(The nomination period has closed for 2022. Check back here in the spring for links to nominate for 2023.)

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. 

Nominate a local ESP member for the 2022 Vermont-NEA ESP Award!

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 yearWe will be in touch with nominees and their nominators to collect further information.

To submit a nomination online click here.

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.    

Award Presentation

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

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