Thursday, May 26, 2011

Craig Peterson

Craig Peterson, a JEA member and personal friend, has ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Jordan Hills held a Fun Run to raise money for him and his family. To date, nearly $18,000 has been raised. Way to go Jordan Hills community!

Executive Board Meeting

The JEA Executive Board met last night for our regular monthly meeting.  This one was early, because next Wednesday is graduation!  We wish Melissa Brown well as she will no longer be on the Executive Board but will be representing the Jordan UniServ on the UEA Board of Directors.  The new high school representative on the JEA Board is Debbie Brown who teaches at Bingham.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lunch with Local Presidents and UniServ Directors

Our monthly local presidents' lunch included UniServ Directors today.  It is good to meet and discuss what is happening in other districts.  Due to HB183, the Granite EA president position will now be half-time release and the Davis EA will be paying the entire salary and benefits of their president.  Previously the district had paid for half.  In Weber, the district will reimburse WEA for time the president spends doing work that benefits the district.

Weber has settled for steps, lanes, and 3% COLA.  The teachers are paying the entire insurance premium increase of about 22%.  Granite teachers will be paying 2% more of their insurance premiums, received two additional bereavement days for immediate family, received planning time for elementary teachers through the use of specialists, all this in addition to steps, lanes, and a 1.5% one-time bonus.  Davis is still negotiating.

Missouri NEA

The following if from the Missouri NEA state president regarding the devastation there.

"I want to thank you for your offers of support and condolence on the horrific storm that hit Joplin on Sunday. Not only are MNEA members impacted, but members of Kansas NEA and Oklahoma EA members have been impacted as well, as Joplin is a 'border' town.

"We don't yet know the magnitude of our losses. Schools have been closed for the rest of the year. The high school graduation took place hours before the tornado hit, and it's possible that as many as 25 of the graduates have been lost as they returned home from the graduation ceremonies. We have not yet been able to locate all of our members, as there are still areas where the recovery efforts have not been able to reach. We have two staff members who are working with the Joplin School District in these first days of recovery efforts.

"Some of you have asked again how you might help. Missouri NEA has a HOPE Fund established in 1993 for this type of tragedy.  To learn about our fund or donate visit"

Saturday, May 21, 2011

School Visits and CLP

I had two good school visits on Friday at West Hills and Herriman Elementary.  I enjoy meeting with members, hearing concerns, and learning more about what each of you do and how your schools run. 

This morning was Council of Local Presidents.  We heard from the State Office about the Common Core.  There was good information with some handouts.  I am going to try to find those resources online so all of you can have access. 

We also heard from Sara Jones, UEA Director of Educational Excellence and Community Outreach, about the new standards for effective teaching and effective leadership.  She has been serving on a USOE committee to develop these standards on which district evaluation systems are to be based.  See Utah Effective Teaching Standards and Utah Educational Leadership Standards for more information.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Days in the Office

I have been in the office the last couple of days.  I have been preparing for the Executive Board meeting next week, organizing and delivering retirement gifts to JEA members who are retiring this year, and working through problems with a couple of schools.  Linda White, Rosamond, won the $50 drawing for the ARs who had recruited the last 25 new members.  I have enjoyed going to the schools to deliver the retirement gifts.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Secondary Common Core Academy

Registration for the Common Core Academy is NOW open to any educator in Utah.
The design of the secondary Common Core Academy can be used across content areas because the standards are mapped backwards from the Career and College Ready Anchor Standards.

You can view the design, resources, and participant expectations at the Common Core Academy website:
Common Core Academy 2011

We have included ALL standards in the Common Core spiral that each participant will receive which includes LITERACY in English, Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects.

As a result of low enrollment in the secondary we are opening it up for any educator who teaches that grade level no matter what subject.

We want to fill each session with 30 educators and do not want to cancel any sessions!!  We will cancel grade level sessions with enrollment less than 12 in grades 6-12.

Please let colleagues know that we are opening registration and anyone can enroll by going to On Track.  Instructions for registering are below.


Beginning May 17, 2011


How do I register?

Registration for the Common Core Academies is available via OnTrack, the USOE’s on-line professional development portal. Everyone with a CACTUS ID number has an account with OnTrack. Just go to
OnTrack website.  Your username is first name.last name (as it appears on your teaching license) and your password is your CACTUS ID number. If you have log-in issues, there are further instructions on the OnTrack homepage.

