Education is more than teachers |

Education is more than teachers

Maryann Gilmore, President, Park City Classified Employees Association

Most, if not all, parents know their child’s teachers & school principal, but how many know the rest of the team? Classified employees, aka education support professionals ("ESPs"), are non-teacher, non-administrator school district employees. ESPs are equal and essential partners in the education process and many have called them the unsung heroes of public education.

Without ESPs, many children would have no way to get to school. The doors wouldn’t open. The bells wouldn’t ring. Classrooms wouldn’t be clean and well-maintained. Students who need extra help would miss the one-on-one support and teachers would be stretched even thinner. Students would go without lunch. The phones wouldn’t be answered. The lights wouldn’t go on. The computers wouldn’t work and the paychecks wouldn’t be issued. PCSD, like every public school system, runs because of the work classified ESPs do.

PCSDs classified employees provide invaluable services that, along with those of teachers and administrators, enable students to learn in a positive, supportive environment. As the Rev. Jesse Jackson has said, "Children need all school workers. A person is not ‘just’ a janitor, not ‘just’ a custodian. ESPs are partners in education. We need each other to make this work."

In 1987, the National Education Association’s Representative Assembly called for the creation of a way to honor the contributions of school support staff. The result was National Education Support Professionals Day. Each year since then, ESP Day has been observed on the Wednesday of each American Education Week. This year that is November 20th.

To mark ESP Day 2013, Governor Herbert has issued a proclamation declaring November 20, 2013 as Education Support Professionals Day in UT. In PCSD, members of the Board of Education will participate in the 2nd annual Take A Board Member to Work Day experiencing, first hand, just what ESPs do and how their dedication and commitment contributes to making PCSD great.

PCSD ESPs are, in 5 words or less, professional, committed, capable, essential assets. It is true that it takes a village and National ESP Day is a way to show ESPs that they are not ‘just’ a; they are hardworking professionals that are an important part of the team, serving as essential partners in making PCSDs schools great for every student. Let’s recognize their contributions by saying "thank you", especially on November 20th.

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