Let’s TALK conference brings together teachers for conversations about teaching and learning More than 300 Kentucky educators attended Let’s TALK: Conversations about Effective Teaching June 19-21 in Louisville. The conference, a first-of-its-kind event created by, for and about teachers, was planned jointly by KEA, the Kentucky Department of Education and the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. Its primary focus was to help participants understand how to implement effectively the Kentucky Core Academic Standards and how to improve their teaching through the new Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES). KEA’s Teaching Advocates Leading Kentucky (TALK) group, which includes 17 teacher members, created content guidelines for Let’s TALK that were designed to “help elevate the teaching profession in the Commonwealth by bringing teachers’ voices to the forefront of these important, integrated education initiatives,” KEA President Stephanie Winkler said. The group put out a call for presentations early this year and selected 27 presentations from among the proposals submitted by Kentucky elementary, middle and high school classroom teachers. (Of those, 23 were led by one or more KEA members.) Conference attendees included teachers, administrators and paraeducators. Some school districts and KEA locals brought groups to Louisville for the event. KEA Assistant Executive Director Michelle Duke, who represented KEA on the inter-agency Let’s TALK planning team, said organizers wanted “to give participants practical strategies for classroom implementation of the Kentucky Core Academic Standards and PGES;
A new perspective
Raymond Yaksic (standing), who teaches language arts at Westport Middle school in Jefferson County, was one of 27 KEA members who led 23 PD workshops at Let’s Talk: Conversations about Effective Teaching. The three-day conference “for, by and about teachers” was held this summer in Louisville and drew more than 300 Kentucky educators. Lafayette High School English teacher Sherri McPherson, another KEA member who presented, said “The best part about the conference is that teachers were treated as the leaders, experts, and drivers of education. Teachers and policy makers sat at the same tables and discussed issues teachers and students face every day.”
teach them to use electronic tools for communicating with and about the systems; and help them attain a level of comfort with and appreciation of the new systems.” Duke added, “Let’s TALK was about helping educators develop a greater capacity for improving their teaching practice.” Principal funding for Let’s TALK came from a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The School Improvement Network also chipped in. KEA-Retired contributed $6,000 to the conference to purchase debit cards for KEA members who attended. Each member in attendance received a card worth $150, Duke
said, “to help defray costs associated with attending the conference.”
Teachers leading teachers
Mike Ross, president of Mason County Education Association, attended Let’s TALK with seven other teacher members of MCEA. Ross said “It was one of the more useful conferences we have attended. It allowed tailored selection of workshops relevant to each teacher.” Attending as a group, he said, “allowed teachers to ‘divide and conquer’ and take advantage of more workshops.” What made the conference particularly useful, Ross added, “was that it was teachers leading teachers.”
Matthew Courtney, a music educator at Madison County’s Mayfield Elementary and president of KEA-Central District, presented two sessions at Let’s TALK on CIITS, the Continuous Instructional Improvement Technology System, which has been used in Kentucky schools since August 1, 2011. Courtney said he felt “blessed” to present at the conference and that his sessions were marked by “rich dialogue with the other teachers in the room. “We discussed important issues, such as how CIITS can be used to nurture and measure student growth and how Kentucky’s new PGES system will help us to get more professional learning opportunities.” The feedback he got, Courtney said, was “entirely positive. Many of the professionals I spoke with were thrilled to have the chance to come together with other educators and to learn from their peers. The chance to hear what other teachers are doing in their classroom provided invaluable new knowledge to take back to school in August.” Finally, Courtney said he “learned as much as anyone” in his sessions. “I came away with a new perspective on my classroom and, more importantly, a large group of new colleagues and friends who I can continue to grow with as the new school year begins.”
