Wyoming Education Association

Spring 2019

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X 18 Spring 2019 | wyoea.edu ESP Listening Tour: Tales from the Frontlines By Andrea Shipley Educational Support Professionals work to ensure that students achieve at their highest levels. They keep students emotionally and physically healthy and safe. They engage students and keep them connected to the larger school community. In some cases, they may be the one caring and supportive adult that every student needs to succeed. They provide instruction and academic supports, challenging and motivating students by maintaining high expectations. ESP's meet the needs of the whole student, promoting quality education and fostering positive learning environments. Until recently, ESP membership numbers had been showing a steady decline in Associations across the nation. WEA decided to take action to renew its fi eld organizing eff orts toward growing ESP membership. This December, WEA staff visited locals in targeted areas to gather feedback and information from our ESP members. NW Region UniServ Director Elise Robillard and SW UniServ Director Arthur Huron joined forces with local and statewide leaders to organize these listening sessions. WEA heard about ESP members' experience in order to support their work in our schools and meet their needs as Association members. Next, WEA formed an ESP organizing team and began strategically addressing the issues that were shared during the listening tour. The result? WEA ESP membership is growing, and our members continue to have the opportunity to share their feedback with WEA. Catching up with ESP members, we learned we need to provide ESP focused professional and leadership development opportunities, and to recognize the diversity of thought and experience our ESP's bring to the work of the Association. WEA looks forward to embarking on this work to further benefi t public education employees and their students. Not a group that is likely to boast of its success, ESP members across the state work hard in their locals to better their communities. Locals have recently held fundraisers for charitable groups supporting students and families, and awarded scholarships to local students, amongst other activities. WEA loves to hear about what you are doing in your communities. If you have a news tip on an activity or a colleague that is achieving great things for students, please email WEA Communications & Organizing Director, Andrea Shipley, at ashipley@wyoea.org. We would love to feature this work in an upcoming issue of the WEA News Magazine! UniServ Director, Arthur Huron meets with ESP members in Campbell County. Torrington ESP members at a local taco night event. ESP member Lawna Pouliot, Vice President of SIEA, attending this year's Southeast Region DA briefi ng.

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