We Love Our ESP!

2019 ESP of the Year JoAnn Capaldi

NEARI Education Support Professionals from across the Ocean State convened on National ESP Day, November 14, at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick for their annual ESP Dinner. As in years past, dinner attendees raise money for the NEARI Children’s Fund through 50/50 raffle ticket purchases and the voluminous gift basket raffle.

The evening culminated with the announcement of the Gail Colburn ESP of the Year award. The 2019 ESP of the Year is JoAnn Capaldi, administrative assistant at Archie Cole Middle School in East Greenwich.

President of the East Greenwich ESP since 2014, Capaldi exemplifies what we know our ESPs to be: caring, thoughtful, and there when you need them. Her colleagues and friends in the school district and in her community say she is committed, sets a high bar, and is a role model for adults and kids alike.

Capaldi quietly balances her work at Cole, family life, extensive community service, multiple committees, and professional development with contagious enthusiasm and a broad smile – and it is worthy of admiration.

In addition to being East Greenwich ESP president, Capaldi is assistant treasurer of NEARI, ESP Caucus secretary, an NEA Representative Assembly delegate, a Coalition of Labor Union Women state and national member, AFL-CIO executive board member, and NEARI-PACE committee member.

Capaldi is deeply engaged in our union. Her name is usually the first on the volunteer sign-up sheet whether for canvassing door to door or for the Read Across America planning committee. But Capaldi is no stranger to volunteering her time; she
is deeply engaged in her community too.

She volunteers at her church and helps students promote donation drives. Capaldi is a partner with Midnight Moments by serving people experiencing homelessness in the streets of Providence and she serves breakfast on Sundays to those experiencing hunger.

In her remarks at the ESP Dinner, Capaldi said, “Our jobs are getting harder and harder, yet we keep coming back every day and making that difference. So thank you for honoring me, but I want to share this award with everybody.”

Capaldi is a fighter – for her students, for her colleagues, for her community, and for her union. We are proud to celebrate her achievements and her dedication to her union family.


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