ESP Committee Mission Statement
The ESP Issues Committee is dedicated to promoting and advancing the professional needs of our Education Support Professionals and our ESP Local Associations.
ESPs hold a special place in the hearts of everyone in our school communities. If you ask any student about their day, they will likely have a story to share about the bus driver who gets them to and from school safely, the secretary who greets them every morning with a smile, the cafeteria worker who feeds them healthy meals at lunch, or the paraeducator who provides them with the space to learn and grow every day. These ESPs, and more, work alongside other caring adults to help our students get what they need to succeed.
Deadline for the Jo Campbell Award
The Jo Campbell Legacy
The Jo Campbell Education Support Professional Award is an award that is given to a NEA-NH ESP member that exemplifies the spirit and tenacity of Josephine “Jo” Campbell.
Jo dedicated her life to her students as an elementary school teacher, her community as a peace activist, to her co-workers as a highly active member of her local association and then went on to serve all educators as a New Hampshire Uniserv Director. As an NEA-NH UniServ Director she devoted much of her time to the betterment of Education Support Professionals in the state of New Hampshire. Jo was instrumental in implementing NEA-NH Endorsement of the Living Wage Campaign.
A “force of nature,” “fearless,” and “empathic” are just a few words that described Jo Campbell.
Each year the ESP Committee has the task of choosing the Jo Campbell Award recipient.
Any ESP that is a member of NEA-NH may nominate themselves or be nominated by another NEA-NH member for the award. The nominee must be a member of NEA-NH for at least three years.
Accepting the Jo Campbell Education Support Professional Award also means the winner agrees to being New Hampshire’s nominee for the National Education Association’s ESP of the Year. This requires additional paperwork on the part of the nominee that will be provided by NEA-NH. The National Education Association will fully fund the nominee to attend the National ESP Conference and awards dinner that takes place in the month of March.
The deadline for Jo Campbell submissions for the 20223 recipient is Monday, November 7th, 2022.
You can download a fillable pdf version of the entry form with instructions and guidelines by clicking the button below.
UPDATE: On March 26th at the 2022 NEA ESP National Conference in New Orleans NEA and NEA Member Benefits awarded Paraeducator Debra Ward-Mitchell from Illinois with its highest honor for education support professionals – the NEA ESP of the Year award. In this capacity, she will serve as an ambassador for ESPs across the country, promoting the value of ESP members at local, state, and national events. NEA-NH’s Sue-Ellen Quinn was honored as one of the finalists for the award and appears here with other NEA-NH members and staff at the awards dinner.
Sue-Ellen Quinn – A Treasured Resource to All and New Hampshire’s Nominee for NEA’s ESP of the Year
Every year, the NEA Education Support Professional (ESP) of the Year Award is presented by NEA and NEA Member Benefits to honor a member who demonstrates outstanding accomplishments and whose achievements reflect the vital role ESPs play in public education.
NEA ESPs of the Year serve as an ambassador for ESPs across the country, promoting the value of ESP members at local, state, and national events. While the award showcases one outstanding ESP each year, it also recognizes and honors the contributions that all ESPs make towards ensuring great public schools for every student.
This year’s nominee from New Hampshire is Sue-Ellen Quinn, Reading/Math Interventionist/Paraprofessional from Main Street School in Exeter, NH.
“Sue is the embodiment of an Education Support Professional,” said Paula Gailing, President of the Exeter Paraprofessional Association. “She begins and ends each day with one question ‘What can I do to make lives better?’
Whether it’s helping her students in the classroom or in the community, assisting fellow ESPs through mentoring or contract negotiations, or being a team leader on various committees, there is no denying the dedication she has to showing the world just what an ESP is capable of doing.
Not only is she dedicated to the students while at school, but she contributes to them out in the community as well. “She will watch them play sports or perform in dance recitals,” said Gailing. “She sells tickets at high school games and always volunteers for PTO fundraisers. If a call is put out for help in the community, you can bet Sue Quinn will answer the call.”
Through the year, Sue has helped elevate the role of ESPs from something the community rarely even considered, to something that is appreciated and discussed in a positive light. That’s an amazing achievement.
“As a parent and community partner, I believe Sue deserves the NEA ESP of the Year Award because of her complete and unwavering devotion to the students of this district through her service, positive attitude, inclusiveness, and humbleness,” said Jeff Neil, member of the Board of Directors for the Southern New Hampshire District YMCA. “Early in the pandemic, she stepped up as a leader, and in collaboration with the YMCA, made sure kids who may have not had quality access to remote learning were provided in-school support to guarantee no child would be left behind.”
“Ultimately, we need more Sue Quins in this world that lead by example, compassion, and are visionary when achieving goals of student and professional development,” said Neil.
Sue is respected and trusted by both students and staff throughout our community and has earned this by her amazing efforts and caring ways.
Sue has helped proctor SAT’s as well as volunteered at summer clinics. She has spent many unpaid summer hours helping teachers move or set up their classrooms.
“Sue makes a genuine effort to know as many students and staff as possible. She leads by example as she listens, counsels, and advises in an energetic, positive and impactful way,” said Gailing. “She is a treasured resource to all.”
Sue-Ellen will be travelling to New Orleans on March 24th to attend the National ESP Conference connecting with ESPs from across the country to grow and strengthen the professional excellence of ESP members working in Pre-K to Higher-Ed. The conference features educator-led, and student-centered learning experiences with multiple interactive workshops helping members excel in their careers and positively impact student success. Participants will enhance their knowledge and skills to advocate for students and educators, champion racial and social justice, build community relationships, strengthen and grow membership, and sustain stronger local associations.
The ESP of the Year awards dinner is scheduled for March 26.
Until voters recognize what ESP do every day to help their children succeed, they will continue to be under appreciated, underpaid, and over worked. Our hope is that through education, people will come to better understand the crucial role ESP play in the lives of their children and be willing to give them the pay and benefits ESP deserve.
We are asking you and you members to tell us your priorities, your stories, what you face every day in your schools, and what message you want us to deliver to the public to educate voters. This feedback will guide us in making this campaign a success.
ESP Educate and Elevate Survey
Education Support Professionals Issues Committee
Composed of eleven NEA-NH members, the ESP Committee’s job is to advise the President and Executive Board of ESP concerns and issues. Please let us know what concerns, issues, questions, and information you want us to bring to the governance of NEA-NH. We want to hear from you!
The ESP Committee meets monthly and provides reports to the NEA-NH Executive Board. Contact the Committee by e-mailing or calling our staff liaison, Nicole Argraves at email@example.com or at 603-593-0088.
ESP: History and Background
Education Support Professionals: An essential part of One Education Workforce
In early 2009, Education Support Professional (ESP) membership in the National Education Association topped half a million, reflecting a 3200% growth since we gained full membership status in 1980.
Education Support Professionals were first recognized as Association members in 1967, when “Educational Secretaries” received membership. A category for “Auxiliary Personnel,” or paraprofessionals, was added in 1972. “Educational Support Personnel”—encompassing all non-teaching education employees— was established as a separate membership category in 1980. ESP won a position on the NEA Board of Directors in 1983, and we continued to expand our representation in governance throughout the 1980s.