When I was a young boy growing up in California, my home life was unpredictable and, often, very intense. So to escape, I spent as much time at school as I could. I got there early in the morning and stayed late after school as well. During these times I "hung out" width the Education Support Professionals at my school. They looked after me and cared for me. They cared about me. In a way, they became part of the adult support system that kept me grounded, kept me whole. They were part of my extended family, and I counted on them to be there for me. And they always were.
That's what I'm thinking about as we celebrate Education Support Professionals Day
. ESPs are so vital and important to our school family as well. Sometimes, like in my case, you are the first and last person a student sees during his school day.
The bus drivers who transport students to school, the paraprofessionals who work directly width students, the clerical service staff who interface width parents and make our schools run, and the custodial and maintenance professionals are all important to the success of our schools. Each of you has relationships you've formed width parents and students that make our school communities even stronger. And you make CTA stronger.
Thank you for the work you do every day in our schools. You play vital roles in making sure our schools and our students succeed.
I also want to congratulate NEA Executive Committee member Paula Monroe
, who has been named CTA ESP of the Year for 2013. Paula is a member of the Redlands Education Support Professionals Association, in southern California, and is well-known as a formidable activist for all CTA and NEA members.
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