Arizona Education Association


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ays aer I was elected to be the first woman of color to lead our state union, I was at a loss for words as I explained to my friends and family the pride I felt. As I thought more deeply about what this moment meant to me, I realized it was the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I have been given to represent the members of our union THE Arizona Education Association. Following my election at our Delegate Assembly, I saw a social media post from a member from my own district in Isaac Elementary that expressed exactly how I feel about my union, so I wanted to share it here with you since she said it best. Reprinted with permission by Melanie Liddy. I'm so proud of my union. My Arizona Education Association exemplifies the commitment to excellence in Arizona. I had the pleasure of attending our annual Delegate Assembly this weekend and cannot truly describe in words what this experience is like. But, I'll try to express why I am PROUD. I'm proud of AEA because they model what the democratic process looks and sounds like, with delegates representing their members and voting in such a way that is fair and transparent. I'm proud of AEA because they give me the right to question their financial decisions, be part of those decisions, create the change I want to see, and push them to move us forward. I'm proud of AEA because they commit to providing members and educators across the state with exemplary professional development, including micro- credentials. 2022 Teacher of the Year is in fact an AEA member from Mesa. I'm proud of AEA because their core principals, developed and decided upon by it's membership body, are implemented with the intent of retaining, training, and upliing quality educators in our state. I'm proud of AEA because they help me remember that we do what we do in order to create an environment in which our students will feel supported, loved, and educated. is means a fully-funded quality education for all students. I'm proud of AEA because their stance on equity, justice, and facts is unwavering, despite hateful rhetoric at our state legislature. I'm proud of AEA because they believe that our students throughout Arizona are deserving of our fight for public education. ey know they are worth it and believe that an equitable, public education is a powerful asset for every child's future. In the words of our President Joe omas, "Our work brings stability and breeds expertise, making our communities and schools stronger." Our executive director Randy Parraz reminded us that "we cannot let ourselves and others fall in love with the problem." We are the solution. Our future president, Marisol Garcia uplied us with her continued message of "If I can, you can, WE can." I will not stand for public and intentional attacks against educators and our students. I will continue to speak up and hold those accountable who choose to do so for any agenda that is outside of one for our students and staff. is is my WHY and I hope that my friends, family, and acquaintances can see that. IN SOLIDARITY by Marisol Garcia AEA OFFICERS Marisol Garcia President Angela Philpot Vice President Amber Gould Treasurer AEA STAFF Randy Parraz Executive Director Sheenae Shannon Editor Roxanne Rash Graphic Design Advertising e AEA Advocate is published by the Arizona Education Association, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, Arizona 85004-1532. Phone: 602- 264-1774 or 800-352-5411 Fax: 602-240-6887. Email: AEA's website may be found at Permission to reprint any material originating with this publication is granted provided that credit is given to the AEA Advocate. e AEA Advocate (ISSN 0194-8849) is published in Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer for $3.50 per year by the Arizona Education Association, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85004-1532. Periodicals postage paid at Phoenix, Arizona. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the AEA Advocate, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85004-1532. Moving? Please let us know before you go. Simply clip your mailing label from the back of the Advocate and send it along with your new address to: AEA Advocate 345 East Palm Lane Phoenix, Arizona 85004-1532 4 ADVOCATE | SUMMER 2022 In Solidarity continues on p. 14.

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