Classroom management tips and ways to keep students engaged PAGES 12 & 20
ATPE talks testing with Texasâ€™s new education commissioner PAGE 24
Welcome Back! YOUR GUIDE TO THE UPCOMING YEAR AND BEYOND
WANT TO HELP ENSURE A HEALTHIER FUTURE FOR YOUR STUDENTS? Here’s your opportunity to receive a free health-science curriculum! Try HealthStart Foundation’s health-science curriculum, Health Education for Youngsters! (HEY!) at no cost through a new ATPE partnership. HEY! introduces pre-K through first-graders to human biology, environmental sciences, healthy eating, and the role of physical fitness in learning. For a free digital download of the “Meet Your Brain” unit’s illustrated teachers’ guide, log in to your account on atpe.org and visit the Services and Discounts page. Click on “Curriculum Discount” and start exploring today. HealthStart Foundation provides the blueprint for creating healthy communities through science-based, early health education. Learn more about HealthStart’s mission at healthstartfoundation.org.
ATPE MEMBERS ALSO RECEIVE A DISCOUNT OF 10% ON ANY FULL CURRICULUM SET!
I Photo by Kate Kuhlmann
f you’ve been a member for as long as I have (22 years), you know ATPE is all about relationships. My ATPE family may not be my blood relatives, but they’re my chosen family, and that can be just as meaningful. We can thank our large and committed crew of volunteers for that family feeling. They are our driving force. Everything they do centers on inviting new members to join, and there’s no better way to bring in new members than by making a personal connection.
"My ATPE family may not be my blood relatives, but they’re my chosen family, and that can be just as meaningful.”
Even as president, I still consider reaching out to potential new members my top priority. I want to keep expanding our family and help my fellow educators understand how ATPE can help them. When I’m out in public and I hear a group of education majors discussing their classes or a cluster of teachers bonding over classroom concerns, I always take a moment to introduce myself and ask, “Have you heard of ATPE?” To those of you who already volunteer and reach out to your fellow educators on a regular basis, thank you. There is no task too small. Everything you do helps us remain the ally of educators statewide, and the true voice of public education. For those of you who haven’t gotten involved yet as volunteers, I encourage you to consider how you can help your fellow members. This year, our ATPE family members need you more than ever. But be warned: volunteering for ATPE is addictive. The more involved you get, the more involved you will want to be!
Julleen Bottoms ATPE State President
ATPE is the preeminent public educator association in Texas and makes a difference in the lives of educators and schoolchildren. In partnership with all stakeholders, we are committed to providing every child an equal opportunity to receive an exemplary public education. ATPE NEWS 3
Contents ATPE NEWS | Fall 2016, Volume 37, Number 1
Foldables in the Classroom Learn how to use these graphic organizers to foster creativity and improve differentiation in the classroom.
A Complicated Profession 20 4 ATPE NEWS
Education Commissioner Mike Morath discusses testing, educator preparation, how to keep teachers in the classroom, and the future of Texas public schools.
Cover photo: Wyatt McSpadden
EVERYTHING ELSE 7 Feedback 8 Calendar 10 Regional Roundup 12 Education Inspiration
Classroom management tips
14 Know and Tell
What to do when you suspect one of your students is suffering from a mental health crisis
16 Your Ally
How the new District of Innovation law may impact your school
17 Your Voice
SPECIAL SECTIONS 6 Brand New School Year, Brand New Look ducation is changing, and so is ATPE News! Discover E what’s new in our our freshly redesigned magazine.
28 2016 ATPE Summit ATPE members came together in July to lead, learn, and connect with fellow educators. Learn more about the decisions made at ATPE’s annual event.
Public education is changing. It’s time to start asking some tough questions.