It did not disappoint
Sherri McPherson teaches English at Lafayette High School in Fayette County. She and colleague Renee Boss presented a workshop on the Kentucky Core Academic Standards entitled, “I Choose C,” which she described as “focused on the opportunities that Common Core offers for collaboration and creativity.” Please see ‘Let’s TALK’ on page 6
Teacher named chair of Kentucky House of Representatives’ Education Committee Representative Derrick Graham of Frankfort was selected earlier this summer as the new chairman of the Kentucky House of Representatives Education Committee. Graham’s selection came after the resignation of Representative Carl Rollins, who resigned from the legislature in order to accept a position as leader of the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority. Graham, a social studies teacher who recently retired from Frankfort High School, is the first teacher to chair the Education Committee in many years. House Speaker Greg Stumbo acknowledged Graham’s unique perspective in a statement following the announcement of his selection. “I want to congratulate Derrick, my friend and
colleague, on his appointment as the House Education Committee’s newest chairman. He has dedicated his life to education and has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities Kentucky faces academically.”
In a statement following his appointment Representative Graham said, “I look forward to hitting the ground running in working with the educational community and colleagues in the General Assembly in continuing to develop policies that help to generate and elevate student achievement and success in all schools across our great Commonwealth, from pre-school to the postsecondary level.” Stephanie Winkler, president of KEA, said, “I have worked with Chairman Graham since his first election as a state representative. We’re proud to have one of our very own KEA members serving in this capacity. I know that he will keep in mind all public school employees and students as he makes tough decisions about policy in our schools.”
Conversations with the KEA president: Six members turn in reports on ‘how I spent my (so-called) summer vacation’ There are many honors that go with being president of KEA. In the three months since I assumed that role I already have gotten to enjoy several of them: I have spoken on your behalf to members of the Kentucky General Assembly; I have worked alongside groups of dedicated teachers and paraeducators at state and national professional development conferences; and I have visited with you in your workplaces in dozens of Kentucky school districts. It is an honor to have this space set aside in each issue of KEA News so that I may address you. Stephanie Winkler KEA President I’ve enjoyed reading the columns written by past KEA presidents. But the time I spent with you this summer confirmed something I have believed for a long time: we often learn best from each other. Our unique experiences as educators help keep us motivated to do more and learn more in order to provide, as our mission statement says, “a quality public education for every Kentucky student.” For this issue, I have invited some members to tell us a little something about how they spent their “summer vacations.” I hope their summer PD experiences will give you some ideas and inspiration. And I hope you will share some of your own experiences in the coming months.
Nikki Ross, elementary school teacher, Jefferson County
Many people who are familiar with the song that goes, in part, “School’s out for the summer,” think of teachers when they hear it and assume summer is an extended break time for us. It is not, of course! Many of us are engaged in various professional development sessions, trainings and conferences. My summer break began the week of June 21, when I attended the National Council of Urban Education Associations conference in Atlanta and met with representatives of the large city locals in NEA. This conference was immediately followed by the NEA Representative Assembly, also in Atlanta, which
brought together more than 9,000 educators from across the United States. Upon returning to Louisville I attended the annual board of directors retreat of my local, the Jefferson County Teachers Association. A few days after that, I left for Orlando, Florida, to attend the GE Foundation Summer Conference, where we learned about the Core Content State Standards—particularly the new science standards that will be implemented during the 2013-2014 school year. (And, yes, the conference was at Disney World—but we were there to work, and our schedule was so tightly packed that I only was able to see Mickey when he and Minnie visited us at dinner one evening.) A week after that rich and rewarding professional development experience I squeezed in having surgery; the day my stitches were removed I was on my way to Washington, DC, to attend training on Engagement Organizing at NEA. When my return flight landed at Louisville International Airport I was whisked straight to my school to meet with new students for the upcoming school year. So, no, school was not out for the summer for me, nor was it out for most of my teacher colleagues. And the summer activities I participated in will help me to do what I love—educate my students and empower other teachers.
Randy Norton, elementary school teacher, Madison County
I went to a week-long PD at Princeton University entitled “Liberty and the Western Tradition.” It was absolutely amazing—and all expenses were paid! Social studies teachers from around the country got together and had Socratic discussions on the founding of the United States. It was co-sponsored by The Liberty Fund and the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville. The Liberty Fund offers various professional development opportunities throughout the year. All social studies teachers should definitely check them out. Each teacher was assigned extensive primary source readings about how the first democracies and constitutions were implemented in early Greek, Roman, and English societies and how those early traditions influenced our founders. Each day we
discussed how these influence our society today. During our “off time” we got to tour historic places such as the Battle of Princeton, Princeton University, New York City, and Philadelphia. You can check out future opportunities at www.libertyfund.org.
