What is GESSA?

The Garland Educational Support Staff Association works to improve the standards of the group through study and professional growth, to promote fellowship, to increase interest in school and community relationships and to render more efficient service to our schools. The group was organized in September 1974 with a membership of 34 support service employees. To date membership is approximately 413. Our organization provides scholarships to graduating seniors at each of the high schools as well as the Garland Evening School. If funds allow, active support staff employees interested in furthering their education are also chosen to receive a scholarship. Membership is open to any support staff employee in the Garland Independent School District until October 15 each year. Dues are set by the Executive Committee.

GESSA Purpose

To improve the standards of the group through study and professional growth, to promote fellowship, to increase interest in school and community relationships. and to render a finer and more efficient service to our schools.

GESSA Mission

Have a paraprofessional and support staff in the Garland Independent School District that enhances the district, in a way that:

  • communicates effectively to and for the organization
  • promotes a positive atmosphere within the membership
  • enlists principal/administrative support through newsletters, building representatives, services provided to the membership
  • enhances training to include relevant programs and mentoring opportunities
  • and provides opportunities for service to others

So that GESSA helps to create:

  • a better work environment
  • a stronger support system for members
  • and camaraderie in the organization

resulting in improved student learning throughout the district.

Important documents

GESSA membership form

2017-18 Membership Form (PDF)

GESSA officers & committees

2017-2018 GESSA Board members (PDF)

Officers and Committees

PresidentBeverly RogersSecretary to Director Communications
Box 150
Vice President


Office & Copy Center Jackson MST
Box 306

SecretarySonya Cissoko

Bookeeper - SPED - Harris Hill

TreasurerJuliana Holmes

Technology Tech Support
Box 801

ParliamentarianGene HaganSecretary to Principal Garland Alternative Educational Center

Box 808

Budget & FinancingJuliana HolmesTechnology Tech Support
Box 801
HospitalityMeg Elmore

Secretary to Director Family & Community Engagement
Box 701

HistorianLupe LozanoDistribution Clerk Research, Assessment & Accountability

Box 606

MembershipAlicia Lopez

Secretary to Principal Sam Houston Middle School
Box 305

NewsletterJanice Oleson

Administrative Asst. Data & Adm Sys/Technology
Box 804

YearbookPatty Villanueva

SPED Secretary Sam Houston Middle School
Box 305

ScholarshipDiana RodriguezTransportation Specialist/Transportation

Box 506

Bosses DinnerPriscilla Gamez

Data Clerk Sam Houston Middle School
Box 305

Service ProjectsAlma Banda

Aide SPED Ale Sam Houston Middle School
Box 305

STEM CoordinatorJuliana HolmesTechnology/Help Desk

Box 801

Admin LiaisonDr. Wendy Eldredge

Student Services & Community Relations

STEM Program

Staff Training for Effective Management (STEM) is a professional development program designed for educational support personnel. The STEM program is sponsored by the Texas Educational Support Staff Association, Inc. (TESA). The program was developed in cooperation with the Texas Education Agency, Texas Association of School Administrators, Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association, Texas Association of Secondary School Principals, Texas Public Community/Junior College Association, University of Texas, and other professional educational associations. The original program was funded through an ECIA, Chapter 2, Section 577 grant.

Program Structure STEM is a three-phase program designed to enhance technical and job-specific skills for educational support personnel. Sessions are hosted by local school districts, colleges, and educational service centers. Certificates of attendance are presented at the end of each STEM session. The TESA Central Office cannot maintain STEM records for nonmembers. While the program is designed to establish a firm foundation of information and to continue to build on that foundation, participants may take the classes in any order and progress toward Certified Educational Office Professional (CEOP) certification.

GISD compensates full-time paraprofessionals who attain their CEOP certification with a stipend of $600 a year (paid monthly), beginning the first check of the next contract year, and for each subsequent year they meet recertification requirements. For more information go to the TESA website and click on “Staff Training for Effective Management”, or contact the current GESSA STEM representative.

Texas Educational Support Staff Association (TESA) Website

National Association of Educational Office Professionals (NAEOP) website

GESSA Calendar

All GESSA General Meetings will be held in the Transportation meeting room at the Technology Building. The meetings will begin at 5 p.m. and end at 6:30 p.m.

The meetings are listed in Sched and ready for registration.


Sept. 6

Kick-off meeting

Oct. 10

Gilbreath-Reed Career & Technical Center Tour

Nov. 16


Feb 13, 2018

Election of Nominating Committee

March 20, 2018

Election of 2018-19 Officers

May 8, 2018

Installation of 2018-19 Officers