PSEA is a community of education professionals who make a difference in the lives of students every day.
Emily Nell came back to teach art and make an impact after spending 14 years as an independent artist working in schools and holding benefit auctions.
Pennsylvania’s public schools should be the safest and healthiest places for students to learn and grow.
PSEA is committed to making changes aimed at protecting everyone who works and learns in our schools.
Cover story: Connecting the dots - Community building for English Learners
Education support professionals - custodians, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, paraprofessionals, school secretaries, and others - make sure students get the full power of a great education.
PSEA strongly supports Gov. Tom Wolf's proposal to increase the minimum wage in Pennsylvania to $12 per hour.
Subcontracting occurs when a public employer shifts the delivery of services performed by public employees to private businesses (also called outsourcing). PSEA strongly opposes subcontracting ESP member jobs, and supports local associations fighting subcontracting threats in their school districts.
There’s no better time than American Education Week to celebrate our hardworking ESP members. And none more deserving of recognition than Angela Vigna, the 2022 Dolores McCracken PSEA Education Support Professional of the Year.
Vigna has worked as a paraprofessional in the Leechburg Area School District for the past 19 years. In this role, she has served as a classroom aide providing academic support to students with special needs. During her tenure, Vigna had the opportunity to work with one particular student from first grade all the way through to graduation.
School colleagues praised Vigna for her dedication and ability to draw out the very best in her students.
“Mrs. Vigna takes pride in her work and the accomplishments of the students,” Michelle Ferretti, a Leechburg middle and high school learning support teacher, wrote in nominating Vigna for the award. “She works well beyond the school day to ensure that all students are receiving what they need. Mrs. Vigna is a true example of the importance of paraeducators and the critical role they play in children’s academic success, social and emotional development, and sense of belonging within the community.”
“I know without a doubt that teachers cannot do what we do as well as we do without our education support professionals,” wrote Ashley Mondale, a high school English teacher and president of the Leechburg Area Education Association. “Mrs. Angela Vigna is the best of the best. She deserves recognition for her tireless work during the school day, her activism in our community, and her willingness to provide for her family, her association members, and Leechburg as a whole.”
PSEA represents more than 27,000 education support professionals.
Secretaries/Clerical employees interact daily with students, parents, and staff. Clerical employees are on the front lines of all office operations, working in settings from schools to administrative offices to transportation facilities.
Custodial and maintenance employees keep schools safe and clean for students, staff, and the community. In addition to performing the heavy cleaning and grounds keeping duties that are most often associated with these jobs, custodial and maintenance perform an array of other tasks, such as clearing snow, making electrical repairs, cleaning up spills, painting, maintaining boilers, and any number of other necessary tasks.
Some know this position as an instructional or noninstructional aide. An instructional paraprofessional will assist with classroom instruction and provides direct services to students. Many paraprofessionals work with students with special needs. Noninstructional paraprofessionals assist with preparing materials, or monitoring students in the cafeteria and other settings.
Food service employees ensure that students have access to safe and nutritious meals. Food service Some of the aspects of food service employees include proper food handling, adapting recipes for children with special dietary needs, and nutrition education and practice. The meals provided meet recommended dietary guidelines.
Nurses in the ESP classification assist certified school nurses. They perform a wide variety of jobs that improve and protect student health and welfare. Nurses provide first aid, monitor immunizations, conduct health screenings, and assist sick and injured children,
Bus drivers are the first people to greet students on their way to school and the last to say goodbye as they return home. In addition to driving, drivers are responsible for first aid and emergency evacuation procedures, student conduct and discipline, and the safe transportation of students with special needs. All employees in a district’s transportation department keep up with new safety requirements, regulations, and policies. Bus drivers must have a valid CDL while van drivers do not need a CDL. Mechanics dispatchers are also employed in the transportation department.
Employees in the technology department lead the effort to maintain high standards of technology and communications in our schools. They install, repair, and upgrade computers and networks that enable the timely communication of essential information between parents, school district employees, and students.
Skilled trade employees maintain and improve the physical quality of school buildings, offices, and facilities, ensuring that they are safe, comfortable, and attractive for students, staff, and the community. Skilled trade employees perform a wide variety of jobs that require specialized expertise requiring licenses or certifications. Skilled trades may include carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and HVAC technicians.