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Education Support Professionals Day Fact Sheet

Education Support Professionals Day was first celebrated in 1987 after the National Education Association's (NEA's) Representative Assembly called for the creation of a way to honor contributions of school support staff. National Education Support Professionals Day is a time to strengthen support and respect for these colleagues. In 2001, Karen Mahurin, then president of NEA's National Council of Education Support Professional (NCESP) members, led a successful campaign at the NEA Representative Assembly to change the formal name from "Education Support Personnel" to "Education Support Professionals."

"The name change to 'professional' acknowledges the major contribution education support professionals make to children and public education every day," says Mahurin, a secretary with more than 20 years of experience. "We impact the lives of children every day in our own special and professional ways."

The new name reflects a growing pride in the valuable role education support professionals play throughout America's public schools. Today's support professionals provide invaluable services that enable students to learn in positive, supportive environments. Education support professionals are equal and essential partners in the education process.

National Education Support Professionals Day is observed on Wednesday during American Education Week.

For more information on American Education Week visit And For information on ESPs and their organizational history visit


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