Honoring Education Support Professionals


naomi akan esp of the year and group
MTA ESPs of the Year from past years celebrate with 2022 Education Support Professional of the Year Naomi Akan. From left to right: Joan Cedarholm, 2019, Naomi Akan, 2022, Sonia Fortin, 2020, Susan Soares, 2021, and MTA President Merrie Najimy. 

Education Support Professionals have a variety of roles in our schools, colleges and universities. ESPs are maintenance, transportation and food service workers. They are custodians, paraprofessionals, classroom aides, secretaries, clerks and assistants. They are trades and craftspeople, technical and health services staff. They keep our students healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged so that they will be ready to learn.

Each year, the MTA ESP Committee honors an exceptional MTA member with the ESP of the Year. Nominators are asked to address the nominee's qualifications in the following areas:

MTA ESPs of the Year

Year ESP Local Association
2021 Naomi Akan Canton Teachers Association
2022 Susan Soares Arlington Education Association
2020 Sonia Fortin Sudbury Education Association
2019 Joan Cederholm
Weymouth Educators' Association
2018 Kathleen Meltsakos
Andover Education Association
2017 Nancy Burke Haverhill Education Association
2016 Saul Ramos Educational Association of Worcester
2015 Michelle Elwell Rockport Educational Support Staff Association
2014 Lois Powers Classified Staff Union, UMass Boston
2013 Diane Barnum Framingham Teachers Association
2012 Lorraine Niccoli Brockton Paraprofessionals Association