California Educator

February 2011

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 25 of 39

Las Vegas. This year marked the first consolidation of what had previously been three separate and popular conferences dealing with urban, rural, and education support professional (ESP) issues. A strong emphasis on organizing was the theme of many conference offerings. “Merging the three confer- ences was in part a responsible cost-savings measure,” says Con- ference Chairperson Jolene Tripp, “but it also allowed mem- bers from all three constituen- cies to share common ground topics while still dealing with is- sues specific to their own inter- ests.” Tripp says feedback from participants was overwhelming- ly supportive of the new format. Workshops covered a vari- ety of topics. Attendees had two opportunities to see Race to Nowhere, director Vicki Abe- les’ documentary about the Issues Conference creates conversations M ore than 700 participants attended the CTA Issues Conference Jan. 14-16 in RIGHT: In luncheon remarks to par- ticipants at CTA’s Issues Conference in Las Vegas, CTA President David A. Sanchez quotes Cesar Chavez, one of his personal heroes: “When you have people together who be- lieve in something very strongly — whether it’s religion or politics or unions — things happen.” pressures faced by American students and teachers in a sys- tem that is obsessed with illu- sory achievement, competition, and the pressure to perform. (See Q&A with Abeles on page 18.) The film, which has a very different perspective from an- other current education docu- mentary, Waiting for Superman, features interviews with stu- dents, parents and teachers about the exhausting high- pressure environment that is alienating many students and leaving others behind. Inglewood Teachers Associa- tion member Aba Ngissah con- curred with many of the film’s points, especially the lack of deep- er long-term learning in a system that unwittingly encourages stu- dents to learn facts only long Miguel Ruiz: ESP of the Year A highlight of the Issues Conference was the recognition of Miguel Ruiz as the 2011 CTA Education Support Professional of the Year. Ruiz has served in several capacities for the Redlands Education Support Professionals Association (RESPA), beginning his union work as a building rep. He currently serves as RESPA vice president. Ruiz’s association involvement began with advice from his parents (both of whom, along with his wife, were present for the award presentation). After graduating from high school and working in the fast food industry, he was encouraged by his parents to work for the school district, where he would belong to a union. RESPA President Jolene Tripp, a past ESP of the Year honoree herself, praises Ruiz and Miguel was there the next day to offer assistance,” Tripp says. Ruiz’s position as a warehouse delivery appreciates having him on the RESPA leadership team. “Miguel is a loyal and capable lieutenant, always willing to step in, whatever the circumstances,” she says. She calls him RESPA’s “go-to guy” who is always ready to respond. “When four of our members lost their homes in flooding, worker with the Redlands school district puts him in a unique position to interact with RESPA members at sites throughout the district. Although careful to adhere to district policy about work hours and union work, he always makes sure members are kept informed, and he makes himself available for advice and assistance after work hours. For Ruiz, the best part of association work is the one-on-one time with fellow workers. His many contacts have also helped build RESPA’s capacity. “Always keep an eye out for the talent in your ranks,” he offers. “Dedicated members are the ones that make it happen.” enough to regurgitate on a test. “A lot of students do just memorize,” she says. “We have AP students who don’t really perform at an AP 26 California Educator | FEBRUARY 2011 CTA photos by Bill Guy

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of California Educator - February 2011