Once you have logged in, and created your profile, you can search for the Common Core Academy of your choosing. Select the Professional Learning tab, type in “Common” in the course name, and select “Search.” Find the Common Core Academy location of your choice, select “View Sections,” and select the grade level and content area you desire. If the section does not yet have 30 participants, you can register be selecting the “Register” button. If the section has over 30 participants, you can add yourself to the wait list, or select a different location and section.

Utah Retirement System Board Position

There is currently a vacancy on the Utah Retirement Systems Membership Council. UEA President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh is inviting interested members to apply for the position. The term is to fill the vacancy created by the at-large seat and the term expires June 30, 2012.
If you are interested, please submit a nomination form (e-mail me for the form), personal résumé and three letters of reference by Friday, June 10. Applications that do not have all of the requested documentation will not be considered. UEA’s three-member representation includes at least one member of the UEA Board of Directors, one member of the Council of Local Presidents, and one at-large member (UEA Board Policy B.XV). The nominee must be an educator actively engaged in the profession, in accordance with statutory requirements.

If you have any questions, please contact Kristie Rasmussen at (801) 266-4461 x103.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Jordan Education Foundation Awards Dinner

I love attending this event!  8 of the 11 Outstanding Educator and Special Educator Awards went to JEA Members.  In addition, Craig Peterson, Jordan Hills, was given the Lifetime Achievement Award.  It is best to tell this story in pictures.  Sorry there are a couple that are blurry.

 Craig Peterson, Jordan Hills, Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

 Eileen Jensen, Kauri Sue Hamilton School, Special Educator Award with principal Rita Boullion

Jim Bernini, West Jordan High, Outstanding Educator Award

Kathy Bekkemellom, South Hills, Outstanding Educator Award

Kerry Simi, Eastlake, Outstanding Educator Award

Laura Packard, Elk Meadows, Outstanding Educator Award with principal Howard Griffith

Marla Deakins, Falcon Ridge, Special Educator Award

Melanie Fisher, Bluffdale, Outstanding Educator Award (sorry you are blurry)

Renee Sass, Oquirrh Hills, Special Educator Award
Laura Packard, Sandy King, Howard Griffith from Elk Meadows

Susan Tolman, Annette Huff from Jordan Hills and LeAnne Heagren, West Jordan Elementary
Brother and sister, Craig Peterson and LeAnne Heagren

Legislative Council (AR) Meeting

I enjoyed the AR Meeting last night.  Building concerns were kept to 20 minutes and were more universal in nature.  My favorite part was giving the awards for AR of the Year.  There were five AR's within three points of each other.  The four runners-up are Debbie Brown, Bingham; Melissa Brown, Riverton High; Lauren Flygare, West Jordan Middle; and Michelle Jorgensen, Mountain Shadows.
 Jennifer Boehme, JEA President; Kevin Ball, JEA VP; Michelle Jorgensen, Mountain Shadows; Debbie Brown, Bingham; Melissa Brown, Riverton High

The AR of the Year 2011 is Jannifer Young, Elk Ridge.  She did an amazing job representing her school this year.  She attended all meetings, new teacher induction, Educator Day on the Hill, and UEA House of Delegates. She increased membership in her building by 17% and had 96% of JEA members vote in our recent election.  Congratulations to Jannifer Young!

Jannifer Young, Elk Ridge, holding the plaque that now bears her name as AR of the Year 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Meeting with Aaron Osmond

I met with South Jordan's new Senator Aaron Osmond today.  We had a good visit and shared ideas about education.  He is interested in working with JEA.  He wants to find ways to have more funding reach the school level as well as finding ways to encourage parents to volunteer in the schools more.  He asked about various philosophies he has and what I see as roadblocks to those ideas.  It was refreshing to talk to a legislator who wants to improve the relationship between the legislature and the UEA.

School Board Meeting

Valley High School teachers, including JEA Members Paul Evans and Lisa Kolstad, who are veterans led the color guard.  They were in uniform and made the presenting of the colors and Pledge of Allegiance extra special last night. 

