Arizona Education Association

Spring 2014

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14 Spring 2014 x AEA Advocate esprofessional ESP Action Be sure to check out these other stories for more opportunities to get involved and take action. 7 Arizona Retirement Security Coalition 10 Awards and Honors 23 Governance Holiday Tamales 18 Years in a Row! By Mike Weaver As I approached the Maintenance Shop lunch room at Mesa Public Schools (MPS) Main Operations Center at 555 South Lewis there was a glow at the door. It is pitch black at 5:30 a.m. but the single string of holiday lights, the smell of bacon and sausage, along with the glow of a fire barrel gave all of the invitation necessary to draw me to the party. Once inside the small kitchen lunch room there were men in blue shirts busily cooking and serving tamales, breakfast burritos, posale, bacon, sausage and other delicious breakfast menu items. This is a tradition that has carried on for 18 years straight. The "customers" range from superintendents to principals, teachers and support professionals from throughout Mesa Public Schools. The hours of this breakfast are 5:15 to 7:00 a.m. because the cooks, servers and others involved in this holiday tradition begin their shifts then. There is no stated cost but a free will offering is available in a Lucite box at the beginning of the line. This year Rich Berumen, President of the Mesa Education Support Professionals Association (MESPA) engaged the other employees in the Mesa Public Schools Operations Department to assist in the making of the tamales. The red and green tamales are the centerpiece of the breakfast menu. There were at least 15 workers involved in cooking and serving this feast. This event helps to ease the difficulties faced during this time of year by local MPS families. In less than 2 hours of service over $1,500 was raised to assist 6 employees and their families. In addition the holiday spirit was very evident in this annual labor of love. 2 Spring.14advo.indd 14 1/28/14 5:11 PM

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