18 PAC Honor Roll 19 Texans on Education
How you can help counteract negativity about Texas public schools
34 Family Album 36 ATPE News
STAR Membership Challenge • Staff service awards
38 Meet Your 2016-17 Leaders 43 Brain Break Tarleton State University ATPE received the University Local Unit of the Year Award. Read the complete 2016 Summit coverage page 28
ATPE NEWS 5
f you’re lucky, there are at least a few times in your career when there’s a bit of magic in the making. All the right staff members are in place, everyone’s feeling a creative vibe, and you feel empowered and supported as you prepare to conquer any challenge that comes your way. I’m lucky. Every day, I get to lead a marketing and communications department staffed with talented, enthusiastic people who are dedicated to their profession. They’re willing The marketing and communications team. Pictured from left to right: Erica Fos, Leslie to embrace tradition when it counts, and yet Trahan, Tariq Khan, Elaine Acker, Jean Schlitzkus, Stephanie Jacksis, John Kilpper always remain open and excited about new ideas. Their brain power and optimism never fails to impress me. Our most recent challenge was a makeover for ATPE News. While parents were busy shopping for school supplies and kiddos were fretting about their new, back-to-school look, our team was putting the finishing touches on fresh new look for ATPE News. A special shout out goes to John Kilpper, our art director, and Erica Fos, our senior graphic designer, for the time and thought they put into this project. What’s new in this redesigned magazine? Well, we’ve made it “fun-sized,” and it’s now easier to skim with a new typeface and subheadings to break up longer articles (thanks to the Public A message from Elaine Acker, Information Committee’s suggestions!). We’re also regularly showcasATPE’s marketing and ing our members’ hard work and success stories. More than ever before, communications director members are contributing articles and are being featured in the pages of the magazine. On a daily basis, our creative team juggles responsibilities for writing, photographing, and designing the magazine, scripting and producing new video projects, updating blogs and other content on the website, designing and printing membership materials, sharing the latest news and fun facts in social media, managing advertising, and supporting the ATPE Summit. We do it because of you. And we do it to ensure that ATPE truly remains your ally and your voice for years to come.
Brand New School Year, Brand New Look
P.S. Do you have a story idea for our blogs or the magazine?
We’d love to hear from you! It’s more challenging than you might think to set up interviews and get permission to take photos of our members with the kids on campus. Thanks for your help!
6 ATPE NEWS
Dear Editor, I recently received my Summer 2016 ATPE News. While I am excited to see scientific academics featured on the cover, I am disappointed to see what appear to be White males only, signifying that women and people of color are incapable of participating in and achieving success in the sciences. Because the ATPE Communications Department usually does such a good job representing our state's diversity, that photo contrasted starkly with the images I usually see in ATPE publications. I hope there will be follow-up cover images and articles that more accurately depict the diversity on robotics teams in Texas public schools and that do not ignore the participation of women and people of color in science and engineering. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely,
Katherine P. Whitbeck Journalism Teacher Nacogdoches High School
Thank you for your note, and for being attuned to the issue of diversity. One of our biggest challenges is finding students who can be photographed. We need written permissions from parents, and it's much more difficult to set up photos than most people would imagine. In this case, we found a group of students who already had parents willing to quickly sign release forms, and we had a photographer in the area working on the membership campaign. We were eager to take advantage of this opportunity. We had no way of knowing before we arrived that this particular team did not include girls or students of color. I think if you look back over the last several issues of the magazine, you'll find that an all-White male photo—not just on the cover, but in every part of the magazine—almost never happens. We regularly feature women and people of color (and we try to be
very conscious of diversity in all its forms—geography, age, job title, etc.). Because we have a small staff and it’s expensive to travel to every location, we often rely on our members to help us get into schools, find appropriate subjects, identify students, and even take photos on occasion. Member support helps us tell the stories that matter for Texas public schools, while maintaining our commitment to showing the diversity of our state’s students and educators. Thanks again for reaching out, and please let me know if you have other questions or concerns.