Jessica Jones, elementary exceptional needs specialist, Bath County
As a special education teacher for moderate and severe students, I am always looking for professional development that will help me to teach my students and assist me with ensuring that I can teach the skills needed not only for everyday life, but also for testing purposes. This summer I had the privilege to attend a training opportunity for modifying books and adding lessons to go with the books that meet the standards for alternate assessment for my students. I attended a class at Central Kentucky Special Education Center that was presented and developed by Sally Miracle. She chose the book “The Great Kapok Tree” by Lynne Cherry. Ms. Miracle helped guide us in putting together and developing materials for our classroom for this book that would meet the common core standards. I was amazed at how I could take a book and pull from it many subjects to teach about. I learned how to modify and adapt different books so that it can meet the various needs of my students and still allow them to learn skills that are required of them. This training was amazing and the skills taught will be used in my classroom for years to come.
Jocelyn Mansfield, elementary school teacher, Barren County
This summer two Barren County colleagues and I had the opportunity to go to Philadelphia for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s “Math in Focus Institute,” at which we were trained on Singapore Math. There we got to meet Dr. Yeap Banhar, the principal of Marshall Cavendish Institute and Director of Curriculum and Professional Development at Pathlight School in Singapore. He is considered to be one the creators of the American Please see “WInkler” on page 4
Those misguided policy makers who blame you are not in touch with what America believes I have staked my professional life on the belief that teachers and other school employees are the foundation of a strong America and that they are worth support and investment. It’s gratifying to know that Americans share my faith in educators. For 45 years, Phi Delta Kappa has been polling Americans about their attitudes toward public schools. This year’s results were released on August 26 and show that public’s opinion about educators is positive and Mary Ann Blankenship KEA Executive Director improving. You can find more detailed information about the poll on PDK’s web site, at http://pdkintl.org/ programs-resources/poll/. Some of the more interesting results are: • A majority of Americans give public schools in their local community an A or a B. Similar to previous years’ results, less than one-fifth would give schools across the nation an A or B. • Americans trust public school teachers and principals. • The public believes that preschool, especially for low-income children, helps them perform better during their teenage years.
• Fewer than 25% of Americans believe increased testing has helped the performance of local public schools. • A majority of Americans reject the practice of using student scores from standardized tests to evaluate teachers. • Almost two of three Americans have never heard of the Common Core State Standards. • Americans believe their children are safe in school and reject the idea of arming teachers and principals. • Nearly two-thirds believe that increasing mental health services will do more to make schools safer than adding school security guards. • The public believes that both high school graduates and dropouts are unprepared for college or careers. These results – while cause for celebration – also make me a little sad. Every week I hear from teachers who just don’t feel the love. They feel beat up, under-appreciated, unfairly criticized and unsupported. What accounts for the discrepancy between what the public feels about teachers and how teachers feel? I believe the tendency of too many policy makers – at all levels – to blame teachers for everything they believe is wrong, not only with the schools but also with the world. The good news is that the public just
Kentucky Education Association
isn’t buying it. KEA and its local affiliates fight this view every day and will keep fighting it as long as it persists. On a more personal level, a colleague of mine has a great technique for combatting the negativism in her professional life. I plan to adopt this practice myself. I was recently in a meeting with this colleague and said something positive about her. She asked if I would repeat the statement while she recorded it. I thought she was kidding until she whipped out her smart phone and proceeded to make a video of me repeating my statement about her. She is not posting it on YouTube or making it go viral (thank goodness). No, she keeps her own video library. When she’s had a bad day or is the recipient of lots of negative comments, she plays a few positive videos back to herself. So the next time a student, parent, administrator or colleague tells you what a difference you make, I encourage you to make a short video of that comment. I hope such videos will remind you not only of the amazing and important contribution you make every day but also that the statements of misguided policy makers who want to find someone to blame are not representative of what Americans believe or, more importantly, what those who watch your work up close and personal believe.
