Redlands Education Support Professional Mary Ambriz Named CTA’s 2022 ESP of the Year

Elementary school office manager recognized for decades of chapter service and commitment to students’ success

BURLINGAME — Mary Ambriz, an elementary school office manager and member of Redlands Education Support Professionals Association (RESPA), has been named this year’s Paula J. Monroe CTA Education Support Professional (ESP) of the Year. This recognition comes from her decades of work, ongoing commitment to supporting RESPA members and their families, and activism in her union on behalf of the students she works with every day.

“We are proud to recognize Mary Ambriz as the 2022 ESP of the Year. Educational support professionals make school days possible with their contributions and through their partnership with classroom teachers and staff. As the school office manager, Mary doesn’t skip a beat looking out for students, fellow educators, and the school community. Her commitment to serving others at the school and in her union fuels her advocacy work on and off school grounds. On behalf of CTA’s 310,000 educators, thank you and congratulations, Mary.”

– CTA President E. Toby Boyd

Ambriz has served in multiple roles in her local union, including site representative, RESPA director of clerical and RESPA executive secretary. Mary’s past and current service includes newsletter editor, scholarship chair, member engagement chair, and bylaw committee chair. She also has written multiple successful grants to increase funding for key RESPA projects.

“It’s a distinct honor to be named CTA’s ESP of the Year. I am humbled by this recognition, as there are so many outstanding ESPs. Receiving an award named after my dear friend and local Redlands leader, Paula Monroe, makes it more special,” said Ambriz. “Having the opportunity to advocate for members is why being active in our union is so important. Strong unions level the playing field between management and labor. Standing with fellow members, setting goals, and achieving them reinforces our collective power. Together with my colleagues, we make a difference in the Redlands community. Our unity brings strength, and we all share in this honor.”

School days begin with a school bus ride in the morning, and end when the custodian turns off the lights at night. ESPs are the vital connection between all that happens at a campus or site. ESPs make up one-third of the entire education workforce and include paraprofessionals, office workers, coaches, bus drivers, food service workers, security personnel, IT, custodians, and maintenance staff.

The award is named after retired ESP activist Paula J. Monroe from Redlands Unified, a former CTA and National Education Association (NEA) ESP of the Year who campaigned successfully in 2006 to have 5,000 California ESP employees admitted to CTA as full members.


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