Director of Marketing and Communications ATPE
DO YOU HAVE FEEDBACK FOR ATPE NEWS? Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leave me in the
Once you’ve read this issue of ATPE News, why not share it with fellow educators? It’s a great way to introduce the benefits of being an ATPE member to your colleagues on campus.
ATPE NEWS 7
State office closed for Labor Day
9-11 First-quarter ATPE Board of Directors meeting
The official publication of the Association of Texas Professional Educators
State Officers Julleen Bottoms. . . . . . . President, Corsicana (12) Carl Garner. . . . . . Vice President, Mesquite (10) Byron Hildebrand. . . . Secretary, San Antonio (20) Tonja Gray. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer, Abilene (14) Cory Colby . . . . . . . . . . . Past President, Willis (6)
12-16 30 State Board of Education meeting
Board of Directors
Last day to join ATPE or renew to avoid 30-day wait for employment rights defense insurance to be effective*
State Board for Educator Certification meeting
AMLE Annual Conference for Middle Level Education
Last day to register to vote**
Fall ATPE committee meetings
Michael Sweet. . . . . . . Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (1) Cesarea Germain. . . . . . . . . . . . Corpus Christi (2) Andy Erdelt. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Palacios (3) Eli Rodriguez . . . . . . . . . . . Cypress-Fairbanks (4) Suellen Ener. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Beaumont (5) Charles Lindsey II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Magnolia (6) Janie Leath . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nacogdoches (7) Jimmy Lee. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Paris (8) Dale Lovett. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Olney (9) Meredith Malloy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ferris (10) Karen Hames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lewisville (11) Jason Forbis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Midway (12) Jayne Serna. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Leander (13) Desirie Ries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hawley (14) Darlene Kelly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ballinger (15) Dawn Riley. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bushland (16) Brenda Bryan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hale Center (17) Bridget Loffler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Odessa (18) Rudy Romero. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Clint (19) Tina Briones. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . San Antonio (20)
ATPE Staff Gary G. Godsey . . . . . . . . . . . . . Executive Director Alan Bookman. . . . . . Deputy Executive Director Elaine Acker. . Mkting Communications Director
ATPE News Staff
First day of early voting**
Gary G. Godsey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Executive Editor Elaine Acker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Editor John Kilpper. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Art Director Leslie Trahan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Managing Editor Erica Fos . . . . . . . . . . . . . Senior Graphic Designer Jean Schlitzkus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Writer/Editor
Deadline for first-time professional members to join ATPE and be entered to win one of three $500 Classroom Makeover Giveaways; STAR Membership Challenge and Each One, Reach One submissions due
ATPE News contains legislative advertising contracted for by Gary G. Godsey, Executive Director, Association of Texas Professional Educators, 305 E. Huntland Dr., Ste. 300, Austin, TX 78752-3792, representing ATPE.
Last day of early voting**
11-12 16-18 23-25 Second-quarter ATPE Board of Directors meeting
State Board of Education meeting
State office closed for Thanksgiving break
*THE EDUCATORS PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE POLICY IS UNDERWRITTEN BY NATIONAL UNION FIRE INSURANCE CO. OF PITTSBURGH, PA. ALL COVERAGE IS SUBJECT TO THE EXPRESS TERMS OF THE MASTER INSURANCE POLICY ISSUED TO ATPE AND KEPT ON FILE AT THE ATPE STATE OFFICE. Visit atpe.org for disclosures, limitations, and insurance policy details. **Date noted applies to uniform election.
