Jean Fay named ESP of the Year

Jean Fay, a kindergarten paraprofessional, has been named the MTA Education Support Professional of the Year. She received the award April 2 at the closing lunch of the annual ESP Conference, which drew more than 350 ESP members from across the state to Hyannis.

Fay has been involved in her local association, the Amherst-Pelham Education Association, since 2001. A paraprofessional at Crocker Farm School in Amherst, she serves as Chair of Unit C (Paraprofessionals) on the APEA board and is also a member of the MTA Board of Directors.

Fay is also a graduate of NEA’s Leaders for Tomorrow program and an active participant in local and statewide political causes. Her ability to recognize opportunities for improvement coupled with her sincere desire to help whenever and wherever she is able has made a significant impact on the local and state levels. Jean Fay

"What happens in the voting booth affects all of us," Fay told the ESP audience. "The votes of people who make $20,000 a year are just as powerful as the votes of CEOs who make millions."

"I’ve had the good fortune to work with Jean Fay in kindergarten for three different years. She is, in a word, amazing. From the time she arrives till she tucks the last kindergartner into his backpack, Jean is busy taking care of the many details of running a kindergarten classroom," wrote kindergarten teach Jan Demers in her nomination letter. "She is the most organized and productive person I know. What makes Jean even more valuable is her ability to engage with the children. Over the years she has taken many courses and workshops to learn about best practices in literacy and math, which she applies effectively in her teaching. Plus, she is so warm and funny and genuine that children are naturally drawn to her and remain close to her as they move on through the grades.

"There’s another aspect of Jean Fay’s work with children that is not as well known," Demers continued. "As she meets the buses each morning, she recognizes the child who is hungry or not dressed warmly enough or who doesn’t have boots. Then she makes sure that these conditions are remedied."

The ESP of the Year award was presented by ESP Committee Chair Donna Johnson, who is also president of the University Staff Association at UMass Amherst.

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