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ESP Officer Positions






Child Care Assistant

Years with MPS: 5 years
MFT Member: 5 years

Union Activities:

- ESP At Large Executive Board Member / 2020 – present

- ESP Negotiations Team Member / 2019 – 2021 contract; 2021-2023 contract

- Mpls Kids  Work Group and Lead / founder, 2018 – present

- ESP Union Steward, Mpls Kids / 2021 - present

Candidate Statement: 

Our Union Bylaws state, “the duty of the Second Vice-President [is] to coordinate and supervise all organizing and mobilization efforts.” I’ve been organizing and mobilizing since my 1st year when we beat back the district’s attempt to force Mpls Kids ESPs to give break concessions for our $15 minimum-hour wage. I then spearheaded the Mpls Kids Work Group to fight back and win on many issues, including stiffing us on duty days, and getting regular wages for PD. We also were at the vanguard during COVID - coining the slogan “All In For Students Families & Staff!” - tackling health and safety needs, securing remote work, and reinstating hazard pay.


Membership cannot just be about getting our colleagues to pay dues. It must be about engagement and decision-making from the bottom up, rather than the top down. We started to make great progress towards this with ESPs and Teachers on the ground together on strike teams, picket lines, and setting up extra strike funds. We must go from strike-ready to ready to demand contract compliance. That starts with openly debriefing from the strike with what we won and need to win, as well as what worked and must be improved. 


During the strike we talked a lot about control and power, specifically wrestling away unilateral, non-inclusive, control from the district. So many ESPs took actions that a year ago they wouldn’t have, like being on strike teams, organizing committees, and going to rallies. All this - and more - made for contract results we haven't seen before, like classification consolidations, additional hours, and wage increases. It’s starting to get us to a $35,000 starting wage and sustainable careers without 2nd and 3rd jobs. We know it’s not enough. The strike is over, and we must continue to build Union power.


We’re on the right track. Back in 2017, it was unimaginable to think the SEA starting wage of $17.15 would increase to $23.91 in 2022. Now, we know to expect more. We need to continue to be fierce. We need many more of us actively involved in contract negotiations, filing grievances, and labor-management committees. As your ESP Second Vice-President, I will be an independent voice working to have responsive communications between you and our Union leadership, and expand involvement and decision-making from the bottom up. 


Let’s do this together. Thank you for considering casting your vote for me.








 Bethune Arts Elementary

ESP/Associate Educator

Years with MPS: 10 years
MFT Member: 9 years


Union Activities: Building Steward, ESP Executive Board, MFT Organizer, MFT Joint
Treasurer, MFT Regional Strike Captain

Candidate Statement:

It has been an honor to serve as Treasurer of our union and I look forward to the
opportunity to continue to serve in this capacity. I am particularly motivated to work
on supporting our efforts for change and making sure our students have opportunities
to be successful while we are moving forward together. I am the first Black woman
and ESP to serve in this role and it is an opportunity I take seriously to inspire our
students and other members who want to step up into union leadership.

I have been in education for 14 years. 10 years as an ESP in Minneapolis Public Schools, and 4 years in early childhood education. As a product of the Minneapolis Public School system, education has become my passion. I have and continue to devote my life to our youth. As I grew up in North Minneapolis, I have always wanted to be an
educator in MPS since I did not have educators who reflected me when I grew up . I
am proud to continue to grow and learn and soon become a licensed teacher to better
serve our students.

I believe I have a number of valuable qualities I will continue to bring to this position
as Joint Treasurer. As someone who is holding a joint position on our board, I work
closely with ESPs and Licensed staff in my building and throughout our district, I have
taken several EDMN treasurer trainings to help me grow as treasurer, as well as work
closely with previous treasurers of MFT and am not afraid to ask questions. I feel
confident moving onto the next step as your Joint Treasurer.

With my most recent experience and my passion to see students achieve success, I will
be a positive voice to ensure the budget is suitable to meet the needs of our local in a
time filled with so much uncertainty. There is power in our union, our students and
our community. Our historical strike proves that and we must keep this power and
this unity we’ve built and keep our students, families, community and members

I support Greta Callahan for MFT Teacher President and Catina Neal for ESP President.
I look forward to serving all of the members of MFT 59 as your next Joint Treasurer.






Sanford Middle School

Special Education Assistant

Years with MPS: 6 years
MFT Member: 6 years

Union Activities:

Site steward, active in organizing efforts and have received training from Jane McAlevey and CTU leaders, attended one lobbying day at the capitol, was on the bargaining team for the 2021-23 contract, part of the strike action committee at my site

Candidate Statement: 

I am Mikel Herb. I have been a(n) SEA at Sanford Middle School since Spring 2017 and became a dues paying member of MFTESP shortly after. That fall came up along the end of a contract campaign that started before I had come aboard. The wage increases weren’t great. Folks around me were unhappy with the results. I wondered why, with all the discontent, there wasn’t more push-back. I realized I needed to pay attention, be involved, and encourage those around me to increase their awareness and investment in our union. Since then I became a steward, participated in active organizing, and served on this last bargaining team.


As a steward I have made sure ESP at my site know they can count on me to support them in dealing with admin, finding and understand contract language, and directing them to other resources to meet their needs. I helped create content for our very own steward training series.


My organizing experiences include direct organizing training from Jane McAlevey and CTU organizers. I participated in growing numbers of observers to bargaining meetings, planning and executing actions like sticker-ups, petition drives, informational pickets, and hours of time simply connecting with membership over the phone, listening to how things are for them personally and find out if more support needs to be sent into a site.


