(Scroll down for details on how to nominate for 2022)
Our 2021 ESP of the Year is Nikki Hall!
Nikki Hall is Vermont-NEA's ESP of the Year 2021 Recipient. Nikki is currently an ESP in the Learning Center at Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans. She has been an ESP member for over 5 years. If you were to follow Nikki around at school, you would see her helping with bus duty, completing health screening, supporting students in homework club, in addition to her work in the Learning Center. Nikki pursues ongoing professional learning, and holds certification as a registered behavior technician and in Handle with Care. She also holds an Autism certification. Nikki runs a course through the Norwest Career and Technical Center's Higher Education program for Aspiring Paraeducators. The course prepares participants to take the ParaPro Exam, a prerequisite to become a paraeducator if one does not have two years of college. This course has provided a career path for community members. Nikki is very active in her association. She currently serves as Lead Building Representative, Negotiations Team member, and Executive Committee Member. Advocating for ESPs through this route has enabled her to support a strong working culture for ESP Members and the students they serve.
In recognition of the important role of Education Support Professionals within the Association, and to honor their outstanding contributions to communities and children, Vermont-NEA presents an annual Education Support Professionals Award.
The 1992 Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly established the annual Education Support Professional Award to recognize the importance of ESP.
Who Can Be Nominated
The person being nominated must have been a Vermont-NEA member for at least three years (including this year). Exceptions will be made if the Local Association is less than three years old. We encourage nominations from any ESP career family: Clerical Services, Custodial and Maintenance Services, Food Services, Health and Student Services, Paraeducators, Security Services, Skilled Trades, Technical Services, or Transportation Services.
How to Nominate
The strongest nominees are members who are highly involved in their local Association and/or volunteer for Vermont-NEA or NEA in some capacity. Examples of involvement include, but are not limited to, holding elected local union leadership role(s), being involved in organizing colleagues to legally form the union, assisting fellow members in organizing to improve the workplace or advocating for employee rights. In general, the committee favors nominees who enhance the image of ESPs in the school, union and community. Nominees also should be good employees with a strong professional record, make a continued positive impact on the school and students, and ideally, are involved in their local community.
Nominations will be accepted by submitting a simple web form. All we need is some basic information about your nominee. Nominations will be received on a rolling basis up until the end of the school year. We will be in touch with nominees and their nominators to collect further information.
Deadline for Nominations
Nominations will be received on a rolling basis through the end of the school year. All nominations must be submitted online. If you have any questions, please contact Erin Green at [email protected] or 802-224-2411.
Selection of the Winner
Nominations will be reviewed by the Vermont-NEA ESP Leadership Advisory Committee, which will make a recommendation to the Vermont-NEA Board of Directors. The Vermont-NEA Board will select the winner.
The winner will be presented a $1,000 award, will automatically become Vermont-NEA's nominee for the National Education Association ESP Award, and will receive an all expense paid trip to the NEA ESP Conference to represent Vermont as part of a team of ESPs.
The Vermont-NEA ESP Award will be presented at the annual Vermont-NEA Representative Assembly.
Previous Winners, Vermont-NEA ESP Award
Nikki Hall, Maple Run EA, 2021
Cheryl Hanley, Blue Mountain EA, 2020
Pat Thompson, Maple Run EA, 2019
Joan Savaglio, Green Mountain-NEA, 2018
Loretta Johnson, Rutland Northeast Education Association-Paraeducators and Bus Drivers Unit, 2017
Fran Brennan, Chittenden South Education Association, 2016
Chris Halpin, Essex Jct. Westford Education Association, 2015
Christie Thereault, Windham Southeast Education Association, 2014
Tara Gauding, South Burlington Education Association, 2013
Hannah Van Loon, Windham Southeast Education Association, 2012
Darcey Fletcher, Lamoille Union High School EA, 2011
Donna Constant, Paraeducator, Washington West EA 2010
Jan Thibeault, Paraeducator, Essex North EA 2009
Rebecca Auger, Paraeducator, Woodstock Union HS SSO, 2008
Laurel Tobiason, Paraeducator, Twinfield SSA 2007
Linda Howard, Paraeducator, Twinfield SSA 2006
Regina Sears, Paraeducator, Rutland School EA 2005
Betsy Howard, Paraeducator, Woodstock Union HS SSO 2004
Beverly Klandl, Class Assistant, Chittenden South EA 2003
Carolyn Godbout, Paraeducator, Rutland School SA 2002