California Educator

April / May 2019

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Into the Spotlight Dan Kivett is CTA's Paula J. Monroe ESP of the Year D A N K I V E T T , president of the Redlands Education Support Professionals Associ- ation (RESPA), got a call from a RESPA member at the end of 2014. The school safety officer had been injured recently while breaking up a fight between stu- dents and was on workers' compensation. He wanted to visit a dying relative over the holidays but had just found out that state law did not allow public school employees on workers' comp to travel out of state without school board approval. Of course, the board would not be convening before the holidays. "I made a number of calls to try to help our member. I emailed the president of CTA," says Kivett. "I went knocking on doors at CTA till someone agreed with me. With huge help from CTA, along with Assembly Member Chris Holden, AB 915 was created and introduced." Kivett made a few trips to Sacramento to testify in support of AB 915, which e ventual ly b ecam e l aw and removed the travel restrictions for public school employees. He is justifiably proud of the role he played. "at is one thing I will always treasure among the accomplishments in my life," he says. "It affected every educator." Kivett does not rest on his laurels, how- ever, and continues to make a difference for colleagues and educators. For this, he has been named CTA's 2019 Paula J. Monroe Education Support Professional of the Year. "Dan deserves this recognition on his achievements alone, but just as much so for who he is: A kind, thoughtful, intel- ligent leader who never seeks personal recognition and always deflects credit," CTA President Eric Heins said in present- ing the award at March State Council. Indeed, Kivett would rather remain out of the spotlight and in the background. "I love a pat on the back, but I don't like standing out in the crowd," he says. Others are not so modest about his skills. La Tonia Lopez of Animo Classified Employees Association met Kivett when he helped facilitate the CTA ESP Academy she attended three years ago. She recalls his help when she became ACEA presi- dent, also three years ago. "I inherited the presidency," she says. "I was clueless. He gave me guidance and advice, and helped me mobilize and organize." In her nomination letter, Lopez wrote that Kivett's "ability to advocate for and e d u c a t e m e m b e r s i s a m a z i n g . E a c h person or local's needs are heard. He is careful in taking in what the issue is and navigating how to create solutions for continued engagement for the ESP demo- graphic. He is the best at empowering and uplifting ESP workers. He is pivotal in ele- vating the ESP careers." Kivett was originally a site rep before Paula Monroe herself, then RESPA presi- dent, convinced him to get more involved. He became a RESPA director, then presi- dent, in the early 2000s. He stepped back for a while before "sensing a need" and jumping back in. A year ago, he was elected NEA director for District 11. He takes Kivett testifies on behalf of AB 915. " ESPs are the gears that keep school operations moving. All this is done without much recognition." —Dan Kivett, ESP of the Year 59 A P R I L / M AY 2 019 CTA & You

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