I was elected president of JEA just as the negotiation process was beginning in 2010. I became president right after JEA declared impasse. What a way to start! We finally settled through the use of a hearing officer. Since then, I have been meeting with the superintendent or interim superintendent on a monthly basis as negotiated. A joint committee established in negotiations has also been meeting monthly. These negotiated meetings have helped to repair the relationship between JEA and District administration.
Following negotiations, the campaign season was in full gear. Working for education friendly candidates at the legislature became a focus. I also watched the Jordan School Board races closely. In between negotiations and campaigns, Superintendent Barry Newbold announced his retirement. I watched the School Board as they searched for the new superintendent, Dr. Patrice Johnson, who will begin June 1. I spoke with her, and our first meeting is scheduled for June 8.
In January came the Legislative Session. It was not a good year for teachers at the Legislature. We are still waiting to see what the grading schools, reduction-in-force, and evaluation changes are going to look like. I was up at the Legislature nine days watching the proceedings and talking to legislators about how various bills will impact teachers every day. Some of them listened, others did not.
I also attended many meetings, some monthly, others as needed: DAC, Insurance Committee, Sick Bank Committee, Calendar Committee, Jordan Education Foundation, JEA Executive Board, JEA Legislative Council (AR), Jordan UniServ Staff, UEA Council of Local Presidents, School Board Study Sessions and Board Meetings, We are One Rally, and UEA House of Delegates.
One of the best parts of the job is being able to meet and visit with members and to recognize them for all the good they do in and out of the classroom. I wanted to visit every school, but I have only been to about half. This will be one of my goals for next school year.
I want all of you to know what great UniServ Directors we have in Laura Black and Cindy Carroll. They do so much to advocate for members. Michelle Anzlovar, our new administrative assistant, has been great at keeping things organized for meetings and making sure I am prepared. I could not do my job without their support.
I appreciate those of you who stepped up and did something you have never done before. That was my request to all members at the beginning of my term. Some of you were an AR for the first time. Some of you participated in Educator Day on the Hill. Many of you wrote to your legislators. Some of you have attended School Board Meetings. If each JEA member does one thing again next year that you have never done before, we can truly make a difference in our profession and our association. Thank you for your membership in JEA!