Arizona Education Association

Winter 2012/13

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 11 of 39

esProfessional AEA ESP Conference ESP Members Building Power and Respect Through Organizing FAR RIGHT: NEA ESP of the Year Judy Near speaks to Conference attendees. Be sure to check out these other stories for more opportunities to get involved and take action. ESP Action 8 AEA Provides Free Professional Development to Members 14 How AEA Gave Members a Voice on the Job 39 Become a Cyber Lobbyist Education Support Professionals (ESP) from across the state attended the AEA ESP Conference this past September. The confer- ence provided training to classified staff relevant to their positions as support professionals and leaders in their local association. The highlight of the conference was the 2012 NEA ESP of the Year, Judy Near, who spoke at the Supporting Excellence Recognition Dinner. Near told a moving story about how she and three colleagues organized their local, Cañon City Education Support Personnel Association (CCESPA) from Colorado in an anti-union environment. "The first time I spoke in front of our school board asking for recognition for our ESP col- leagues, I was vulnerable and scared and placed standing between two administrators who hated what we were doing. I shook so badly that I could barely read from my paper. It was then that I vowed no one was ever going to make me that scared again." "You've heard the sayings 'You're a dime a dozen' or 'There are a hundred people waiting 12 Winter 2012/13 x AEA Advocate in line to take your job.' It was that very atti- tude and that kind of language that gave us the strength and courage to organize our local. We were successful and continue today to be the sole representatives of our education support professionals." Near, a health technician and attendance clerk at Skyline Elementary School, spoke about respect and encouraged all ESP to tell their story. "When people asked what I do, I used to say, 'Oh I'm just a health tech.' Not anymore. I am here today to tell you, you are not 'Just a ….' You are a valuable and contributing piece of the academic and personal success of every child you work with." On the second day, local ESP leaders were able to meet and collaborate with other ESP leaders from around the state. In addition, during lunch the ESP Caucus met to discuss or- ganizing opportunities for ESP local associations and members. Conference sessions covered the following topics: • Student Management in the ESP/Classified Workplace (paraprofessionals, bus drivers,

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Arizona Education Association - Winter 2012/13