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ESP of the Year nomination and selection process

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Following the receipt of ESP of the Year nomination forms, Education Minnesota reviews all nominated individuals to ensure that eligibility requirements are met. Nominees who are ineligible due to non-affiliation, or affiliation with another union, will receive a congratulatory letter along with an invitation to belong to Education Minnesota.

Eligible nominees will be notified and asked if they wish to continue the process as a candidate for Minnesota Educational Support Professional of the Year.


A two-step selection procedure will determine the Minnesota ESP of the Year. The initial phase will narrow the pool of candidates to five finalists based on five criteria and judged by a cadre of ESP members from around the state. The five candidates with the highest total score will move on to be finalists.

Finalists will be notified of their status and will be scheduled for an interview with the Selection Committee. The Selection Committee consists of the following:

  1. Education Minnesota vice president.
  2. Education Minnesota executive director.
  3. Previous year’s Educational Support Professional of the Year Award winner.
  4. Education Minnesota Governing Board member (ESP or teacher).
  5. A representative of another education stakeholder organization.

Following the interview process, the Selection Committee will make their recommendation for the Minnesota Educational Support Professional of the Year to the president of Education Minnesota.


Candidates are judged according to the five criteria listed below. They will be rated on a scale of 1 to 5, in which 1 represents minimal evidence of the criterion and 5 represents very strong evidence of the criterion.

  1. Professional practice
    Describe the worksite responsibilities and personal achievements the nominee has made in his/her classification or field. How has the nominee demonstrated leadership, creativity, and innovation at the worksite? How has the nominee’s professional growth made a difference for the school, students and community?
  2. Advocacy and association
    In what ways does the nominee serve as an advocate in the day-to-day educational process, for members, profession and public education? How has the nominee’s involvement in Education Minnesota contributed to his/her success as a professional? How would the nominee persuade a new colleague to join or become more active in the union?
  3. Community engagement
    Specify in detail how the nominee has been involved in promoting public education in the community. In what other ways is the nominee involved in community activities/projects?
  4. Personal achievement
    How has involvement in Education Minnesota and community activities enabled the nominee to meet his/her own personal goals? What advice would the nominee give to someone entering the profession?
  5. Enhancement of ESP image
    Describe in detail how the nominee’s activities have enhanced the image of educational support professionals at the worksite, in the Association and in the community.