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Education Support Professionals Loud and Proud!

Posted on: February 20, 2021
Posted By: Jennifer Latham
Posted in: Blog
Tagged: ESPs, Member Stories

The CEA Education Support Professionals (ESP) Advisory Council members are ready to kick off this year by elevating the voices, stories and important work of our association’s amazing ESPs!

ESPs go above and beyond cleaning and maintaining our schools, transporting students, monitoring their health, cooking hot nutritious meals for them, and educating and serving them in so many other ways, and we want EVERYONE to know!! We also want to ensure you know about the role of the ESP Advisory Council, which is two-fold: to advise the Board of Directors on issues of importance to our constituency, and to provide input on CEA’s legislative issues and/or agenda.

Be on the lookout for more frequent news and updates via email and social media on important ESP issues including webinars, conferences, regional town halls, and news. If you have items of interest to share or want to get in touch, please contact us at We can’t wait to hear from you!

Eddie Chacon

Eddie Jay Chacon was born and raised in the San Luis Valley and is a proud ESP who serves students as a Health and Attendance Clerk at Fort Logan Northgate 3-8 School in Sheridan School District 2. He co-sponsors the Pride Club, Stand Up For Courage, PBIS team, is the founder of the Secret Self Care Squad. He also coaches volleyball at Abraham Lincoln HS.

“Throughout my educational journey, ESPs played a major role. My hope is to give back to our youth what was given to me and more. I am honored to serve on the CEA ESP Advisory Council and I am committed to advocate for our ESP. I look forward to working with you all to identify ESP leaders within Colorado and to support the growth of your leadership toolkit.”

DéJoneé Iarussi

DéJoneé Iarussi has been working as an ESP for the last 8 years in the Boulder Valley School District. She was recently appointed as the Vice President of the Boulder Valley Paraeducator Association and is now serving on the CEA ESP Advisory Council.

“It is my dream that school districts across the nation recognize the amazing, hard, invaluable work that ESPs do every day for their school districts and the students they’ve had the honor of working with.”

Jennifer Latham

Jennifer Latham is a proud 9-year paraeducator in Durango, the chair of the CEA ESP Advisory Council and the ESP At-Large Director on the CEA Board of Directors. She is a past president and treasurer of the Durango ESPA, and is a member of NEA’s ESP Leadership Institute. She also serves on Durango’s Community Relations Commission and is a fierce advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion.

“Together, we can grow and strengthen CEA through our collective action, which includes engaging and empowering ESPs! I look forward to opportunities to raise our #ESPvoices and for us all to speak them loud and proud!”

JoAnn Owen

A resident of Firestone for 16 years, JoAnn started working as a school bus driver for St. Vrain Valley School District in 2007. In 2014, wanting a change, she became a special education assistant on a Sped Bus. She loves all of her kids on the bus and sees them as a real blessing. She has been the president of the St. Vrain Valley ESP Association since May 2018.

“Our goal is to work with the District to support and bring awareness to everything our ESPs do for our students. We are the Foundation which the school district is built on.”

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