 members of the North Kingstown (Rhode Island) Education Support Professional (NKESP) Association rolled up their sleeves November 3 and sat down for an informal chat with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The visit to Hamilton Elementary School was part of Duncan's listening tour. (November 2009)

South Carolina

VIDEO: It's More Than a Job, It's a Career!
Listen to what Roselyn Green has to say about her ESP career.

Visit The South Carolina Education Association website.

South Dakota

Visit the South Dakota Education Association website.


Visit the Tennessee Education Association website.


More Money for Locally Grown Foods in School Lunch Program  
Texas received permission from the federal government to spend more money to put locally grown foods in school lunch programs. The state will be able to spend $12 million of USDA Foods entitlement money to buy locally grown fresh produce.

School Custodian Wins National Award for Helping Kids 
Charles Clark, a TSTA ESP member and head custodian at Trinity High School in Euless, TX has earned top honors in a national program that recognizes and rewards educators and school district employees for making a positive difference in the lives of students

Texas ESPs Get Respect
Read how Texas support professionals say goodbye to favortism and hello to professionalism.

Lead Custodian Talks About Involvement
César Franco, Lead Custodian in the Canutillo Independent School District, Canutillo, TX, talks about the importance of being involved in the policital process. (Spanish Interview)

VIDEOS: It's More Than a Job, It's a Career!
Listen to what Richard MartinLinda EstradaErnesto Lopez, and Cesar Franco have to say about their ESP careers.

NEW: ESP Campus Secretary Linda Estrada Fights Back
Read the Superhero profile of ESP campus secretary Linda Estrada and see how she won back five sick days for ESPs in her school district.

Visit the Texas State Teachers Association website.


Bullying Prevention Beyond the Classroom
Bullying prevention is everyone's responsibility. Read how a union-sponsored training for education support staff in Toole, Utah has empowered these educators to intervene and advocate for bullied students.

VIDEO: It's More Than a Job, It's a Career!
Listen to what USEA President Jerad Reay has to say about his ESP career.

My View: A Look at the "Whole Child" Approach
NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia and Utah School Employees Association (USEA) President Jerad Reay discuss why student success requires every resource available in a school community.

Paraeducators' Impact on Student Learning Keeps Growing 
Read how ESP paraeducator Paulette Lyons directly impacts student success in her Functional Skills class at Century Elementary School in Bear River City, Utah.

Visit the Utah School Employees Association website.


Unionizing for Fairness
Job security, workplace conditions, fairness and respect are basic issues being discussed among the University of Vermont and Mount Hood Community Oregon, where classified staff employees have recently joined the NEA.

Vermont State Board Ruling
Vermont Labor Relations Board on Monday issued a ruling that spells out who among unrepresented University of Vermont staff is eligible to vote in the first round of a union election. University Staff Union-NEA is working to comply with the ruling so that nearly 820 people on campus can vote to join a union.

Middlebury Custodian Best in Vermont
Middlebury EA member Eddie Havens is the 2011 Vermont Custodian of the Year, an award bestowed by the state’s Department of Education and the Vermont School Custodians and Maintenance Association.


Visit the Virginia Education Association website.


VIDEO: Debby Chandler, 2013 ESP of the Year

VIDEOS: It's More Than a Job, It's a Career!
Listen to what Antoinette Felder, Peggy Strum-Vanderpol, and Pat Waldrop have to say about their ESP careers.

VIDEO: Pat Nicholson, 2012 ESP of the Year 

VIDEO: Locals Reach Out to Members to Build Their Power
Relational organizing is about creating a connection around shared values. See a series of vignettes about how locals in Washington and Alaska are reaching out to members to build their power.

VIDEO: Organizing for Power
Locals talk about their journey to change their local through organizing.  

VIDEO: ESPs in Washington Fight for Higher Wages
Yakima Schools highest paid administrators can go home content with their families while trying to stick the district's ESP employees with poverty level wages that at times won't even pay the heat bill. (Video produced by the Yakima, Washington, Paraeducator Association.)

VIDEO: Food Fight: ESPS in Washington Battle Privateers
Ridgefield is making a bizarre choice to outsource its food service, potentially sacrificing employees' jobs & pensions -- and perhaps food quality.

VIDEO: Washington Highlights State's ESP Members
From coverage of the ESP of the Year to living wage campaigns, our state affiliate is making sure the concerns and triumphs of ESPs are visible. See for yourself.

West Virginia

Visit the West Virginia Education Association website.


NEW VIDEO: It's More Than a Job, It's a Career!
Listen to what Brenda Close has to say about her ESP career.

The Red Bus Tour
The Red Bus Tour, organized by Wisconsin Edcuation Association Council, follows on the heels of a report from theWisconsin Department of Public Instruction that found three out of four state school districts cut teacher and education support professionals this school year.

ESP Victories on ESP Day
What better way to celebrate Education Support Professionals (ESP) Day than by sharing your ESP victories? Southern Lakes United Educators' (SLUE) ESP Committee set the stage for a wonderful ESP Day program with more than 120 members in attendance.


VIDEO: Meet Wyoming Para Professional Vicki Cramer 
Meet Vicke Cramer and find out why she was chosen as that state's Education Support Professional of the year.

VIDEO: Cheyenne Bus Drivers Build Wheelchair Ramp for Student
These ESP members care about their students even when they're not driving the bus. Drivers recently spent their free weekend building a wheel-chair ramp at the home of a special needs student.

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