OSEA Member Paula Steinweg is Oregon’s ESP of the Year

Please join OSEA in congratulating Paula Steinweg, Oregon’s first Education Support Professional of the Year!

Paula is a member of Jewell Chapter 145 who wears many hats in her work for the Jewell School District. As a bus driver, education assistant and school librarian, Paula goes above and beyond every day for her students.

Paula initiated and coordinates a bi-annual trip to Washington, D.C., for middle school students. She facilitates every detail of the trip from curriculum and travel plans to fundraising, ensuring all students have the opportunity to experience culture and history beyond the Jewell community.

Last spring, as the Jewell School District responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, Paula stepped in to deliver food and school work packets to students at home. At every stop, she checked in with the family and student, asking about their emotional, academic and logistical needs. Families came to depend on her friendly and reassuring visits.

“What an exciting and incredible honor to have our state recognize — for the first time ever — the hard work and commitment of an OSEA member,” said President Lisa Gourley. “Paula Steinweg is a rock star! I’m humbled by her dedication and commitment to her students and community. She has created a life exemplary of this honor.”

As the recipient of Oregon’s Education Support Professional of the Year award, Paula will receive a monetary gift of $5,000 and an award plaque. A matching plaque and banner were awarded to the school to mark Paula’s achievements and impact on the community.

“Paula’s outstanding work and dedication to her students are truly remarkable,” said Gov. Kate Brown. “I’ve heard about how she works day in and day out to support students, families and the whole Jewell community — even working with high school students who needed extra help to stay on the path to graduation. Congratulations, Paula, on this great achievement.”

Paula is the first recipient of Oregon’s new Education Support Professional of the Year award, the result of an OSEA-backed bill passed by the Oregon Legislature in May 2019.Nominations for 2022 are open now on the Education Support Professional website.