Oklahoma Education Support Professionals

Lawton's Judie Abbott goes above and beyond for staff and students

Judie Abbott has held several different positions during her 23 years as a Lawton Public Schools employee, including jobs that no longer exist. For instance, she began her career as a Xerox operator. She also coordinated distribution of films requested by teachers for classes, handled internal and external mail, and worked as a receptionist and a secretary.

She performed all of those jobs as well or better than anyone ever could. But, it is how she always goes way above and beyond not just for the job but for students that has earned Abbott the OEA’s 2013 Education Support Professional Award.

As winner of OEA’s top ESP honor, Abbott will automatically be nominated for the National Education Association’s ESP of the Year.

While Abbott’s current title is secretary for the Lawton-Fort Sill Area Lifelong Learning Center (LALLC), a more accurate description might be Heart and Soul of the LALLC. Her job duties are too numerous to mention, but her support of the students who come through the center is exceptional.

Her position puts her in front of students of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. Many of them need to be lifted up and Abbott works to give them the courage and that belief they can pass the GED or complete one of the other adult education classes.

“On numerous occasions, Judie has bought groceries for students and even paid their utility bills in order for them to be able to continue to come to class,” wrote Dr. Cheryl Monts, director of LPS’s Professional Development Center, in her nomination of Abbott.

“If a student, or anyone else in the building, doesn’t have transportation, she provides them a ride. Students taking English as a Second Language that qualify for educational benefits through the Veteran’s Administration know they can go to Judie for help.”

Monts says it is sometimes difficult to say whether Abbott is a support professional or “Super Woman.” In her case, the two titles are no doubt one and the same.

It's More Than a Job, It's a Career

The National Education Association has posted 27 different videos of education support professionals from around the country talking about the importance of their positions. Click this link and scroll down the page to find the vidoes.

Living Wage Campaign

Is your local ESP Association interested in learning more about the NEA Living Wage Campaign?  Click here for the Top 10 Steps for a successful plan.  If you have any questions about this or any other Association activity please contact your OEA Organizing Specialist.

Oklahoma ESP and Oklahoma School Law

Articles from Oklahoma School Law that pertain specifically to Oklahoma’s Education Support Professionals are now listed.  If you have any questions about ESP rights under the law please contact your OEA Advocate. View the articles here.

We are the...

  • school bus driver who greets your child with a warm "hello" and delivers him safely to school
  • cafeteria worker who gives your daughter a warm, healthy meal
  • paraeducator who provides your child with a little extra help in the classroom
  • office assistant who makes sure your son's records are up to date
  • technician who wires the classroom computers
  • custodian who works to keep schools clean
  • security professional who helps keep students safe.

We make up more than 40 percent of the total K-12 education workforce. We are a critically important part of the school community.

We bring years of experience to our jobs. On average, K-12 ESP members have nearly 11 years of experience in education support work.

We are dedicated to students and schools. Nearly 95 percent of K-12 ESPs surveyed in 1997 said they planned to stay in education.

We have strong ties to the community. Nearly 80 percent of us...

  • volunteer time to community organizations or activities
  • live in the school districts where we work


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OEA ESP Directors At Large: Doug Meadows, Tulsa Union and Wilma Bunting, Moore, serve as your representatives on the OEA Board of Directors.

Wilma Bunting
School 405.735.4120

Doug Meadows
School 918.357.7055

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