8 ATPE NEWS
ATPE News (ISSN 0279-6260) is published quarterly in fall, winter, spring, and summer. Subscription rates: for members of the association, $3.32 per year (included in membership dues); non-members, $10 per year. Extra copies $1.25 each. Published by the Association of Texas Professional Educators, 305 E. Huntland Drive, Suite 300, Austin, TX 78752-3792. Periodical postage paid at Austin, Texas, and at additional mailing ofﬁces. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ATPE News, 305 E. Huntland Dr., #300, Austin, TX 78752-3792. Advertising rates may be obtained by sending a written request to the above address. Opinions expressed in this publication represent the attitude of the contributor whose name appears with the article and are not necessarily the ofﬁcial policy of ATPE. ATPE reserves the right to refuse advertising contrary to its purpose. Copyright 2016 in USA by the Association of Texas Professional Educators ISSN © ATPE 2013 0279-6260 USPS 578-050 305 E. Huntland Dr., Ste. 300 Austin, TX 78752-3792 (800) 777-ATPE (2873) atpe.org | email@example.com
GCU SCHOLARSHIPS FOR ATPE MEMBERS
THE ASSOCIATION OF TEXAS PROFESSIONAL EDUCATORS AND GCU ARE WORKING TOGETHER FOR YOU! With over a 60-year history of providing quality teacher and administrator degree programs, GCU will teach you a thing or two, so you can do the same. • Advance your career. From bachelor’s to doctoral, choose from over 150 online programs across nine distinct colleges to specialize in the area that fits your career goals. • Learn at your convenience. Complete your coursework 100% online around your schedule. • Graduate sooner. Ask about our complimentary transcript evaluation to see how many of your prior credits will transfer, lowering your total cost. You could earn your degree in as little as 16 months.
ATPE members receive a scholarship of 10% off tuition to help you get started on earning your degree!
For more information, please visit gcu.edu/TXEducators or call 855-428-1772 The information printed in this material is accurate as of July 2016. For the most up-to-date information about admission requirements, tuition, scholarships and more, visit gcu.edu. For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program and other important information, please visit our website at gcu.edu/disclosures. Please note, not all GCU programs are available in all states and in all learning modalities. Program availability is contingent on student enrollment. Grand Canyon University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. (800-621-7440; http://hlcommission.org/) GCU, while reserving its lawful rights in light of its Christian mission, is committed to maintaining an academic environment that is free from unlawful discrimination. Further detail on GCU’s Non-Discrimination policies can be found at gcu.edu/titleIX. 16COEE0146
here are more than a thousand school districts in Texas and each one has success stories. Regional Roundup highlights some of the achievements happening in our public schools. When something special happens in your school district, let us know! Send news to firstname.lastname@example.org.
4 EAGLE PASS
10 ATPE NEWS
Gulf of Mexic
From Across the State een who was homeless 1 Tgraduates at top of class
agle Pass superintendent 4 Esupports anti-bullying campaign
Liyjon DeSilva lost his mother at the age of five and, after bouncing from place to place, he was sleeping on the streets of Houston. But Liyjon made headlines for graduating at the top of his class at Margaret Long Wisdom High School. After the school’s principal and others offered a helping hand and found him a living space, Liyjon graduated in the top five percent of his class. Liyjon has been accepted to college on a full scholarship.
Photos courtesy of: 1.Houston ISD; 2. Heather Tuley; 3. Jacob Ford/Odessa American; 4. Eagle Pass ISD; 5. Harlingen CISD; 6. Sonya Ganeshram
HEADLI N ES
tudents explore the archi2 Stecture of downtown Austin
Fifth graders from Bee Cave Elementary and Serene Hills Elementary visited the Texas State Capitol grounds, Austin City Hall, the University of Texas campus, and Congress Avenue in downtown Austin as part of an architectural field trip. The students are involved in Lake Travis ISD’s Discovery Program. One highlight of the trip was the chance to sign a cement wall on the 54th floor of The Austonian skyscraper.
