Wyoming Education Association

Fall 2015

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Back To School 2015 | wyoea.org 29 2015 Representative Assembly Orlando, Florida Submitted by Amy Simpson with excerpts from The RA Today Wyoming delegates were extremely active as more than 7,000 educators from all 50 states gathered in Orlando, Florida, from July 3-6 to attend the National Education Association's 94 th Representative Assembly (RA). The RA is the top decision- making body for the nearly 3 million-member NEA, and it sets Association policy for the coming year. Embracing the meeting's theme – "NEA: Unite. Inspire. Lead." – delegates tackled complex issues with far-reaching implications for the profession, from the future of testing to equity in education. Delegates passed two very important New Business Items. One of them addresses issues of institutional racism. The measure also calls for a coalition of partners to work together to eradicate policies that perpetuate institutional racism in education and expand educator- led professional development in areas of cultural competence, diversity and social justice. This new business item passed unanimously! The indispensable role educators play in forging progress on these fronts was a recurring theme in many of the speeches delivered at the RA. "Whatever journey brought you to this room, your hearts are wrapped around your students. From the very beginning, our mission has never changed: we wake up every day set on doing whatever we can to ensure that our students have every opportunity to learn, to grow, to succeed," said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. Delegates were inspired by many speakers, including the 2015 National Teacher of the Year, Shanna Peeples. She encouraged her colleagues to do "battle with stories" by being the voice and champions of their students. "Our critics love clichés, simplistic slogans and manipulated data," said Peeples. "This is how they attack, and the good news is the utter banality of those attacks. Stories are different. There is no defense against a good story; I contend that we advocate best for our students and our profession when we are brave enough to tell our stories." In her speech, 2015 Education Support Professional of the Year Janet Eberhardt reminded delegates that effective advocacy depends on all educators working together. "It's easy to say that some fights are for teachers and some are for ESPs. But all of these issues impact our students and our communities, so we must be a united front for our students and public schools," Eberhardt said. Two educators from the Midwest were elected by the RA to represent us on the NEA's Executive Committee: Eric Brown, a biology teacher at Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Illinois, and Shelly Moore, a high school teacher from Ellsworth, Wisconsin. Brown serves as president of the Evanston High School Teachers Council, as well as on the Board of Directors of both the Illinois Education Association and NEA. Moore is a member of the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Education Association Council and served on NEA's Board of Directors for six years. STAY INFORMED Please make sure that WEA has your current personal email address, phone number and mailing address on file. Update your information by contacting: lbottom@wyoea.org 1 - 3 NEA Board & Fund Meetings 19 - 23 Commi ttee/Commission Meetings (Vir tual) 31 Happy Halloween OCTOBER CALENDAR NOV EMBER 6 Program Budget - Casper 6-7 W EA Board Meeting - Casper Ramkota 11 Veteran's Day - O ffices Closed 16-20 American Educa tion Week 25-27 Thanksgiving Break - O ffices Closed December 24 - January 1 Winter Break - O ffices Closed DECEMBER View complete calendar wyoea.org

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