Education Support Professionals

Education Support Professionals (ESP)

Educating Michigan’s students requires a team effort by everyone involved in public education, including the thousands of education support professional who are represented by MEA.  School support staff – including paraprofessionals, secretaries, custodians, bus drivers and other transportation workers, food service employees, maintenance, skilled trades, and more – are an essential part of making public education work.  Aside from their locals, MEA’s ESP members are represented by the ESP Caucus Board, which works to ensure the needs of school support staff are met by their union.

The Latest:

ESP News

Statewide Awards Given to School Support Professionals

Becky Lesh, a Waterford bus driver who serves as president of her MEA education support professional (ESP) local and vice-chair of the 7E Coordinating Council, has been named the 2021 Leon A. Brunner Award winner for her tireless work fighting privatization efforts and reversing cuts to positions and pay. In her five years as local president, Lesh successfully beat back…

Conference Lifts ESP Voices, Roles, Strength

If knowledge is power, then MEA member Timmery Foster figures she is helping to make a stronger union by attending this year’s ESP Statewide Conference. Not only did the Howell paraeducator spend time attending sessions at the conference for Education Support Professionals – held virtually this year because of the pandemic – but she also is gathering credits toward professional…

Network, Learn, Grow at Statewide ESP Conference

This year, Education Support Professionals have faced unforeseen challenges in every job category as the COVID-19 pandemic has upended normal life – and their contributions are something to be proud of, says ESP Caucus President Roy Freeman. Now in the wake of that upheaval and change, the MEA ESP Statewide Conference on March 25-27 offers a chance to come together, network,…

Bus Driver Weaves Love into the Job

Julie Ingison MEA member Julie Ingison says the pandemic means children who ride her bus can’t see her smile through the face mask, but she tries to make sure they can hear the smile in her voice when she greets them by name each day. They also can feel her love through the huggable gift she handcrafted for each child…

Nominations sought for ESP Caucus Board

* A mistake in the print magazine wrongly indicates the number of At-Large Director positions which are open for nominations on the ESP Caucus Board. We regret the error. Nominations are being accepted for several positions on the MEA ESP Caucus Executive Board. Open positions are as follows: PRESIDENT: 1 Position – Sept. 1, 2021 to Aug. 31, 2024 VICE-PRESIDENT: …

Jill Wheeler: On Books, Kids, and ESP

Throughout the pandemic, MEA member Jill Wheeler has gone above and beyond to get books to kids, hand-delivering titles to classrooms and sanitizing the returns since students could no longer check them in and out in-person due to safety protocols. Jill Wheeler Much has changed in her role this year as a library aide in Sandusky Community Schools, but some things…

Loving Head Cook, ‘Miss Dawn,’ Wins ESP of the Year: ‘This is home to me’

By Brenda Ortega MEA Voice Editor At Parma Elementary School in Jackson County’s Western School District, students coming through Miss Dawn’s cafeteria line enjoy a generous serving of love along with their chicken nuggets, buttered corn and apple slices. “The kids absolutely love her because they know she cares,” said Principal Sue Haney. “She jokes with them, talks with them, laughs…

Amy Quiñones: Charting New Waters

Lots of people say it in these unusual days of our lives, but for MEA member Amy Quiñones it’s literally true: She did not sign up for this. The job she’s doing in Rockford Public Schools—COVID Response paraprofessional—didn’t exist before this year. Amy Quiñones “I jokingly say that the brochure lied,” Quiñones said. “Never before has a position like this…

Karen Moore: secretary with a purpose

By Brenda Ortega MEA Voice Editor Karen Moore One of Karen Moore’s proudest accomplishments as Grand Blanc West High School secretary is the “zen room” she created a few years ago—outfitted with soft lights, gentle white noise, a lilac-scented diffuser, and coloring books, crayons, and puzzles. It’s a testament to her powers that she convinced the building principal to give up his office…

MEA members create wellness toolboxes for at-risk students  

EAST LANSING – At-risk students may be hardest hit by the disruption of schooling in the COVID-19 era, so an MEA unit of Kalamazoo behavior specialists has taken action to help them cope from a distance. The 14 members of the Kalamazoo Behavior Specialists Association (KBSA) came up with the idea to create Wellness Toolboxes for their students to use at home. The group…

View All