Nominations sought for 2008 ESP Award

The time has arrived to give this ESP some well-deserved recognition.

In January, all MTA ESPs will receive nomination forms for the 2008 MTA ESP Award. They will have roughly auntil Feb. 14 to have the forms and accompanying documentation completed, approved by local association leaders and postmarked for submission to MTA ESP Organizer/Consultant Nancy Robbie.

Donna Johnson -- who serves as chair of the MTA ESP Committee, president of the University Staff Association at UMass-Amherst and a member of the MTA Executive Committee -- looks forward to reviewing the nominations each winter because they provide such a wealth of information about the great things her colleagues are doing to help students and make a difference in other ways.

"Each time I read one of these nominations, it warms my heart,” Johnson said. "Throughout the state, ESPs are doing wonderful things for their schools and colleges, their local associations and their towns and cities.

"These men and women are among the unsung heroes of public education," she continued, "and now we have the chance to honor them and share their stories."

Once the required information has been compiled, nomination forms must be signed by local presidents or authorized by a local's executive committee or board. Upon submission, they are reviewed by the ESP Committee, which sends a nominee along to the MTA Board. The award will be presented at the MTA ESP Conference on May 16 in Plymouth.

Johnson noted that only ESPs are eligible for the award and that there can be only one ESP nominee from any local. The award is not political, the guidelines state, and will not be given "solely based on a person's stature within the MTA."

The nomination form calls for supporting material in five areas:

  • Professional practice.
  • Advocacy and association involvement.
  • Community engagement.
  • Enhancement of the image of ESPs.
  • Personal achievement.

The 2007 ESP Award winner was Regina Wong, co-president of the Weston Aides and Paraprofessional Association.

For further information, please e-mail Robbie at nrobbie@massteacher.org or call her at 1-800-542-5504.