Educators Recognize, Honor and Thank Education Support Professionals Today, “ESP Day”

Partners in making school days possible, ESPs play key role in students’ lives now more than ever

BURLINGAME – California educators are recognizing, honoring, and thanking their counterparts in making school days possible, California’s education support professionals. CTA encourages the education community and public to join in their efforts today, May 19, for California Education Support Professionals (ESP) Day. ESPs are at the front line of public education. It begins with that first school bus ride in the morning, and it ends when the custodian turns off the lights at night. They make up one-third of the entire education workforce. In fact, it would be difficult to imagine a school going for one day without paraprofessionals, office workers, bus drivers, custodians, and maintenance staff. They keep the grounds running, and during difficult times like the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine, they are making sure students are fed and schools are sanitized, clean and safe for the return of students and fellow educators.

“ESPs are ‘the first and last faces’ of public education. Their dedication and strength to serve our most vulnerable students during COVID-19 is admirable. They play a key role in establishing relationships with students and ensuring the success of each school health component. From cleaning and providing laptops or serving food to the community during a global pandemic, their courage is undeniable. With ESPs as our partners in educating our students, I know we can get through anything.”

— CTA President E. Toby Boyd

Today, and every day, CTA thanks ESPs for their tireless efforts. To celebrate ESPs, CTA launched Thank an Educator and is calling on Californians to thank ESPs in their community. Now more than ever, we are grateful for the contributions of ESPs, and how essential they are to a successful return to schools.

Today, CTA is proud to announce CTA’s ESP of the Year Deisy Bates, a Spanish Language Interpreter/Translator with the Hayward Unified School District’s (HUSD) special education department and president of Association of Educational Office and Technical Employees (AEOTE). She was named this year’s Paula J. Monroe CTA Education Support Professional (ESP) of the Year in recognition of her nearly 25 years of ongoing commitment to supporting Hayward students and their families.

Bates said she feels privileged to be a CTA member. As a leader in her local chapter, Bates said CTA provides the tools and training she needs to help improve the lives of her colleagues and students.

“As we work with our families, we are also taking care of our parents. We are feeding them daily, and even providing food for their babies at home. We also give them the space to express their concerns and worries, and more importantly, how to conduct self-care during this time,” said Bates.

“I admire Deisy’s advocacy to support her fellow ESP colleagues, who are the backbone of public schools,” said CTA President E. Toby Boyd. “She is a dynamic team player. Deisy encourages her colleagues to be the best role models for their students and inspires collaboration to share the best resources. Today, we honor Deisy and all our ESP friends.”

For ideas on ways to celebrate the ESPs in your life and more information, go to

The 310,000-member California Teachers Association is affiliated with the 3 million-member National Education Association.