Issue No. 1
‘Morale is returning, along with our hope’ Muhlenberg County EA leaders optimistic about the future as they prepare to work with a new superintendent to address ‘the big issues of pay and time’
When Muhlenberg County Education Association president Philip Oliver four percent for several years, our buying power is becoming noticeably less. I and vice president Kim McClellan sat down with KEA News this summer hear that all the time.” to talk about their first year together in office and the state of their local, Both McClellan and Oliver said their top priority for this school year is to they returned time and again to two themes: improving communication and increase teacher pay based on the 185-day schedule. restoring member morale. “We know that times are tight for Oliver and McClellan, both of governments, too,” Oliver said, “but we whom teach at Muhlenberg County are going to make a serious attempt at High School, were elected in 2012 to a legitimate pay raise in 2013-2014.” two-year terms. At the time of their They already have laid the interview in July, they were preparing groundwork for that, in conversations to start their second year, along with with new school board members; in secretary Kay Turner, who is assistant “dialogue with the school district” principal at Muhlenberg County and through their participation in Career Technical Center. interviews for a new superintendent. Oliver said, “By necessity our At the time of their meeting with KEA biggest priority for the first year has News, Oliver was most excited about been building relationships with being elected to serve on the search people to help them have more committee. “It is important to our confidence in KEA and in their ability members that they see that MCEA to help people that are struggling in has a voice in the process,” he said. various situations like that. I think a lot KEA UniServ director Rob Tye has of people in our area have lost some worked with Oliver and McClellan to morale in the last four or five years help them prepare for their salary and we are trying to help them gain it campaign, as well as on “teacher back, to remember how valuable the time issues” that were reinforced in profession is. We want them to know Muhlenberg County’s newest set of that we as an organization and we as data from the TELL Kentucky Survey. leadership do have their back. We’re Oliver said the survey results willing to stick our necks out and try bore out what they already had Above: Muhlenberg County Education Association president Philip Oliver, left, to help teachers when they have a heard in emails from members: that and vice president Kim McClellan with KEA UniServ director Rob Tye at the problem.” teachers’ time is being abused. Duncan Community Center in July. McClellan said she and Oliver came Below: Oliver and McClellan, far left, at KEA’s June 2012 training for local “We have had several incidences home from KEA training for new local association officers in Lexington, where they said they got valuable ideas about this past year where teachers are association officers in June 2012 with communicating with new and prospective members. made to go to what they are told new perspectives on membership and is ‘training,’ but which actually is new ideas for maximizing it. Within professional development. The weeks MCEA had a new website and principals are calling it training rather a Facebook page. than PD so they don’t have to give “I tinker. I enjoy using technology,” the teachers any hours for it. And McClellan said. “At the leadership that means, of course, that not only conference we got to talking about are the teachers not being paid, how to maintain our numbers with they aren’t even getting PD credit. members and maybe to increase “Right now, it’s time to be numbers with Millenials. This seemed patient and gather data. When the like the natural progression for us to appropriate time comes we are be able to communicate more with going to address all these issues. all our association representatives We’re scheduled to speak to our at the various schools in our district. board at their October meeting.” We still have our traditional meetings l l l to get out information but these are additional vehicles to get the If Oliver and McClellan community involved in what we do, as were optimistic about the well as touching base with them so future of their local in July, they are even more so now. On August 22, the they remember that we exist—and letting them communicate with us about Muhlenberg County School Board voted to hire Randy McCarty, a former their concerns, their issues.” teacher and principal at MCHS, as the district’s new superintendent. The two big issues for MCEA Kay Turner, the MCEA secretary, is especially optimistic about what that members now, Oliver and McClellan KEA NEWS means for the district’s employees and for the local. She has known McCarty, said, are “pay and time.” McClellan she said, “for over 20 years as a fellow student, instructor, and administrator,” Volume 50, Issue 1; explained, “Our teachers value their and she wrote a personal letter of recommendation for McCarty to the search