California Educator

MARCH 2011

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for the position are Mikki Cichocki and Mark Andrew Kotch. Cichocki is a member of the CTA Board CTA to hold election for secretary-treasurer A t the April meeting of State Council, an election will be held for the office of CTA secretary-treasurer. Running of Directors and the San Bernardino Teach- ers Association. Kotch is a member of the Delano Union Elementary School Teachers Association. Following are unedited campaign state- ments submitted by the candidates. They MIKKI CICHOCKI California public edu- cation is under attack and the next generation of CTA leadership will deter- mine the future of our union. In fact, the next generation of union lead- ers will help determine the fate of public education. Cichocki that members with families could fully par- ticipate in our represen- tative process. As part of the San Bernardino County Coalition, I helped craft Peer Assis- tance and Review (PAR) language that was adopt- Our members and students face many challenges due to the mas- sive state budget cutbacks. As a Youth Services teacher in San Ber- nardino City Schools, where non- traditional students face shrinking alternative educational programs, I understand the stress our members are under. CTA must remain strong to rise above these challenges. I have the experience, leader- ship skills, and energy to move CTA forward. From becoming a site rep- resentative for the San Bernardino Teachers Association during my first year of teaching, to being elected to the CTA Board of Directors I have proven my commitment to our union by engaging and connecting to the rank and file membership. Whether out in the field supporting teachers or lobbying in Sacramen- to, my experience in building relationships makes me the most qualified candidate for CTA Secre- tary-Treasurer. It has always been the voice of the members I represent that drives me to action. I fought to bring childcare to State Council so ed by chapters across the state as well as bringing programs such as Survive and Thrive, I Can Do It, and Verbal Judo to our members. As a leader, I have always done what is right for my members and will continue to do so as Secretary- Treasurer. I will continue to actively listen to our members and help create a stronger and more effec- tive organization. I will make sure that every member has access to all levels of our organization and provide ongoing opportunities for members to grow into leadership positions. Now is the time for an experi- enced leader with the drive and energy to navigate us through the challenges and opportunities be- fore us. As Secretary-Treasurer, I will ensure that CTA is fiscally sound. I will fight for the rights of our mem- bers. I will work to protect and enhance funding for public educa- tion. I will champion CTA as the driving force for a quality educa- tion for every student. We must work together to protect public education. I ask for your vote for CTA Secre- tary-Treasurer. Mikki Cichocki MARK ANDREW KOTCH I do not know where I would be today without access to the community college and state univer- sity systems. As a blue collar worker, I went back to school during the Rea- gan Recession of the early 1980’s, when double-digit unemploy- ment created misery for millions of people. I had a UAW card before I had a CTA card. I transitioned into teaching from work as a Gardener (ESP/ CSEA), and have never looked back. Teaching has provided me with both personal joy and contin- ued enthusiasm for educating a new world of responsible citizens. I can honestly state that Public Ed- ucation changed my life and sent me in a positive direction. In 1996, after six years of teach- ing 7th Grade English Language Arts for the Delano Union School District, I became President of the Delano Union Elementary School Teachers Association, DUESTA/ CTA/NEA. I did so at the urging of my CTA Field Representative. I was inspired and motivated by the strength that grew from educating and empowering DUESTA mem- bership. For eleven years I served as Pres- ident of the union, all the while re- maining a fulltime classroom teach- er. During my tenure, DUESTA pre- vailed in all major litigation and was were limited to 400 words. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are those of the candidates and not necessarily those of CTA. CANDIDATES FOR CTA SECRETARY-TREASURER Kotch deeply involved in cur- riculum issues. It was cru- cial that we analyzed and investigated the School District’s budget, which we did year after year. As a result, we still have the fully paid health benefits that I initially negotiated in 1996, with coverage for spouses and children. Currently, I serve as Chairper- son for the CTA State Council School Safety/School Manage- ment Committee. I have also at- tended NEA Rep. Assemblies since 1999 as both a state and local del- egate, and I received a WHO Award from DUESTA for the 2008-2009 school year. I am running for CTA Secretary- Treasurer as a voice for the com- mon classroom teacher. I will stand up for those who have experi- enced the oppressive burdens of NCLB and the impacts of arbitrary decisions made by anti-union forc- es. There are well-funded groups seeking to dismantle and destroy Public Education. After 27 years of public education employment, I believe I have the skills, experience and knowledge to help CTA main- tain its obligation to fight the good union fight, for its members and Public Education. I ask for your vote as CTA Secre- tary-Treasurer. CTA has the high ground. As your elected officer, I will help us take advantage of that posi- tion in the education arena. SEPTEMBER 2011 | 2009 37 MARCH 31

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