ESP Insider

ESP insider | Mar. 27, 2019
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Congratulations ESP STAR award recipients!
Sherri Rosel – ESP STAR!
Bus Driver
Troy School District 30C
Troy Education Association, Region 51

Sheri is a wonderful asset to the school district. She is cheerful and always greets you with a smile and a wave. She goes beyond the call of duty.

When she saw me walking my daughter to the bus stop while pushing my two little ones in a stroller (we have no sidewalks), she contacted transportation and had the bus stop moved to the end of my driveway. I no longer had to push my little ones down the road to the bus stop, especially in bad weather. And if that wasn’t enough, Jennifer even came back one morning after her shift driving the school bus to help us find our missing dog.

I’m in awe at the number of people who know exactly who we are talking about when we mention Ms. Sheri. She’s absolutely amazing! It’s easy to remember to thank a teacher or the office personnel; but sometimes you forget to thank the people (school bus drivers) who see your kids first thing in the morning and at the end of every school day.

They see our kids when they’re still sleepy, soaking wet from the rain, scared about school or worried about that day’s test. They are also the last people to see children before they come home — when they’re tired, cranky or full of energy from being cooped up inside all day. Day in and out, Ms. Sheri wears a welcoming and beautiful smile and always has wonderful and encouraging words for the children. Congratulations, Sheri!

Thelma Weaver – ESP STAR!
Thornwood High School District 205
Union Support Staff – Region 27
Thelma has been the backbone of the Union of Support Staff for many years. She has held the position of president, secretary and building rep. She has served on numerous bargaining teams and works diligently to protect the rights of all members.

Thelma’s current position is computer lab specialist. What makes her stand out is how she allows students to come to the lab to finish projects and papers after school or during their lunch. She also has a few students who earn extra credit by cleaning the labs every day.

Thelma is an asset to her building and to the District 205 family. She is on the front line with issues that affect our students. She advocates for our students to the building administration, district administration and community leaders.

She is the “seasoned” paraeducator that we all strive to be. She is a major part of our new paraprofessional training we just bargained into our new contract. Ms. Weaver is a true ESP STAR. Congratulations, Thelma!

Use the online nomination form to nominate a special ESP member for a STAR award!
ESP Council and other statewide elections
Online election information
Watch your mailbox around April 1 for a blue envelope containing online election information to vote for your IEA ESP Council members, NEA RA State delegates and other IEA statewide positions.
If you do not receive your online voting information or have any questions, please email IEA Governance Elections Paraprofessional Kim Trader or call her at 217-321-2250. The election closes April 24.
Your vote is important! Please remember to vote!
Consolidated Election Day

Tues., April 2
Polls are open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Exercise your right to vote!

IEA Representative Assembly (RA)
ESP delegates, we are looking forward to seeing you at the RA, April 11-13 in Rosemont!
Several events are planned for you to meet and network with other ESP delegates. Be sure to attend the following ESP events:
  • ESP open hearing, 10–11 a.m., Thurs., April 11 (Florence, International level)
  • ESP resource room, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m., Thurs. and Fri. (LAXB room, ground level)
  • ESP delegate reception, 6–8 p.m., Fri., April 12 (Red Bar, lobby level)
The 3 percent cap and how it affects ESPs
ESP Council member Jill Scarcelli visits Region 51 meeting

I had the privilege to attend Region 51’s monthly meeting which was held at the IEA office in Minooka on Thurs., Feb. 28. Sen. Michael Hastings (D-Tinley Park) was the keynote speaker. Many topics were discussed but the 3 percent cap was the hot topic of the evening and how it is affecting many districts during the already stressful time of bargaining.

“Illinois has many districts that are ‘wall to wall.’ Wall to wall contracts cover ESPs and certified staff under one contract. This usually means that all members under the contract get the same raise. The 3 percent cap is affecting ESPs who are already suffering from low wages making it much more difficult to get the raises they need and deserve.”  –Sen. Mike Hastings

How does the 3 percent cap affect ESPs if it pertains to certified staff retirement compensation?
Past practice has shown that ESP IMRF contribution rules usually follow TRS contribution rules. So, if we don’t speak out now, our own IMRF contributions also could be capped at the 3 percent limit.

You can help! Email your legislator and sign the petitionto repeal the 3 percent!

A special thank you to Region 51 Chair Dennis Grosskopf, Region 51 Vice Chair Beth Duesing and Region Grassroots Political Activist Kristin McGuire. Also, I want to thank Dennis for allowing me to speak and hand out IEA ESP Council information at the meeting. We are ESP! Stronger United!

Visit for the latest ESP updates and to request a council member to visit your region or local.  –Jill Scarcelli, TEA secretary and ESP Council member

ESPs getting involved
Seeking interested members for 2019-20 IEA Committees

Committee and board subcommittee appointment procedures

Have you taken the member interest survey?
If not, please take it so we know your interests and the issues important to you.
  1. Log in to Members Only.
  2. Navigate to My Dashboard.
  3. Choose Member Interest/Issue Survey (top right purple box)
Highlights from ESP events
For the third year, ParaPalooza was held at Jacobs High School in Algonquin (District D300) on March 1 as part of Kane County Days, when professional development is offered to employees of all Kane County schools.
ParaPalooza was designed as a full day of professional development with sessions created specifically for paraeducators. In the prior two years, it was offered to D300 paraeducators. At the request of IEA Region 25 Chair and LEAD President Michael Williamson and with permission from D300 Superintendent Fred Heid, this year’s ParaPalooza also was open to District U46 paraeducators.

Sessions were planned and presenters arranged by a team including: Michael Williamson; IEA associate staff Pam Piecuch (Elgin); DESA President Michele Meyer; DUEA President Sara Moeller; DUEA Vice President Tina Pizzitola; DUEA PD Coordinator Holly Fitzgerald; and Region 25 UniServ Director Steve Wilquet. Also, D300 administrative staff lent their expertise to organizing the venue, welcome presenters and ensure the event ran smoothly. The pairing of IEA with District 300 was extremely successful in presenting noteworthy professional development (more than 35 sessions) to the valued paraeducator members of our DESA and DUEA locals. View the ParaPalooza photo album on IEA’s Flickr site.

ESP Emerging Leaders Academy
IEA partnered with NEA and held its first Emerging Leaders Academy training in Denver last week. Twelve (12) ESP members from across the state were selected to participate through an application process.

Watch a short video.

​View the Flickr photo album.

IEA local leaders attend the NEA Leadership Summit in Denver
Schaumburg Education Association members left to right: Lori Caravia Mobley, Cynthia Dressler and Kara Lynn and UniServ Director Crystal Bush.
DUEA-District Unit education assistants left to right: Tina Pizzitola, Holly Fitzgerald, Sara Moeller and Suzanne Willard.
Member benefits
During the month of February, almost 5,000 IEA members saved more than $147,000 with Educator Savings from Access (an IEA partner)!

Log in to Members Only and access your discounts and deals today!

If you don’t have it yet, download the MyDeals mobile app!
•  App Store
•  GooglePlay
Upcoming ESP events
Apr. 11–13: IEA Representative Assembly (RA)

Jun. 7–9: NEA Joint Ethnic Conference
St. Louis

Jul. 22–26: Summer Leadership Academy (SLA)
Illinois State University, Normal

Oct. 4–5: IEA One Conference
Oak Brook

Tell us your story!
When you organize or participate in an event involving ESPs or hear of such an event, please send us the Who, What, When, Where, Why and a photo to Arlene Criglar or use the online report form.

Stories are due Apr. 15 for the April ESP insider.