September 2013 personal time and family time—as committee. She said he is “an excellent professional, a forward thinker, an everybody does—so there’s a lot effective communicator and a genuinely nice person.” Stephanie Winkler, President; of concern about trying to find a What may be more important to MCEA members’ interests, is that “McCarty balance when it comes to time on the Lisa Petrey-Kirk, and his wife Lila, the KEA representative at Longest Elementary School, are job. They’re going to do the work, of big supporters of KEA.” Vice President; course, but they don’t think it should Phil Oliver said he is “very happy about the superintendent search and its Mary Ann Blankenship, come at the expense of time with their outcome. I worked with a great committee, we were well trained on how to be families. Executive Director; fair to all applicants and we did that. As the MCEA president and a member “Our school calendar went from Charles Main, Editor of the selection committee, I was contacted by several members and non187 days to 185 days this year. I know members alike. Randy McCarty’s was the name most often mentioned to me. Periodical postage paid at that other school districts had already The people that taught for him in the past are incredibly loyal to him, and they Louisville, Kentucky. KEA News done that in previous years, but our all said he gave them the freedom to be creative. So I expect a good working is published five times a year, in teachers lost pay, obviously.” relationship with him. September, November, March, May Oliver added, “If you adjust for “He already is in the process of developing committees of teachers to inflation, our teachers have actually and July, by the Kentucky Education address the issues facing our district.” lost income for almost a decade now. Association, 401 Capital Avenue, Best of all, Oliver said, “Morale is returning along with our hope. We look We’re not ungrateful for the one- and Frankfort, KY 40601. Phone 800forward to working with him. We know it will not all be peaches and cream, but two-percent raises we’ve been getting, at least we know our voice will be heard.” 231-4532. KEA News is the official but when inflation is averaging about publication of KEA and reaches all KEA members. The annual subscription rate to members is $1.50, included in annual dues. The subscription rate to others is $5. ISSN 0164-3959 Postmaster: Send address changes to KEA News, 401 Capital Avenue, Frankfort, KY 40601
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Issue No. 1
Kentucky Education Association
4 New Fort Thomas teachers are new KEA members Janet Jackson, the president of the Fort Thomas Education Association, didn’t have far to go to attend the Fort Thomas Independent Schools’ new teacher orientation in August. It was held in her library at Highlands High School. Jackosn addressed the 14 new teachers present just before lunch (which FTEA provided), as did NKEA president Terri Poindexter and new KEA president Stephanie Winkler, who graduated from Highlands. They talked about KEA’s advocacy for school employees in Frankfort, and about its role in helping teachers implement the new Kentucky Common Core State Standards and the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System. Nine of the new teachers joined KEA during the meeting, including Micki Humphreys, who will teach fifth grade at Moyer Elementary School this year. Humphreys was a student member at NKU in 2007-2008 but never joined KEA while teaching in Campbell County. So why did she join on orientation day in Fort Thomas? She chose to join “for a few reasons,” she said. “First, Janet seems very involved,” Humphreys said. “When you have a leader who is involved, it makes you want to be involved also.” Humphreys cited other reasons for joining that had to do with KEA itself. “This is an organization of educators that supports legislation that is good for education and works to change legislation that hinders education. I think it is important to have educators giving input on laws that affect education.” Finally, she said, “the insurance is good, and there are August 8 was orientation day for new teachers many discounts and benefits to take advantage of.” in the Fort Thomas Independent Schools. Winkler said, “When we get opportunities such as this Clockwise from top right: FTEA president to talk with teachers about the concrete ways KEA helps Janet Jackson spoke about KEA during the them be the best they can be at their profession, it’s not orientation program, which was held in her hard for them to see why membership is important. I’m library at Highlands High School; Stephanie grateful for school districts like Fort Thomas, where we Winkler, the KEA president and a Highlands work together to help teachers teach better and students graduate, accepted a KEA membership form from learn more. I’m happy to welcome these new members.” Emily Kelly as Dan Skidmore offered his; Micki The other new KEA members in Fort Thomas are Humphreys, left, chatted while completing her Rachel Caswell, Brady Dowling, Emily Kelly, Scott enrolment form. Kraus, Kevin Listerman, Carla Menz, and Jill Terlau.
