Denise Juneau proclaims Education Support Professionals Day
MEA-MFT member Deana (left) joins Denise Juneau as Juneau proclaims ESP Day.
|Supt. Denise Juneau reads the proclamation at Riverside Middle School in Billings.
Nov. 16 - Superintendent Denise Juneau proclaimed today Education Support Professionals Day in Montana, honoring the school secretaries, classroom aides, maintenance people, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and others who keep Montana's public schools running smoothly.
Juneau joined MEA-MFT member Deana Elder, president of the Billings Classified Employees Association, at 7:30 a.m. at Riverside Middle School for a celebration with local education support professionals.
As part of the celebration, Superintendent Juneau issued a proclamation declaring November 16, 2011, as "Education Support Professionals Day" in Montana.
"Education support professionals are the people who keep schools running, deliver the students to school and return them home, feed them, keep them safe, and make sure their schools are orderly and clean," Juneau said.
"They are a necessary component to ensuring every child receives a quality education. These support professionals are the unsung heroes of everyday school life."
Superintendent Juneau said she feels a special connection to education support professionals because both of her paternal grandparents worked as ESPs, and she began her education career as a classroom aide. Juneau's grandmother was a school cook, and her grandfather was a bus driver and truant officer.
Education Support Professionals (ESP) Day is part of American Education Week.
ESP Day was first celebrated in 1987, after NEA's Representative Assembly called for the creation of a way to honor the contributions of school support staff.
THANK YOU to our many MEA-MFT ESP members across the state! This poem is for you:
What If ?
By Dave Arnold
Let’s suppose just for a moment, what if there weren’t any ESPs.
What would become of our schools, and where would education be
If not for the dedication of each Education Support Professional?
How could our schools ever survive or even function at all?
For the bus driver wouldn’t be there to pick up children along the way.
The doors wouldn’t be unlocked, the lights on, or the buildings heated each day.
The aides wouldn’t be there to help those children with a special need.
Or the cooks wouldn’t have a hot and tasty meal ready for all to feed.
School security wouldn’t be there to watch over the children with care.
Each child’s records wouldn’t be the secretary’s load to bear.
The computers would crash without the technician to keep them up to date.
And not for the maintenance personnel, one can only guess the school’s fate.
And there are many more that give so much, each in a different capacity.
For to each ESP, education is far more than just another job or utility.
Education is each child’s future, the hope and prayers of our nation.
For that future, each day, ESP give their work, love, and dedication.
(Dave Arnold, a member of the Illinois Education Association, is a custodian at Brownstown Elementary School in Southern Illinois.)