It’s Educational Support Professionals Week - a great chance to toot some horns about the great work our teams are doing in our schools.
Who are ESPs? They are our dedicated classified team members. You see them every day, driving kids to school, cooking breakfast and lunch, working one-on-one with students to improve their academic skills, making sure they’re known and supported.
Get to know more about how some of our classified team members are caring for Tacoma’s kids.
Roosevelt Elementary ESPs (formerly known as paraprofessionals)
“The four special education ESPs at Roosevelt bring a positive attitude daily! They have built relationships with each student in their classroom to ensure that their social/emotional needs and academic needs are met,” said Roosevelt Principal Jennifer Cooper.
“Carla Hudson and Carmen Luna work with two sessions of preschoolers. They both support students with their learning and IEP goals. Lindsay Givens and Bridey Hendren work within the RISE classroom. They help students learn strategies to self-regulate, transition into general education classes, and overall learn how to communicate. They are kind, positive, hard-working individuals who are in it for our kids. They are a great support for all Roosevelt students!"
“Our team is made up of 165 school bus drivers, 10 monitors and other office staff,” said Zack Midles, Director of Transportation. “Fifty-five bus drivers drive Tacoma buses with students with special needs, and 110 drive First Student buses on general education buses. We also have a support team of routers, dispatchers, mechanics and office professionals.
Our team members are some of the most compassionate, well trained, safety-oriented professionals. They work diligently for our students and families. Our favorite part of the job is being able to be the first and last person to greet students as they begin and end their day.”
“Our entire custodial team does an exceptional job with all the expectations placed on them,” said Facilities Director Tom Chalk. “They have community partners we support every day.
They have adapted to programs like Breakfast After the Bell and Beyond the Bell, providing a clean and safe environment for all of the students, staff and community in our schools.
I’m pleased to call out David Riley, chief custodian at Stafford Elementary, and Kurtis Hoenow, relief chief custodian, who always go above and beyond.”
Office professional team at Lincoln High School
“We are so thankful for the work our office professionals provide for our students, staff, and community here at Lincoln,” said Lincoln Principal Karl Hoseth. “In many cases, the first person who welcomes visitors to Lincoln is one of our wonderful office professionals. This fantastic group of staff members are asked to do many behind-the-scenes tasks that are vital to the day-to-day operations of our school which many people don’t know about. Here are just a few examples of why I’m grateful to our office staff:
"Our school could not run as smoothly as it does without these amazing staff members," Hoseth said. "Go Abes!"
Hunt Middle School campus security officer Jordan Potts
“Jordan Potts at Hunt Middle School is what we all expect when we think of a security presence at a school,” said Director of Safety and Security Mike Rupert. “He is humble, funny, understands students and is always mentoring them to help them succeed. He is building those positive relationships with our students, which is a great investment for future success.”
“Every day with Jordan brings laughter, smiles, great conversation and relatability,” said Hunt Principal Kim Messersmith. People see him as one that seeks out ways to help, and kids love Mr. Potts!”
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