ESP Awards: Honoring Educational Support Staff


The Lewiston School District knows that education isn't just about teachers. That's why they want the public to nominate support staff who go above and beyond to make a difference in student lives outside the classroom.

Sandy Kirpes recalls the day she was given a huge honor during a school assembly. "They started reading off some of the little things that people had said about me and also talked about my love for kindergarten."

Being recognized can mean the world, especially if you didn't realize anyone was paying attention.

"You do your job all the time and it's your job and you love it, you don't realize that everybody else is looking at what you do," says Erion Smith, a long-time secretary at Jenifer Junior High.

For eight years now, the Lewiston School District has been honoring non-teacher staff who educate and support students.

"Educational support personnel. Maintenance to librarians, secretaries, the cooks, bus drivers, crossing guards," Peggy Brockman, Jenifer's librarian, says.

Brockman is one of the first recipients of the ESP award, given to those who directly or indirectly impact students lives. These four ladies are all past recipients who are now part of the committee that helps select three winners. From the bus driver who has made sure kids arrive safely for 18 years: "They're your kids. From the time they get on that bus to the time they get off, they're your kids, they're your responsibility," Ginger Sharp says.

To the secretary who turns on the lights every morning: "I open up the school and I get it going and my light shines. That really...I thought that was awesome. That really made me feel good," Smith says.

The awards give students, staff, and the public the chance to say thank you to those who are "just doing their jobs."

Kirpes says, "Sometimes it's a thankless job and that we really are kind of in the background. It's just nice to be able to have someone see that you are there helping to educate and take care of these students."

If you know of someone deserving of the ESP of the Year award, send your nomination form by March 16th to the Central Services office, located at 3317 12th Street.

Anyone can submit a nomination form, which are available on the Lewiston School District office, all school administrative offices, or at the Central Services office.

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