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I work with so many students who say they are struggling with internal issues and who are being bullied by their peers, and when I found out about this conference, I really wanted to come so that I could learn more about GLBT issues. I want both to help my students who are being bul- lied and to positively influence the students doing the bullying. Millie Crosby, sixth-grade physical education San Jose Teachers Association As a totally out teacher at my school, I’m also one of the go-to people on UTLA’s Gay and Lesbian Issues Committee. Previously, I was chair of my school’s Our Adolescents Staying in School (OASIS) organization. I get calls for assistance from my colleagues, and I’m also active in providing assistance to colleagues and their students who are forming and facilitating Gay Straight Alliance organizations. It’s personally important for me to help them create networks of support at their school sites. So, it’s a natural for me to come to a conference like this to stay informed and in- volved. It’s especially important for me to stay up with the latest legal issues and policies affecting the civil rights of GLBT students and educators. Edgar Angulo, community day school, grades 9-12 United Teachers Los Angeles I’m straight, and I’ve always supported my school’s Gay Straight Alliance. Toward the end of last year’s term, I was especially impressed by the ef- forts of a student in the GSA who promoted a movement at school against using the word “retarded.” I expressed encouragement and support, and on the first day back this year, I had a handwritten note from him saying how much my support had meant to him. That note is a touchstone for me, displayed prominently behind my desk. Then, after we began to hear about the terrible string of suicides by young GLBT students throughout the country earlier this fall, I just knew I had to participate in this conference. I’m supposed to be here — to listen, to learn, and to take back resources and inspiration to help any of my students or colleagues. It is not OK for anyone to be in despair over their sexual orientation. Kimberly Gilles, high school English San Ramon Education Association state can be a daunting task. But communication in the Tahoe- Truckee Education Association was recently made a whole lot easier — and chapter leaders didn’t have to move (Sierra) mountains to do it. Chapter leaders will now be New iPads help Tahoe-Truckee leaders communicate R epresenting members in one of the geographically largest chapters in the able to communicate across two counties and a mountain range using slick, new Apple iPads to conduct their business. Jon Hal- vorsen and Ed Hilton, co-presi- dents of the 200-plus member association, expect the up-front financial commitment to be well worthwhile. “Communication is the number one priority for our chapter right now,” says Hal- vorsen. “In winter, it can take an hour’s drive to meet with one another. We’ve just made our- selves closer.” Halvorsen and his members are no strangers to using social networks to get their message out. The association has its own Facebook page, and Halvorsen contributes to CTA’s Facebook page ( californiateachersassociation) and on Twitter, where he regu- larly posts pro-education, pro- union messages. He and Hilton also keep an up-to-date blog at, a simple but robust chapter web- site that not only provides mem- bers with the latest news and documents they need, but has a Twitter feed. Halvorsen created a chapter YouTube channel (www. youtube . com/us e r / tahoetruckeeteachers#p/ f), which features videos of Tahoe- Truckee members speaking out at school board meetings; Jerry Brown’s remarks to CTA’s State Council; messages from the National Education Associa- tion; and other relevant infor- mation. “Our theme this year is ‘Join the Conversation,’” says Hal- 24 California Educator | NOVEMBER 2010 ABOVE: Leaders of the Tahoe-Truckee Education Association, one of the geographically largest chapters in the state, have improved communication with new Apple iPads. vorsen, “and our goal is to get more of our members involved in issues including Race to the Top and pay-for-performance. We have to get the message from teachers out there.” The idea for purchasing an iPad for each of the 14 associa- tion leaders actually came from the school district, which has made a major commitment to improving student achievement and upgrading the professional development of its teachers through the use of technology. “The district is serious about technology, and expects its em- ployees to be serious as well,” says Halvorsen. “We began to Continued on page 37 CTA photos by Bill Guy Photo courtesy of Tahoe-Truckee Education Association

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