ESP of the Year Award

In 1995, the lEA Representative Assembly passed a New Business Item establishing the ESP of the Year Award. This award is meant to further emphasize the contributions of Education Support Professionals to their association, their schools, and their communities.

Nomination Form

To insure the widest possible participation, the nomination procedure for the ESP of the Year Award shall be as follows:

  • Each local association affiliate can submit one nominee through their local president.
  • Any member of the IEA Board of Directors may also submit one nomination.
  • Only one application per individual will be accepted. (If multiple applications for the same individual are received, application eligibility will be determined by the earliest received.)
  • Members of the ESP Council and alternates are not eligible for this award.

Nominations are now open for 2024. Deadline: Dec. 15, 2023.

Purpose of the Award

The purpose of this award is to recognize an individual who has shown outstanding accomplishments in the following areas:

  • involvement in their local, state, and/or national association
  • achievements in his/her professional classification
  • achievements in promoting public education in the community
  • enhancement of the image of Education Support Professional in the Association, the work site or the community


The individual nominated must have been an IEA member for three (3) years as of the deadline for accepting nominations (usually around November 1st). An individual must be nominated by their local association president or by a member of the lEA Board of Directors, and must be employed in an ESP position.

Selection of Award

The IEA-ESP Council serves as the selection committee. Consequently, no member of the IEA ESP Council is eligible for the Award as long as they are a member of the Council. The Award is presented at the annual lEA convention. The individual selected for the IEA ESP of the Year Award will also be the lEA’s nomination for the NEA ESP of the Year Award.

ESP of the Year Recipients

  • 2022 Marandia Bledsoe
  • 2022 (NEA) Debra Ward-Mitchell
  • 2021 Debra Ward-Mitchell
  • 2020 Debra Ciciora
  • 2019 Julie Spaargaren
  • 2018 Tina Pizzitola
  • 2017 Robert Powell
  • 2016 Nancy Stahlhut
  • 2015 India Jones
  • 2014 Karen Westerman
  • 2013 Alex Wallace
  • 2012 Sheila Healy
  • 2011 Cindy Mitchell
  • 2010 Irma Lott
  • 2009 Carl Chapman
  • 2008 Joyce Sevarino
  • 2007 Kathy Jesuit
  • 2006 Jessye Skorich
  • 2005 John Piechocinski
  • 2005 (NEA) Kathie Lange
  • 2004 Kathie Lange
  • 2003 Dave Arnold
  • 2002 Carolyn Talley
  • 2001 Max Bochmann
  • 2000 Vickijo Almgreen
  • 1999 Shirley Parks
  • 1998 Connie Helm
  • 1997 Chuck Volker
  • 1996 Nancy Kallenbach