Winkler: These KEA members spent their co-called ‘summer vacations’ getting quality professional development Continued from page 2 version of Singapore Math. It was a great honor to get to meet him. Throughout the two-day workshop, I was schooled in the fundamentals of Singapore Math, including the key elements: pattern observation; how to focus on visualization; and bar modeling. On the last day of the training, we were able to make the connection between Singapore Math (Math in Focus) and the Common Core Standards. This workshop was an eye-opening experience. Another highlight was being able to visit some historical sites while in Philadelphia. I was able to go to the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and Valley Forge. I took several pictures to share with my students as we get to those particular units of study. Upon our return home, my colleagues and I trained other staff members in our district on how to implement this math program into their schools. For more information on Dr. Yeap Banhar visit www.banhar.blogspot.com.
Marty Dixon, district curriculum specialist, Montgomery County
Montgomery County Schools was host to more than 170 educators from our school district and others in the region on June 6 and 7. They came to participate in i21: Navigating the 21st Century Highway to Top 10. This two-day learning experience was designed, created, and presented by teachers for teachers. Forty-five Montgomery County Schools teacher-presenters led sessions on technology integration; formative assessment strategies; student
engagement strategies; higher-order thinking strategies; implementing standards-based grading; and many others. Just as we are working hard to differentiate instruction for our students, we wanted to do the same for our teachers. Teachers were able to select sessions of personal relevance throughout each day from a menu of more than twenty offerings. Participants were able to get first-hand accounts of how to successfully implement research-based instructional strategies across the grade levels from teachers who are currently applying those practices. It was exciting to see elementary, middle, and high school teachers coming together to examine how these best practices are relevant and working across all grade levels. We are working diligently to build bridges across the grade levels and empower our teachers to lead us to top ten in everything we do.
Laura Schneider, high school teacher, Kenton County
The best PD experience I have had in 28 years occurred this summer during the Festival of Learnshops in Berea, the basic premises of which are that learning is not a spectator sport and that one learns best by doing. For two days and $130 I received training in program review; created a copper bracelet and stained glass overlay with working artisans; and toured artist studios. The experience with the artists was invaluable, but what set this professional development apart was the intensive
overview of the program review process by Judy Sizemore and Sarah Evans. The topics they covered included how to integrate arts and humanities; what a program review is and is not; why we use a program review; and how to create a culture of natural integration across the school. Included with our workshop was a flash drive loaded with hundreds of resources to assist with arts and humanities integration and the program review when we returned to our schools in the fall. Each artist also included ways to incorporate what we learned in our specific discipline workshops into our classrooms. So in addition to general PD on the program review process, we received quality, content-specific instruction in areas we selected. This is crucial for teachers who are attempting to incorporate all four disciplines in their humanities classrooms. Humanities PD is difficult to find. Quality arts and humanities PD is even rarer. I would recommend the Festival of Learnshops to any teacher.
For the November issue of KEA News, I want to devote this space to ESP voices. If you are a classified employee of KEA, I want to hear about your experiences, ideas, issues, concerns, dreams, hopes and fears. Write to me at Stephanie.Winkler@kea.org and I will share what you have to say with our members (unless you tell me not to), here in KEA News, at KEA.org or on the Kentucky Education Association page on Facebook.
Campaign spending reports for 2013 KEA elections KEA members who run for state association office are required to submit reports of their campaigns’ income and expenses within 60 days of the election. Campaign rules allow a candidate up to $2,500 in direct expenses (such as for printing, postage and campaign supplies). Candidates may spend more than that on travel for their campaigns but most report the cost of that travel, at 56.5 cents per mile. Candidates may accept cash and in-kind contributions but must list each separately. There were three candidates for the office of KEA president in the election held in April of this year, and two candidates for vice president. Four of those five candidates filed Kentucky Education Association
the required reports. The KEA constitution requires that they be printed in KEA News. Tom Denton, Candidate for President Revenue: Expenses: Travel: In-Kind donations:
$2009.00 $2384.45 $ 121.35 $ 850.00
Michael Ross, Candidate for President Revenue: $----------Expenses: $1,929.73 Travel: $3,535.14 In-Kind donations: $1,064.00
Stephanie Winkler, Candidate for President Revenue: $2150.66 Expenses: $2150.66 Travel: $2828.00 In-Kind donations: $ 850.00
Lisa Petrey-Kirk, Candidate for Vice president Revenue: $ 125.00 Expenses: $1687.43 Travel: $1861.11 In-Kind donatons: $2541.05
Rick Jones, Candidate for Vice president Did not file a spending report
Issue No. 1
New ‘permanent’ KEA membership cards go out this month to active, retired members Watch your mail, KEA members! Within the next few days you should receive your new “permanent” KEA membership card and key tag, both of which will be personalized with your name and unique member number. On the back of each are instructions for creating an account with NEA Member Benefits and accessing members-only savings programs such as NEA Click & Save. Stephanie Winkler, president of KEA, said the decision to issue these “more substantial” cards in place of the cards KEA has sent annually to members for some years “is meant to encourage our members to be ‘card-carrying members.’ We’ve already simplified the registration process at our Delegate Assembly to the point
where we can check in members by scanning the barcodes on their cards. Soon we hope to be able to do that at every KEA event.” Winkler said the card “is more and more valuable to members every day, because of the expanded discounts and savings opportunities associated with it. At least two local associations—in Knox and Pike counties—already have negotiated deals with merchants in their areas to give discounts to members who show their membership cards. And others are working on it.” If you don’t receive your new KEA membership card and key tag by the end of this month, please notify your local KEA office, or call KEA at (800) 231-4532.
