A formidable activist for all educators, it is her passion and staunch advocacy for ESP members that netted Lakeport Unified School District paraprofessional Doreen McGuire-Grigg the CTA Paula J. Monroe ESP of the Year Award for 2015.
“I have been a loud and determined voice for education support professional members in my local, state and national organizations," McGuire-Grigg says. "It’s important for me that our ESP members have advocates who work beside them, who know that what they do is important to educating all the students in our schools.”
McGuire-Grigg is president of the Lakeport Unified Classified Employees Association and the first ESP elected to a state position on the NEA Board of Directors. Until recently she served as a delegate to State Council, CTA’s top governing body.
“As a special education paraeducator, one of the most important phrases for me is ‘We are one!’” says McGuire-Grigg, who began her ESP career 27 years ago. “Our ESP members work to make sure all students have all the opportunities they deserve for a quality education. Before students arrive at school, ESP members are involved in their day. Schools wouldn’t be able to open without us!”
“I admire Doreen’s unabashed ability to do what she knows is right, no matter what,” said then CTA President Dean E. Vogel in honoring her for role in ensuring student and school success. “CTA is a more unified and inclusive organization because of her union work and her inspiring solidarity.”
The state award is named after retired activist Paula J. Monroe, Redlands ESP Association, a former CTA and NEA ESP of the Year, who campaigned successfully in 2006 to have 5,000 California ESP employees admitted to CTA as full members.