I am running for second vice president with the intention of pulling all I have learned as a dedicated rank-and-file member together to serve our membership in our goals of continuing to increase our strength, power, and connection to our community.


We cannot let the power we realized over the past year of fighting alongside each other slip away. We must continue to stay connected to families, labor and community groups that have supported us. We need to continue the work between chapters to make sure the educators of Minneapolis Public Schools have not just a voice at the table but one that is effective and of lasting resonance.


Our voice must be used at the site level as we strive to create the learning environment our students deserve. It must be heard at the district level as we fight on for thriving wages and strengthen contract language for safe and stable schools. It must be heard by our community & families as we join them in making our city safe and affordable for all residents.




ESP Chapter Executive Board Candidates

Alphabetical by last name.


Lucy Laney

Special Education Assistant

Years with MPS: 31 years

Candidate Statement:

Grateful Greetings everyone,

My name is Kim Ambers aka Lil-O-Me.🙋🏽‍♀️

This current school year is my 17th year at Lucy Craft Laney at Cleveland Park Community School as an SEA, and my 31st year as an (what now  I’d call a Seasoned… Lol!) Educational Support Professional.   I’m currently Laney’s  ESP Building Steward and have gratefully been for the past 13+ years.  I have been an active member of the Union attending ESP monthly chapter meetings, ESP/MFT monthly Steward meetings, and previous Contract Bargaining meetings.  I’m also very proud to say that I sat on the Union’s ESP Bargaining Team this recent contract cycle.  

I thrive to be a compassionate representative and leader for all of us, one little voice who is willing to advocate for the unheard, unseen and the unable or unwilling.   I’m lead by love and guided by light!


I’m running for a seat on the MFT/ESP Executive Board and would be so Thankful to receive Your Vote!!!


I thank and appreciate you so much, I cannot wait for this new opportunity to begin, and with Your help it will!!!


Thanks again for Your Vote!

In Solidarity 💙

Kim Ambers 





Associate Educator/Family Liaison

Years with MPS: 7 years



Candidate Statement:

Hi I’m Sherronda Wiley.
I am currently an AE/ Family Liason at Bethune Arts Magnet School.

I also worked an an SEA & CCA at Mpls Kids. I’ve been in the district for 7 years.

I believe strongly in our union. I learned that we’re a family.  The love, compassion and loyalty that we all have for one another makes us not only a strong family, it also makes us a stronger union.

I am a team player who always shows up and believe in collective voice. On the first day of school, I proudly represented our union during the press conference outside of our school. I will continue showing up and I’m ready to continue to fight along side my family! 

I believe that I can continue to be a great addition to our board because I have fresh ideas, I always speak my truth, & I’d like to  continue to be the voice for ESPs that can’t be the voice for themselves.

Sherronda Wiley




Joint MRLF Chair



ECSE @ Wilder

Speech Language Pathologist

Years with MPS: 29 years
MFT Member: 29 years


Union Activities: Building Steward, Legislative committee, COPE treasurer, MRLF delegate and COPE committee member, MRLF Chair on MFT Executive Board, ECSE Strike Captain, Regional Strike Captain for Wilder programs and ECFE

Candidate Statement:

I am running for the MLRF Chair seat on the MFT Executive Board.  For those who are not familiar with the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation (MRLF), it is the umbrella organization of unions in the Minneapolis area.  MRLF’s mission is to organize in the community for social and economic justice for ALL working people. One of my goals as MRLF Chair is to work with MRLF after debriefing on our recent strike to build on our success and learning from our struggles, by improving our overall strike preparedness in the areas of structural organization,  planning and communication, with a special focus on the strike fund.  


I am excited to continue my work on the MFT EB.  I am a strong voice representing all members and our students.  As MRLF Chair, I not only represent licensed staff, but also ESPs.  I have worked closely with ESPs at MFT and in the classroom and my spouse is an ESP in ECSE.  I bring experience and perspective from early childhood education,  Special Education, and related services to the board.


Because of my work with MRLF, I value and understand the importance of MFT having strong relationships with the unions in our Minneapolis community.  We all saw this in the support our fellow unions provide during our strike.  These relationships encourage support for our members and our MPS schools and students.  Our partnership with MRLF also provides MFT with opportunities to engage in social justice actions in our community that help support our MPS families and students. 


Please vote to keep our union Moving Forward Together.



North High School 

English Teacher

Years with MPS: 1 year

MFT Member: 1 year

Union Activities: Strike Committee member

Candidate Statement:

Hello Everyone,

My name is Sarah Spleiss and I am running for the MRLF Chair position. I am new to MFT, however in my previous school district I was an executive board member with AHEM (Anoka Hennepin Education Minnesota) for six years. During that time I was also the Government Relations Chair, where I worked closely with MRLF to screen school board candidates seeking endorsement and to then also help run their successful campaigns once we did decide to endorse them. We also worked together to screen candidates who were seeking election in the  House and Senate seats as well and also help with those election campaigns. I also served on the Education Minnesota PAC board for two years.


I have always been very passionate about being involved in the union; collective power is the most effective way to create the greatest amount of change. I am an activist to the core and that shows up not only in my union involvement but in my classroom as well where the focus is to empower my students' and encourage them to use their voice for change.


It was pivotal during our strike that we had the support from our brothers and sisters of other affiliate unions. Due to MRLF, those connections were possible. I would love to continue to cultivate and grow those relationships as MFT continues to grow, and evolve in our power and voice.

ESP Chapter MRLF Delegates

Alphabetical by last name. Vote for up to 4.

Shaun Laden

Bridget Mendoza-Smith

Ma-Riah Roberson-Moody

Mary Webb-Hampton

Karron Willis

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