Tips, Tricks and Techniques conference offers PD for teachers with 0 to 5 years in the classroom The 2013 KEA Tips, Tricks and Techniques conference is an opportunity for teachers with zero to five years in the classroom to network with other public school teachers from across the Commonwealth and get free, highquality professional development. Tips, Tricks and Techniques is being organized by the KEA New Professionals Cadre, a group of younger KEA members working together to address the needs of all younger teachers. The conference
will be held Saturday, October 26 at TK Stone Middle School, at 323 Morningside Drive in Elizabethtown. There will be a plenary session with a keynote speaker, followed by ten “mini sessions,” each one focusing on a single tip, trick or technique currently being practiced in Kentucky classrooms. Each session will be led by the teachers who developed the
Issue No. 1
practice or use them in their classrooms. Attendees will earn four to six hours of professional development, and lunch will be provided free of charge. Instructions for registration will be posted soon at KEA.org and on the Kentucky Education Association Facebook page. To find out more now or to reserve your place, send e-mail to Matthew Courtney, chair of the New Professionals Cadre, at Courtney.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kentucky Education Association
Let’s TALK ‘elevated the teacher voice’ Continued from page 1
The opportunity to present at Let’s TALK, McPherson said, “was too good to pass up. “When the call for Let’s TALK presenters came across my e-mail, I quickly scanned the e-mail with the intention of deleting it since my summer obligations were already quite full. However, as I read the conference’s goals and big ideas, I realized that I not only wanted to attend the conference, but also submit a proposal. I loved that the conference was focused on the exciting work that Kentucky teachers were doing through LDC, MDC, PGES, common core, and education technology.” Let’s TALK “did not disappoint,” McPherson said. “There were multiple session offerings during each breakout block. In fact, there were so many good breakout sessions that I had difficulty choosing which ones to attend. It was exciting to learn from teachers all across Kentucky. I made connections with teachers in different districts and expanded my professional learning network (PLN). The best part about the atmosphere the conference created is that teachers were treated as the leaders, experts, and drivers of education. “Teachers and policy makers sat at the same tables and discussed practical solutions to issues teachers and students face. As a presenter, it was rewarding to look out into my session and see policy makers and education leaders interested in what Renee and I had to say. As a result of our interactions with those policy makers and leaders, I feel comfortable contacting them to voice my concerns and ideas about issues involving Kentucky schools. “I left the conference with several tools to take back to my classroom and share with colleagues in my building. The tools range from practical ones to the intangible connectedness I feel with other teachers and policy makers across the state. You can be sure that I won’t be tempted to hit delete next year when the Let’s TALK conference e-mail comes.”
