Union Names Haverhill High Educator as Education Support Professional of the Year

Millie Flores, an education support professional at Haverhill High School, is the 2020-21 Haverhill ESP of the Year. (Courtesy photograph.)

Millie Flores, an education support professional at Haverhill High School, has been selected as the 2020-21 Haverhill ESP of the Year.

Flores works in a special education program for high-needs students. In nominating Flores, teacher Amanda Borrowski wrote, “…teachers require the additional support of our ESPs in order to be able to provide a differentiated education for every child in front of us.” She illustrated her point by noting that to assist one student who does not speak English, Flores “created a bilingual curriculum for not only the student, but also the parent.”

Education Support Professionals Unit Representative Maureen Zuber described Flores as a “caring and engaging ESP and co-worker.” “She has a presence in the classroom that draws in not only the students but the staff as well. Millie is that professional you want in your classroom and for parents, you want working with your child,” Zuber added.

Union President Anthony J. Parolisi said the association received a record number of nominees this year. “As some of the city’s lowest paid workers, these educators have borne the brunt of the challenges resulting from this pandemic. It’s no surprise to me that their colleagues came out in droves to see that they are recognized for the hard work they do.”

The union’s board of directors also unanimously voted to adopt the Massachusetts Teachers Association preK-12 ESP Bill of Rights. Those rights include a living wage, affordable health insurance and protection of their health and safety on the job.

Zuber said negotiations with the School Committee for better pay are progressing, but the two sides have not yet reached agreement. The School Committee and ESPs meet again Jan. 13 to resume talks.

“We think every ESP should have a $25,000 starting salary with a living wage within six years, regardless of their role or education,” Parolisi added.

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