ESP of the Year is Cynthia Eldredge

Cynthia Eldredge, an instructional paraprofessional, was honored May 9 as the 2009 MTA Education Support Professional of the year.

The award was presented by Donna Johnson, president of the University Staff Association (Amherst) and chair of the MTA ESP Committee. Johnson, who also serves on the MTA Board of Directors, is on the right in the photo below with Eldredge.

"Cindy is an accomplished instructional paraprofessional and ESP member of the Nauset Education Association," said Johnson:

Cindy works with fifth grade students at Eddy School in Brewster, Mass. She is a 20-year veteran ESP who makes a difference in the lives of her students. Cindy’s day begins well before the contracted day as she offers her time to review math facts with students in need. During the school day, Cindy works in inclusion classrooms, provides additional support to students during lunch, recess, or specialist times, and coordinates the Community Services Club of more than 45 students. At the end of the school day, Cindy stays after school to work with her colleagues in Homework Club, attend meetings, or prepare for the following day. Her ability to connect with children of all ages and abilities is especially noteworthy.

Cindy represents her colleagues as a member of the Negotiations Team for the Educational Assistants in the Nauset Education Association. Cindy is highly respected by both union members and school department administrators.  he is able to present issues in a thoughtful, respectful manner. Over the years Cindy has attended many MTA trainings and always returns with ideas that will support continued improvement in the educational environment of Brewster. Her fellow educational assistants go to her when they have concerns as they know that she is able to handle all situations.

Held May 8 & 9 in Hyannis, the annual ESP Conference drew 332 people from across Massachusetts. Participants attended workshops on topics ranging from special education to digital photography to career management.