Eight Education Support Professionals from Idaho attended this year’s National Education Association ESP Conference in New Orleans, LA. The NEA ESP Conference provided a great opportunity for ESP’s to enhance their skills, build student achievement, organize and advocate for members, and build strong communities. The eight Idaho ESP’s represented a geographic cross-section from across the state, and many had never met prior to the conference.
This year the theme was: Organize, Educate and Lead: ESPs Meeting the Needs of the Whole Student. The presenters of the conference focused their topics of discussion around this theme, and gave ESP attendees valuable affirmation of the positive impact that ESP’s make in educating the whole student. ESP attendees were able to select from over 100 different classes/sessions on a variety of topics including: grant writing, social media, earning respect, building your toolbox for special education, keeping schools safe and clean, and many others.
On Friday evening during the conference, more than 1,100 ESPs from around the country gathered for a formal awards dinner. Idaho was able to honor and recognize its chosen ESP of the Year, Bobbie Steffensen, along with ESP’s of the Year from other states. This was an amazing evening that allowed for ESPs to receive the recognition that they so richly deserve.
Next year’s NEA ESP Conference will be held March 11- 13 in Orlando, Florida. This conference is open to all ESP members, and funding is available for those applicants selected as a state or national attendees. Be on the look-out for the 2016 NEA ESP Conference nomination form in January 2016.