The budget was discussed in the open study session.  The budget can be balanced using $2 million from Capital Outlay and $5.5 million from the Fund Balance.  The budget presented includes opening the new elementary, bus driver retirement liability, K-3 Reading program match, retirement cost increases, an additional assistant principal at two high schools, five high school counselors, nine middle school counselors, EXPLORE, PLAN, and ACT testing, curriculum department (previously funded by grants which are expiring), and human resources requests.

Shelly Nordick from Rosamond was appointed Grants Management Director in the Curriculum Department to replace Janene Bowen who is retiring.  James Marsh from Oquirrh Hills was appointed assistant principal at South Jordan Middle replacing Shawn McLeod who was named principal.  Brian Larson from Sunset ridge was appointed assistant principal at Oquirrh Hills to replace James Marsh.

Member Activities

May 27 is the J.U.S.T. (Jordan UniServ Sticks Together) 'Cause activity at Iggy's at South Towne (10631 S Holiday Park Drive about 250 W).  We're going to meet, eat, mingle, and have prize drawings.  If you will be attending, please RSVP to

We had to postpone the Teacher-to-Teacher sale scheduled for Saturday.  We are going to try this idea again in the fall when teachers have had time to go through their items and others are looking to buy items for the next school year.

Kauri Sue Hamilton School is having a yard sale on Friday, May 13. If you collected items for our postponed sale, you can take them to Kauri Sue (2827 W 13400 S) Friday morning. The sale is 8:30 to 3:30 for those of you who want to shop.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Executive Board Meeting

The JEA Executive Board met last night.  We discussed the upcoming UEA Leadership Conference, NEA Representative Assembly, meetings for next year, the JEA budget, and membership.

Negotiations with the District begin this evening.  The JEA Negotiations Team includes:
  • Melissa Brown, Chairperson, secondary
  • Janeen McMillan, counselor
  • Karl McKenzie, special education
  • Kara Goodwin, elementary
The District Negotiations Team includes:
  • June LeMaster, Human Resources
  • John Taylor, Interim Riverton/Herriman Feeder System Administrator of Schools
  • Herb Jensen, Transportation

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Meeting with Interim Superintendent

This morning was my monthly meeting with Dave Stoddard.  We discussed some negotiations issues, the budget, and the timeline for the transition with our new superintendent, Dr. Johnson.  I have my first meeting with her scheduled for June 8.  We discussed the State Board of Education allowing districts to convert two instructional days into professional development days for the express purpose of training on the new Common Core of State Standards.  How this would be implemented will pose some challenges, which we hope to work out should the Jordan Board decide to utilize those days.

UEA House of Delegates

The UEA House of Delegates was held last Saturday.  You were well represented by 23 teachers from Jordan District.  Several wording changes were made to the UEA by-laws.  I proposed a by-law change that did not pass, so I attempted to amend the budget to include a Negotiations Contingency Fund to assist local associations in paying for costs associated with a fact finding hearing.  This, too, did not pass.  The major change was to the term of office for the UEA President.  The UEA President will now be elected to a 3-year term with the option to be re-elected once for a total of six years.  This is retroactive, impacting the terms of current UEA President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh and VP Tom Nedreberg.

Please take a few minutes to thank those who spent their Saturday morning representing you at UEA House of Delegates:
  • Kevin Ball, JEA VP, Rosamond
  • Karl McKenzie, JEA Board Special Certification, Riverton High
  • Lauren Flygare, JEA Board Middle School, West Jordan Middle
  • Melissa Brown, JEA Board High School, Riverton High
  • Bev Griffith, JEA Board Elementary, Midas Creek/Eastlake
  • Michelle Jorgensen, Mountain Shadows
  • Nancy Davis, Riverside
  • Vivain Gubler, Rosamond
  • Karen Brown, Bluffdale
  • Glenda Adams, South Jordan Elementary
  • Janell Smith, West Hills
  • Mallory Meyer, Sunset Ridge
  • Marilyn Kurt, Joel P. Jensen
  • Jannifer Young, Elk Ridge
  • Robin Frodge, West Jordan High
  • Debbie Brown, Bingham
  • Adam Sagers, Westland
  • Patti Bartlett, Bingham
  • Sandra Darrington, Herriman Elementary
  • Shelly Lloyd, Westvale
  • Becky Rendell, Westvale
  • Kara Goodwin, Bluffdale