"As your UEA President, I am troubled by recent comments made by Senator Howard Stephenson. He has referred to teachers that work in difficult-to- staff schools as mediocre and has also referred to fellow teachers that belong to the UEA as a group that promotes mediocrity.
"I hope that you are as troubled by this sentiment as I am and I am asking you to take the time to contact Senator Stephenson to express your concern about his mischaracterization of our profession and of our Association. In addition, it is time we shed light to the general public about our feelings regarding Senator Stephenson’s lack of respect for what we do every day. Please write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper expressing your views on this issue.
"As your president, I am working to try and improve relationships and the public perceptions of the challenges you face each day in your classrooms. I hope you will join me in sharing what an incredible difference you are making in the lives of the students with whom you work.
"You can contact Senator Howard Stephenson by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling him at 801-572-1038.
If you do contact Senator Stephenson, would you please let me know in a separate e-mail? I would like to have an idea of the concerns you have shared with the Senator. Also, please copy me any letters to the editor you may write.
"Thank you for all you do for the students you serve."
Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh, M.A., NBCT