NJEA ESP Conference honors excellence 

After a one-year hiatus, the NJEA Educational Support Professionals (ESPs) Conference has returned. The NJEA ESPs of the Year from 2023 and 2024 were honored as well as 2023 and 2024 County ESPs of the Year. In addition, the 2023 and 2024 Friend of ESP were recognized, and the 2024 ESP Career Achievement Award was conferred. 

The three-day conference also featured 25 advocacy and career development workshops. 

Trina Jenkins, the 2023 NJEA ESP of the Year, is a paraprofessional in Pleasantville and a strong advocate for her colleagues in the Pleasantville Education Association where she has served in many roles, including vice president.  

Maureen Kelly, the 2024 NJEA ESP of the Year, is a paraprofessional at Watchung Hills Regional High School. She is the chair of her local’s Pride in Public Education Committee and is the high school’s varsity field
hockey coach. 

Christine Cito, the 2023 NJEA Friend of ESP, is a world languages teacher at Phillipsburg High School. Over the course of her 30-year career, she was noted for working in equal partnership with educational support professionals and supporting their fight for better salaries and working conditions. 

Victoria Hughes, the 2024 NJEA Friend of ESP, is a health teacher at Phillipsburg Elementary School. Hughes is highly esteemed by her administrators, students, and peers, including ESPs. 

Pamela Clark received the 2024 ESP Career Achievement Award. Clark serves as an attendance officer in the City of Camden School District and has been a member of the Camden Education Association for 33 years. Since 2002, when she became active in CEA, Clark has worn many leadership hats. She is currently CEA’s treasurer. Clark has also served on the local’s Pride and FAST committees. She is the ESP representative to the Camden County Council of Education Associations and Camden County’s representative to the NJEA ESP Committee. 

NJEA County ESPs of the Year from 2023 and 2024. 
From left: NJEA President Sean M. Spiller, 2024 Career Achievement award winner Pamela Clark, NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Petal Robertson and NJEA Vice President Steve Beatty. 

From left: NJEA Vice President Steve Beatty, NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Petal Robertson, 2024 Friend of ESP Victoria Hughes, 2023 Friend of ESP Christine Cito, NJEA President Sean M. Spiller and NJEA ESP Committee member Scott Elliott. 
Camden EA member Constance Adams proudly displays her ESPAN T-shirt. ESPAN is the Educational Support Professional Advocacy Network. Learn more at njea.org/ESPAN. 
From left: North Plainfield EA members Sheila Martinez and Concettina Campo discuss special education issues with Township of Franklin EA Secretary Lisa Bakota. 
Mount Olive EA members Olena Iwankiw (at left) and Sandra Kapitula arriving at the
ESP Conference.  

Linda Davis, a school bus driver in Plainfield, finds a shirt to her liking. 
The 2022 and 2017 NJEA ESPs of the Year, Old Bridge EA Vice President Nancy Cogland (l) and Middlesex County EA President Lois Yukna. 
Back row, from left: NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Petal Robertson, NJEA Vice President Steve Beatty, and NJEA President Sean M. Spiller. Front row: Jasmine Smith (Trina Jenkins’ daughter), 2023 ESP of the Year Trina Jenkins.