MSEA is proud to honor Ivory Smith, a custodian at Ocean City Elementary School, as our 2023 Education Support Professional (ESP) of the Year. Smith will be recognized on Sept. 11 at his school and on Sept. 19 at the Worcester County Board of Education meeting.
The award recognizes the contributions of education support professionals (ESP) to their schools, communities, and their profession. The award is presented to a member of MSEA who demonstrates outstanding accomplishments and reflects the contributions of ESPs to public education and their community.
“Ivory, like so many education support professionals, makes an invaluable impact on his whole school and community,” said MSEA President Cheryl Bost. “Education support professionals are often unnoticed and unsung heroes, providing technology and building maintenance, classroom support, transportation, food services, healthcare, security, and more. Schools can’t function without ESPs, and Ivory represents their finest qualities. We’re thrilled to celebrate him and the work of all ESPs with this well-deserved award.”
In addition to his role in his school, Smith is president of the Worcester County Education Support Personnel Association (WCESPA). He is a member of the MSEA and NEA Black Caucus, and the National Council of Education Support Professionals and serves on the MSEA and National Education Association boards. In the community, he is president of the local NAACP, secretary of the Pittsville Economic Development Committee, and has coached youth basketball for 20 years. He was the 2018 Maryland State Conference NAACP Dream Team Honoree, has been nominated as a Local Black Leader by WMDT47, received a key to the city from Ocean City, and recognized by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. as the 2019 Citizen of the Year.
To identify the ESP of the year, MSEA receives nominations from across the state for the annual award, which is part of MSEA’s broader work to elevate respect and appreciation for ESPs.