Highlighting ‘the teacher voice’ Pennye Rogers, a National Board Certified Teacher of science at Todd County High School, is a member of the KEA NBCT Jump Start Team. She and other members of that group presented two sessions on National Board certification at Let’s TALK. What made the conference “special,” she said, echoing a sentiment expressed by others in attendance, was that “it brought together teachers in a unique way. The fact that it was teachers training teachers sets it apart from other professional developments. “The highlight was the focus on teachers and teacher voice. Perhaps the most important thing to come out of it was that teachers became informed about issues (such as PGES) so that they can each share information with
The lineup of presenters at this summer’s Let’s TALK conference included 27 KEA members. In the picture at left: Matthew Courtney of Madison County led two sessions on CIITS. In the picture at left below: Fayette County teachers Sherri McPherson (left) and Renee Boss presented a workshop on opportunities for creativity and collaboration in the Kentucky Core Academic Standards. In the picture below: Pennye Rogers was one of several members of KEA’s NBCT Jump Start team who led sessions about the national board application process.
other teachers and not depend on the trickle-down approach so common across the state.” Rogers said, “Everything I heard from others was very positive. I personally enjoyed the networking aspect with other teachers who had experiences to share that I could incorporate into my own practice in my own classroom. The conference empowered teachers and encouraged teachers to exercise their teacher voice and I would like to see the momentum continue. I would like to see this become a regular event. I feel that it can only enhance teaching and learning in Kentucky.” Rogers, who is president of Todd County EA, took “special pride” in KEA’s leading role on Let’s TALK. She said, “KEA pulled this off in part due to their network of accomplished teachers but also due to their excellent working relationship with KDE and other Let’s TALK partners. I think because of KEA’s focus on teacher advocacy and effective teaching, only KEA could create this type of conference.”
Back to school - and back to normal - for students, KEA members in Salyersville August 6, 2013, was a special day in Salyersville. Magoffin County Schools superintendent Stanley Holbrook and Principal Willie Cole cut the ribbon on the newly rebuilt Salyersville Grade School, just 17 months and four days after it was nearly destroyed by the tornado that ripped through Salyersville on March 2, 2012. KEA President Stephanie Winkler spoke at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, on her first visit to Magoffin County since the July 27, 2012 Outreach to Teach event at which more than 70 KEA members worked a long, muggy, sometimes rainy day to help get the old Salyersville Grade School building ready to welcome students for the first time in a decade. Winkler had spent that day painting a large mural featuring the SGS Eagle mascot by the front entrance to the building, and she mentioned that in her remarks: “I just came out of an elementary classroom,” she said. “I know how much it means to students to come every day into a school that is warm and inviting. I knew the students of this school were sad to be driven out of their beautiful new building and coming back to a building that hadn’t had students in it for so many years. I wanted them to see that eagle out there by the front door and know that it was still their school.” Before she spoke, both Holbrook and Cole praised KEA for that work and for the contribution of more than $4,500 for supplies for the school.
After the ribbon-cutting and a reception in the SGS cafeteria, Winkler, Holbrook and Magoffin County EA President Vickie Felber-Keeton went to the nearby Magoffin County High School for MCEA’s back-to-school luncheon. In his remarks to the members at the luncheon, Superintendent Holbrook again praised KEA, and congratulated them on choosing to belong to the association. “I’ve been a KEA member throughout my career,” Holbrook said. “I wouldn’t have thought of entering a classroom without KEA on my side. KEA is about one thing, and that is professionalism.” Winkler thanked the MCEA members for being members, “and, more than that, for being active members. You are KEA, and I am proud to be with you.” Felber-Keeton, the MCEA president, said, “KEA is an important part of our community. We are proud that when things were looking so bad for our children, KEA stepped up and helped us.”
Kentucky Education Association
Counter-clockwise from top: Theresa Miller, association representative for KEA at Salyersville Grade School, took a break from setting up her classroom to chat with KEA President Stephanie Winkler prior to the August 6 ribboncutting ceremony re-opening the tornado-damaged school. Vickie Felber-Keeton, president of Magoffin County EA, spoke to members during a back-toschool luncheon at Magoffin County High School after the ribbon-cutting at SGS. On July 27, 2012, Winkler spent KEA’s Outreach to Teach day painting a large mural of the SGS eagle mascot at the entrance to the old building where students attended classes during reconstruction of their school.
Issue No. 1
Issue No. 1
Kentucky Education Association
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Kentucky Education Association
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Volume 50 Issue 1 September 2013