Click here to submit a nomination for the 2024 award.  

Photo of Jim Johnson

Our 2023 ESP of the Year is Gloria Mantagaris​!

Gloria Mantagaris has been an Intensive Needs Paraeducator for Champlain Valley School District for 16 years. She is passionate about her work as an educator and as a union member. Gloria advocates for all ESP members through serving on her local Executive Council and Negotiations Team.

She is presently the co-coordinator of CVSD's Paraeducator Mentoring Program, the co-chief negotiator for the ESP group and is a member of the Chittenden County ESP Regional Bargaining Council. 

In her own words: "My work as an ESP union rep, co-chief negotiator and as a co-coordinator of the Paraeducator Mentoring Program has bridged a communication gap between our building and district leadership and our association. Our leadership has acknowledged the necessary and important roles ESPs have in running our schools. ESP voices are now at the table more than they ever have been. Furthermore, our leadership has partnered with us through the Paraeducator Mentor Program to ensure we have what we need to do our job which in turn provides the best outcomes for our students."

Congratulations, Gloria!

 Click here to nominate an ESP for the 2024 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. (Nomination period has ended. Check back in the spring for the link to nominate for next year's award.)

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

Gloria Mantagaris, Champlain Valley EA, 2023

Jim Johnson, Champlain Valley EA, 2022

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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