California Educator

May 2015

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It's that passion and advocacy that brought McGuire-Grigg to the dais at the April State Council meeting to receive CTA's Paula J. Monroe ESP of the Year Award for 2015. "I admire Doreen's unabashed ability to do what she knows is right, no matter what," said CTA President Dean E. Vogel in honoring her for role in ensuring student and school success. "CTA is a more unified and inclusive organization because of her union work and her inspiring solidarity." Known as a formidable activist for all educators, McGuire-Grigg is president of the Lakeport Unified Classified Employees Association and the first ESP elected to a state position on the NEA Board of Directors. Until recently she served as a delegate to State Council, CTA's top governing body. When it comes to union solidarity and so-called educa- tion reformers, she is just as direct. "I'm an educator and proud member of my local union, CTA and NEA. And while the education 'deformers' want to attack educators and their unions, we are all standing together and fighting for our public schools." "As a special education paraeducator, one of the most ometimes I'm not nice — I'm pretty direct," admits veteran Lakeport Unified School District para- professional Doreen McGuire-Grigg. She flashes a megawatt smile that has melted many hearts and adds, "I have been a loud and determined voice for education support professional members in my local, state and national organizations. It's important for me that our ESP members have advocates who work beside them, who know that what they do is important to educating all the students in our schools." Doreen McGuire-Grigg interrupts CTA President Dean Vogel's presentation for a selfie. important phrases for me is 'We are one!'" she adds. "Our ESP members work to make sure all students have all the opportunities they deserve for a quality education. Before students arrive at school, ESP members are involved in their day. Schools wouldn't be able to open without us!" Known as the go-to person at her school and within CTA, McGuire-Grigg began her ESP career 27 years ago. She's been in a special education classroom with the same teacher for many years and is respected for her ability to approach and teach students. Her skills and dedication have made a difference for students and colleagues at the site, district and state education levels. As much as she's grateful to her union, especially for this honor, she's even more grateful to her family. "If it weren't for the support at home and at my school, I wouldn't be able to advocate as hard as I do. I have a passion for doing the right thing." The state award is named after retired activist Paula J. Monroe, Redlands ESP Association, a former CTA and NEA ESP of the Year, who campaigned successfully in 2006 to have 5,000 California ESP employees admitted to CTA as full members. Doreen McGuire-Grigg is CTA's Education Support Professional of the Year By Cynthia Menzel You can help educate your students about ESPs and the important work they do by displaying this poster in your classroom and visiting for more resources. Know & Tell Member honored 17 V O L U M E 1 9 I S S U E 9

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