MTA ESP of the Year

Susan Soares

susan soares ESP of the year 

Susan Soares, a special education teaching assistant at the Stratton Elementary School in Arlington and a member of the Arlington Education Association, has worked in her town’s public schools for more than 13 years. During the 2017-2018 school year, Soares led a successful unionization drive on behalf of her fellow paraprofessionals, organizing one of the last major nonunion groups of ESPs in Massachusetts. She then chaired the Negotiating Team and was a member of the Contract Action Team as the paraprofessionals bargained their first contract, significantly expanding the pay scale for paraprofessionals, improving job security, providing access to professional development and establishing benefits commensurate with those of other unionized employees. AEA President Julianna Keyes said Soares “shows up at every MTA meeting, every training, and she is the first to send support or congratulations to her colleagues. She's done all this while supporting her students in a variety of special ed and regular ed classrooms throughout the school.”