2021 ESP of the Year Criteria and Standards

Purpose: The MSEA Education Support Professional (ESP) of the Year Award recognizes the contributions of Education Support Professionals (ESPs) to their schools, communities, and their profession. The award is presented to a member of MSEA who demonstrates outstanding accomplishments and reflects the contributions of ESPs to public education.

Eligibility: All current ESP members of a MSEA local affiliate or bargaining unit who have been MSEA members for at least three years as of January 1 of the award year are eligible. Nominees must be an “active” member at the time of selection. Individuals can be nominated by their peers (other MSEA members) or through the local association. Local association nominees must obtain the signature of the local president.

Disqualifiers: Nominations will be automatically disqualified if: the nomination packet is not complete; the nomination is received after the deadline; the nomination is not signed by the local president; or, the nomination includes handwritten documents, clippings, articles or photos (other than the required promotional photo).

Selection: All nominations must comply with the nomination procedures and submission guidelines. Applications will be evaluated by the State ESP Organizing Committee, a committee of association members approved by the local Board of Directors.

If a local ESP of the Year is chosen, the local president is responsible for ensuring the winner’s name and supporting materials are sent to the Staff Liaison of the ESP Organizing Committee for consideration for the statewide award.

The MSEA ESP Organizing Committee will review all nominations to ensure that eligibility and submission requirements are met. The committee will forward its recommendation to the MSEA president for presentation to the MSEA Board of Directors for consideration and action.

Criteria: Nominations are judged according to the following five criteria: Professional Practice; Member Advocacy and Association Involvement; Community Engagement; Personal Achievement and Enhancement of ESP Image. The MSEA selection committee members will rate nominees on a scale of 1 to 5 for each criterion, where “1” represents minimal evidence of the criterion, and “5” represents very strong evidence of the criterion.

1. Professional Practice—Include worksite responsibilities and professional achievements the nominee has made in his or her field; include examples of leadership, creativity and innovation in making a difference for students and the school or workplace. Nominee must be in good standing with administrators and supervisors in the school building and on the worksite. He/she must have positive evaluations and demonstrate a desire to enhance skills by utilizing professional development opportunities.

2. Member Advocacy and Association Involvement —Include descriptions of the nominee’s leadership, creativity and innovation in advocating for members, for the profession and for public education; include how the nominee’s involvement in MSEA or its local affiliates contribute to professional success; include descriptions of how the nominee is active in member recruitment and encouraging colleagues to be more involved members. Nominee must have demonstrated involvement in activities such as one-on-one meetings, professional development trainings, committee memberships, attending building rep or all member meetings, lobbying (via emails, phone calls, or personal meetings with legislators), canvassing, phone banks, delegate to state (MSEA) or national (NEA) meetings, etc.

3. Community Engagement — Include details on how the nominee is involved in promoting public education within the community through charitable projects and activities and examples of how that involvement has benefited students, families, and members. Nominee is active in community roles that enhance the quality of life for citizens through public service, family engagement, spiritual support, education, etc. This may include, but is not limited to, parent teacher organizations, fraternities and sororities, civic organizations, faith-based organizations, etc.

4. Personal Achievement — A description of the nominee’s personal and/or professional goals including: what he/she is doing or has done to meet these goals; how his/her growth and goals benefit students, members and/or the community; and, what advice he/she would give to a colleague entering the profession.

5. Enhancement of ESP Image — Include details of how the nominee’s activities have enhanced the image of ESPs at the worksite, in the association, and in the community. Nominee has demonstrated a reputation of commitment and passion for education that greatly enhances the image of a support professional’s role in public education. This may include, but is not limited to, positive posts on social media, public comments at school board, county council or association meetings, initiating events and activities that emphasize the ESP’s role in public education.

Procedures for Nomination

Nominations may be submitted by any student, parent, teacher, administrator, citizen, or school organization or by a fellow education support professional. The nominator must describe the nature of the achievement of the nominee citing the stated criteria. All nomination forms must be signed by the local president.

Nomination Form – Nominator must use the form provided. Click here for the nomination form. 

Nomination Letter – (Limit one page maximum, 12-point font, double-spaced, one-inch margins all sides) The nominator must provide a description of why the nominee is an outstanding support professional. Please provide specific examples of noteworthy achievements in the following categories: (1) Professional Practice (2) Advocacy and Association Involvement (3) Community Engagement (4) Personal Achievement (5) Enhancement of ESP Image. Additional information may be submitted if desired.

Résumé – (Limit one page maximum, 12-point font, double-spaced, one-inch margins on all sides) Provide brief bullets of the nominee’s work and professional experiences, which may include:

Nominee Statement – (Limit one page maximum, 12-point font, double-spaced, one-inch margins on all sides)

Give specific examples of achievement in each of the five criteria areas:

Letters of Endorsement – (Two letters, limit one page maximum for each, double spaced, 12-point font, one-inch margins on all sides, handwritten letters will not be accepted.)

Nominees must include two letters of endorsement. Letters should be from those who know the nominee well, such as association leaders, colleagues, current or former students, parents of students, community members, etc. Letters must note how long the writer has known the nominee and in what capacity the writer is able to comment on the nominee’s professional, association and/or community work.

Promotional Photo – Each nominee shall include a high-resolution, digital headshot that will be used for promotional purposes only. This photo will not be considered by the selection committee. If the nomination is submitted by hard copy, a digital headshot may be submitted separately by email. The photo must be submitted by 5:00 PM EST on June 15.

Submission Guidelines

1. Number the pages of the entire package consecutively, starting with the Nomination Form as “Page 1.”

2. Do not staple or permanently bind the materials. Paperclips are acceptable

3. Do not include covers, decorative packaging, pictures (other than the required promotional photo), articles, clippings, etc.

4. Include only the materials requested in these guidelines.

5. The complete nomination package must be received at MSEA no later than 5:00 PM EST on June 15, 2020. Submissions by email are strongly preferred, but hard copies by mail will be accepted. Faxed copies will not be accepted.

Send nomination packages via email or by US mail to:

MSEA
Attn: MSEA ESP of the Year Application
140 Main Street
Annapolis, MD 21401

Questions? 443-758-7760

Deadline for State ESP of the Year Submission: June 1, 2021

A winner will be chosen by September 30 and recognized at the MSEA Representative Assembly in Ocean City.

**The MSEA ESP of the Year will be submitted as a nominee for the NEA ESP of the Year. Please note that additional requirements may need to be met in order to comply with the NEA’s nomination guidelines.