Sherry Shaw Honored as Education Support Professional of the Year


Contact: Zachary Mannix, Communications Director, NEA-Alaska
907-841-1089 //

Tanaina Elementary Special Education Aide has distinguished herself as an invaluable resource for children with learning disabilities.

Wasilla– Today, surrounded by family, colleagues, and students, Sherry Shaw will be presented with the 2018 NEA-Alaska Education Support Professional (ESP) of the Year award during a school wide assembly at Tanaina Elementary School at 2:30 pm. The ESP of the Year is NEA-Alaska’s highest honor for non-certificated education professionals and is reserved for those who display excellence in their work with students, in their profession, and their communities.

“Sherry Shaw is the epitome of the skill, passion, and dedication that our Education Support Professionals contribute to student learning,” said NEA-Alaska President, Tim Parker. “Sherry’s devotion to students with special needs should serve as an inspiration to anyone working in public education.” 

“She is more than a paraprofessional, she is a lifeline for our students and community,” said Tanaina Elementary Principal, Cheri Mattson. “She is a shining example of a model ESP of the Year!”

Outside of the classroom, Sherry is a coach, a Boy Scout leader, a Special Olympics volunteer, and an advocate for addressing the needs of those struggling with homelessness, drug abuse, and addiction. Sherry is constantly working to improve her professional practice by taking courses related to autism, families in crisis, and behavioral support. 

“Whether Sherry is helping in a classroom, coaching, or holding a union meeting, she is a calm and encouraging leader who always has a positive outlook,” said Karen Salisbury, President of the Classified Employees Association. “We are lucky to have such a fierce advocate, like Sherry, for our Mat-Su students.”

This is a surprise announcement. Sherry Shaw does not know she is receiving this award today. Please do not attempt to contact Sherry prior to the announcement at 2:30 pm.

For more information, please contact Zachary Mannix at 907-841-1089 or