who really care about your job. That’s why so many of
you are here today.”
Matt Malone, Massachusetts secretary of
education, and Roxanne Dove, director of the ESP
Quality Department at the National Education
Association, were honored guests at the conference.
Malone brought conferees to their feet during a
heartfelt address on the first day in which he praised
the work of ESPs. Their impact on children, he said,
“doesn’t go away” as those children get older.
Malone, who grew up with dyslexia, said he
is proud to be the first secretary of education in
Massachusetts to be a combat veteran and a graduate
of a vocational high school. But what drives him
“every day, every single day,” he said, “is the
fact that I’m the first secretary of education to be
educated in a classroom in the back of the building
“That is me,” Malone said.
He urged the ESPs in the audience to “not give
up on that kid” who might seem to be struggling in
the classroom. “He might just be the next secretary
of education,” Malone said.
Malone exhorted the crowd to voice support for
education funding. He acknowledged his frustration
with a proposed 2014 House transportation and
tax plan released just before the conference, which
included “not one added dollar for education.”
The NEA’s Dove started by asking her audience
how many in the room were educators. Hands went
up, some tentatively. Dove urged the ESPs to show
their pride in their work and remember how crucial
they are to the educational process.
“Get curious, not furious,” she told the group.
She advised the ESPs to take action when they
encounter unfairness in the
workplace and to advocate for
themselves to be included in all
decisions that affect children.
“Lead with a question, and
avoid the blame game,” she said.
She said her intention at NEA
is to raise the profile of ESPs
around the country, partly by
teaching them to discover “the
art of powerful questions” and partly by persuading
them to learn the process of initiating change.
“For far too long, ESPs have been an invisible
workforce,” she said. “But we’re going to change
To see more photos of the conference, visit
ESPs urged to support funding
and ‘avoid the blame game’
Continued from Page 9
“Teachers are getting teams from each
school. Coaches and physical education teachers
are getting their student athletes to participate, and
the business community is also putting together
teams. Now we just need a dry day and everything
will be good,” he told MTA Today in late March.
Spring isn’t the only time that teams of
educators put their effort into such events.
In September, Natick High School Vice
Principal Zach Galvin once again plans to take
part in The Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund
Walk, which follows the course of the Boston
Since 1989, the walk has contributed
nearly $87 million to support cancer research
and care at the Dana-Farber Cancer Center.
Galvin, a cancer survivor, has helped raise nearly
$500,000 through the event over the last 16
years. He has a goal of $50,000 this year.
“Reaction from everyone is extremely
positive, and part of that is because so many
knew me when I was a new teacher and fighting
stage-four cancer,” Galvin said.
He added that he shares credit for his fund-raising with many others. “I succeed because of
those around me,” Galvin said.
MTA members step up
to boost good causes
Continued from Page 11
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