Negotiations: Seyem Estep
Elections: Loretta Tanner
Organizing Chair: Danielle Letts
Mt.. Hamilton Rep: Sandra Rivera
PAC/PIC: Beatriz Prado & Veronica Talton
Equity Team Chair: Lynn White
Website/Comm: Mervat Aly
CTA PCS-Staff: Kris Clarke
During my last ten years as president, I have had the opportunity to meet many of you personally, and I feel great pride to work with such remarkable, dedicated, and hard-working people. It’s quite obvious that the teachers of Alum Rock put student learning and student wellbeing as a priority. It’s apparent in the conversations I have had with many of you that you truly care about teaching to, and caring about, “the whole child”. You advocate for the best learning environment and educational plan for every student in our district.
This year is unlike any school year before. Dealing with a worldwide pandemic that affects all of us in some way, has been a definite challenge. However, it hasn't prevented any one of you from stepping up and meeting that challenge of distance learning with the determination, flexibility, creativity, and fortitude that AREA teachers are gifted with.
I will do my best to try to make your job easier. I can be the liaison to the principal and/or district to share the concerns and recruit the support necessary to meet the needs of the teachers and, ultimately, the needs of our deserving students. I will also be looking to match your talents and interests to build capacity within our association.
A bit about me for those of you who wonder “who is that person that keeps sending me emails???”…I have been teaching in Alum Rock for 31 years, most of that time at my home school of Lyndale Elementary. I have taught grades K-4, and combinations within those grades. Although, I have not taught in middle school, over the past 10 years I have gained an understanding of how they are different from elementary. I have experienced first hand the effects of a temporary contract and the layoff process. I have survived through at least 14 superintendents (some multiple times), and about 9 principals. When I began teaching in Alum Rock, there was no curriculum department…we were expected to develop our own curriculum. Twelve years later, we were faced with a scripted curriculum…a complete opposite end of the spectrum.
I have two adult children, both girls, Jaime and Jen . My older daughter is a self-employed graphic designer. My younger daughter, Jen, after seven years as a first-grade literacy teacher at Rocketship Si Se Puede and a Teach for America alumni, has moved on to teach in East Palo Alto at The Primary School, a private school integrating health, education and family support services. In the last 3 years, my daughters have brought 3 new additions to our family. So, I am now very proud and grateful to have 4 beautiful grandchildren.
My greatest priority includes the fair, just, and equitable treatment of all people…, which has resulted in my union involvement over the years in Alum Rock. Many years back, when what I was seeing was against my convictions, I felt it necessary “to get involved”. I believe that when there are inequities and/or the unfair or unjust treatment of people, it is my responsibility to do what I can to change that. I never considered it would lead to being president of our Association. However, since it has, after 10 years I am still up for the challenge and hope that, together, we can work toward making Alum Rock the best place to teach our great students.
Your participation in our Association creates the strength and resources necessary for us to be the perpetual advocates for our students, community, and our teachers. Education is continually searching for the ultimate “silver bullet” to destroy the achievement gap and guarantee that each student is college and/or career ready. In doing so, we are constantly engaging in trainings and professional development. Without a strong Association to define our working conditions, we would be expected to devote 24/7 to our profession, leaving nothing left for ourselves or our family .
We have challenges facing us, some from outside of our district and others caused from within our district. It is important to continue to speak out and stand strong together to maintain fairness, justice, and equity for each of our members. I encourage you to become involved in our Association, whether it’s in the way of attending board meetings, representing your school site, informing AREA leadership of contract violations, or maintaining a willingness to step up when asked to participate in collective action…
Your AREA President