Celebrating ESPs

ESP local leaders can recognize the good work of ESP members across the state!
Use the ESP STARS online nomination form to nominate members of your local association for an ESP STAR!

Congratulations ESP STAR award recipients!

Carrie Bonine – ESP STAR!
U-46 DUSA, Region 63
Larkin High School

Carrie was able to prove that the work she was doing as a secretary warranted an increase i n classification within our local. When she was able to show her work was high-quality and required advanced critical thinking skills, our district agreed to move everyone with the same title up a level, ultimately benefiting dozens of members and countless students and staff.

Also, Carrie finds time to be a speech coach and take her students to state competitions! Without her coaching, the school would not have been able to field a speech team.

Carrie is active in her local and serves as a building representative. She is a member of the events committee, mentoring committee, PD committee, negotiations committee and is a region representative.

As a leader for the events committee, Carrie has recruited members to events and meetings that have not had a lot of active participation in years. Her ability to reach so many people has helped us grow stronger! Congratulations, Carrie, and thank you for all you do!

Debbie Ciciora – ESP STAR!
Teaching assistant
Local 218, Region 28
Dwight D. Eisenhower High School

Debbie has been involved as a union representative for 17 years and a region representative for four years. She takes advantage of opportunities and attends conferences, conventions and trainings such as the IEA Representative Assembly, the NEA Representative Assembly and the National Education Support Personnel Conference. She consistently takes on extra responsibilities to make our local association even better! She serves on the local 218 executive board, is a part of the negotiating team and a member of the scholarship committee.

Debbie takes an active role in the classroom every day. She works closely with a literacy teacher to provide small group reading instruction to students. She works three periods a day in a self-contained biology classroom where she initiates tasks to help the classroom run smoothly. She enthusiastically learns new technology and constantly offers suggestions about how to improve classroom management and academic success for students. Debbie has really helped struggling students to succeed on assessments by reviewing with students and rephrasing questions to help clarify the meaning to help students make connections between class experiences and the formal assessments.

Debbie helped start up and run “The Closet,” an amazing program at Eisenhower High School. The program allows students access to hygiene products, school supplies, clothing, coats and other winter weather gear. Every week, she spends time organizing items, processing donations and responding to student requests for items. Her care for these students and her willingness to make a difference by meeting their basic needs is admirable. Debbie’s drive to increase the success of the program is evident. She is having conversations with colleagues and school administrators in order to extend the program’s offerings by adding an additional donation and distribution system she hopes to call “The Pantry.” This would allow students and staff to donate non-perishable food items that could be accessed by students who need additional groceries for their homes. She is truly an example of what an ESP should aspire to be. Congratulations, Debbie!

IEA ESP of the Year

Julie Spaargaren was selected as IEA’s Education Support Professional of the Year. The award recognizes outstanding accomplishments of an ESP in the area of involvement in their local, state or national association, achievement in his/her professional classification, promoting public education in the community and enhancement of the image of education support professionals in the association, worksite and community.

Julie is a paraeducator for special needs students at School District 201 in Westmont, IL.  She has worked in the district for 16 years and is a member of Westmont Educational Support Personnel Association (WESPA), Region 57. Congratulations, Julie!

IEA Reg Weaver Human and Civil Rights Award

Mary Ann Rivera, paraeducator from Lyons Township High School, received the Reg Weaver Human and Civil Rights Award at the IEA Representative Assembly on April 11.

Mary Ann is co-president of LTPA, IEA ESP Council member, ethnic minority representative, NEA ESP Director-at-Large and midwest director of NCESP.  Congratulations, Mary Ann!

Pictured left to right: IEA Vice President Al Llorens, IEA President Kathi Griffin and Adrianna Caballero (35), HCR Committee chair. 

2019 ESP of the Year Matthew Powell does it all
Read about Matthew in NEAToday.

Pictured with Matthew left to right: NEA Secretary-Treasurer Princess Moss, NEA President Lily Eskelsen García and NEA Vice President Becky Pringle. 

Let’s Learn about ESP Coloring Book: ESP keep students safe, healthy, and engaged so they are ready to learn. This coloring book introduces young children to each of the 9 ESP career families and educates them on how ESP work in their schools to ensure their success. The coloring book is packed with pages to color, games to play, and areas in which to draw. This coloring book is also available in Spanish, but in limited quantities.

A Guide to Celebrate National Education Support Professionals Day: A Guide to Celebrate National Education Support Professionals Day (PDF, 314KB, 22 pgs.) contains ideas for celebrating National ESP Day including tips on media outreach, sample proclamations, letters to the editor, news releases, PSAs and more.

ESP: Ensuring Student and School Success Hand Out Card: ESP ensure the basic right of every student to attend a great public school. The front of the ESP: Ensuring Student and School Success Hand Out Card (PDF, 2 pgs.) shows ESP working together. The back has additional information on how ESP contribute to great public schools for every student. The card has additional space for labeling and postage.

ESP: School Superheroes Hand Out Card: ESP are unsung heroes that ensure and promote student safety. The front of the ESP: School Superheroes Hand Out Card (PDF, 2 pgs.) shows 3 ESP superheroes protecting their students. The back has additional information on how ESP contribute to school safety. The card has additional space for labeling and postage.

ESP: Ensuring Student and School Success Learning Poster: ESP meet the needs of the whole student —physical, mental, emotional, and social. The front of the ESP: Ensuring Student and School Success Learning Poster (PDF, 2 pgs.) shows each of the 9 ESP career families. The back of this brightly-colored poster is divided into 9 panels with each panel devoted to various facts about each ESP career family.

Celebrate ESP Day Learning Poster: National ESP Day honors the contributions ESP make to public education. It is celebrated on the Wednesday of American Education Week. The front of the Celebrate ESP Day Learning Poster (PDF, 2 pgs.) shows each of the 9 ESP career families and the back of this brightly-colored poster includes excerpts from A Guide to Celebrate National Education Support Professionals Day.

ESP School Superheroes: Keeping Students and Schools Safe Learning Poster: In recognition of the vital link between student success and school safety, we have created this two-sided learning poster. The front of the ESP School Superheroes: Keeping Students and Schools Safe Learning Poster (PDF, 2 pgs.) shows 3 ESP superheroes protecting their students. The back of this brightly-colored poster includes text from HIN’s School Crisis Guide, Guide for Developing High-Quality Schools; and emergency operations plans released by the U.S. departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Justice, and Federal Bureau of Investigation and Federal Emergency Management Agency.

We Want To Hear From You
Tell us your story!
When you organize or participate in an event involving ESPs or hear of such an event, please send us the Who, What, When, Where, Why and a photo to Arlene Criglar or use the online report form.