The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) has named OSEA member Zandra Jansma of Three Rivers Chapter 22 the 2023 Education Support Professional (ESP) of the Year! Jansma is an office manager (and so much more) at the Southern Oregon Success Academy. She is widely regarded as one of the most caring, dedicated and hardworking staffers in Three Rivers School District.
Southern Oregon Success Academy serves one of largest populations of at-risk youth in Southern Oregon. Many students have found their path to graduation with support from Jansma, who prioritizes connections with students. She is a go-to for resources as well as emotional support and understanding for students impacted by homelessness, poverty and other challenges.
“Way to go, Zandra! You are an all-around amazing human and an inspiration. It is awesome to see you get this much-deserved recognition,” said OSEA President Sarah Wofford. “Congratulations and thank you for all you do!”
The ESP of the Year award was created by OSEA-backed legislation in 2019. It offers statewide recognition to one outstanding classified employee in a K-12 school district. The winner receives an award of $5,000 through the Oregon Lottery. ODE presented Southern Oregon Success Academy a matching plaque and banner to mark Jansma’s impact.
“The amazing work Zandra does for students and staff on a daily basis is truly inspiring,” said Governor Tina Kotek. “Her continued efforts to go above and beyond to develop personal connections with students is what turns a school into a community. My vision is for Oregon to be a place where every child has a safe place to receive a high-quality education. We can achieve that vision if we have more people like Zandra in our schools.”
Previous recipients of the ESP of the Year award include OSEA members Paula Steinweg of Jewell Chapter 145 in 2021 and Melinda Torres of Coos Bay Chapter 33 in 2022.