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

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…

Finding Strength in Solidarity

By Brenda Ortega MEA Voice Editor MEA member Eric Curtiss thought he had a high number of students in his English classes last year when his numbers topped out at 144. This year he has 168, although the number fluctuates. Eric Curtiss Last year he had five preps, the most in his 22-year career. Now he has eight different courses…

Member Spotlight: Chuck Waldroup

Chuck Waldroup signed up to be a bus mechanic seven years ago with Inland Lakes School District, but to his surprise a driver shortage placed him behind the wheel in a permanent second role. Chuck Waldroup What was your reaction to unexpectedly becoming a bus driver? I thought it was going to be a nightmare with kids misbehaving, and from…

Member Spotlight: Rolonda Gleason

Rolonda Gleason is a secretary at Ferris State University. The Alaska native knows what it’s like to work without a union, so now she’s a one-woman MEA welcoming committee. What work did you do before coming to FSU? I was a support-staff person at the University of Alaska and worked closely with the School of Ed where we recruited teachers…