For this Calvert County educator, ESP is more than a label. It also means “Energizing Student Participation.”
When Jackie Waul took the stage at MSEA’s 2018 Representative Assembly in October, more than 600 of her colleagues cheered the modest Calvert County building services employee. Waul was honored for her union activism and her motivation to advance her career by earning her bachelor’s degree in social work and pursuing a master’s.
“As I look at the word ESP, it is not just a label,” Waul said. “To me it also means ‘Energizing Student Participation’ and exhausting all costs to become the village it takes to raise a child and support them in schools across the state.
“As our students’ village, we — ESPs, teachers, and families — work together, set aside labels, and fight for the success of each one. That requires a safe and clean environment, adults who care and are willing to listen, and a team that functions as a piece of a well put-together puzzle. When one piece is missing or off, our students don’t have what they need to be successful.
“It’s so important to remind everyone that ‘We can do it better together.’ When we are energized,” Waul added, “our students are energized and eager to participate and learn.
“That’s the type of environment I want to create.”