Eagle Pass ISD Superintendent Gilberto Gonzalez is showing his support of C.C. Winn High School’s anti-bullying campaign. The IMPACT Movement program encourages LGBTQ tolerance, promotes suicide prevention, and works to end bullying. The group’s motto is “Your life has PURPOSE. Your story is IMPORTANT. Your dreams COUNT. Your voice MATTERS. You were born to make an #IMPACT.” episdivision.blogspot.com
students participate 5 Hinarlingen video production camp
Harlingen-area elementary, middle school, and high school students are several steps closer to their Academy Awards acceptance speeches. The students learned the basics of camera use and editing during a week-long audio and video summer camp. The camp wrapped up with the students working in groups to produce a short movie and a newscast. hcisdnews.org
students earn top spots Dallas-area eighth graders win 3 Oindessa 6 national essay contest national science competition
Stefan Garcia (center) won first place, Irma Tinoco (left) placed second, and Jessica Suchil (right) won honorable mention in the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program (CCVYP) national competition. The Odessa High School students submitted essays about their experiences tutoring elementary school students. The three wrote about how the CCVYP program benefited them and the students they tutored.
Eighth graders Sonya Ganeshram, Ashwin Koduri, and Rushil Chander are eCYBERMISSION national champions. The team invented a safety device that alerts hearing-impaired people to dangers using SMS text alerts and safety device vibrations. Their winning team was chosen from 7,000 entrants in the US Army-sponsored eCYBERMISSION Competition. wfisd.net
ATPE NEWS 11
Classroom Management Tips Looking for classroom inspiration? You’ve come to the right place! In this department, we highlight fun and inspiring educational activities found on social media. This issue features classroom management activities.
Is your classroom overrun with tattlers? This cute “tattle monster” serves as a repository for student complaints, so you don’t have to spend class time handling them. bit.ly/23eDRxb
2 Turn listening into a classroom competition with this simple game. Sweeten the pot by giving your students a small reward if they’re ahead at the end of the week. bit.ly/1EYAfpK
FOR MORE CLASSROOM IDEAS, FOLLOW ATPE ON PINTEREST pinterest.com/atpe
4 These talking sticks help students know when it’s their turn to speak. Use the “My Turn” sign to indicate that you’re not taking questions and the “Your Turn” sign to let them know it’s ok to raise their hand or make comments. bit.ly/1W1S27J
12 ATPE NEWS
This “helping hand of the day” technique will keep your students involved in the classroom. Rotate helpers daily so that all students can participate equally. bit.ly/24RfjJW
1 Photo courtesy of porch.com/gigglesgalore 2 Photo courtesy of ashleigh-educationjourney.com 3 Photo courtesy of learningadventureswithmrsgerlach.blogspot.com 4 Photo courtesy of mrslaffinslaughings.blogspot.com
5 Photo courtesy of ateenytinyteacher.com 6 Photo courtesy of littlemindsatwork.blogspot.com 7 Photo courtesy of mrsmayaskinders.blogspot.com 8 Photo courtesy of entirelyelementary.blogspot.com
Use this “gold tag” reward system to inspire good behavior in your students. To increase student interest, have them discuss and vote on the rules and punishments/rewards for different behaviors. bit.ly/1XYAewh
Use these “cool down ice cubes” to help students deal with anger. Each cube spurs students to learn and practice a different coping strategy. bit.ly/28FjgpM
DO YOU HAVE A CLASSROOM ACTIVITY TO SHARE? Send your photos to email@example.com and you could be featured in Education Inspiration.
6 Help students stay on task with this reward system. Randomly pick two “lucky duck” stick winners after a designated chore is complete, and then determine if the students selected met your standards. bit.ly/1RweoqV
For younger kids, affix guides like these on your tables and chairs to help them learn where they should sit each time they come to your classroom. bit.ly/28ShW8s
7 ATPE NEWS 13
"Teachers can be the first line of defense against a crisis and are a true lifeline for a student in need of help."
14 ATPE NEWS
KNOW AND TELL
How to Spot a Mental Health Crisis
BY SHERRY BLYTH AND LAURA HERNANDEZ GOLD, AUSTIN TRAVIS COUNTY INTEGRAL CARE
ne in five US children ages 13-18 experiences a mental illness like depression or anxiety. The stress of student life—testing, fitting in, dealing with bullying, or going through a breakup—may amplify mental illness and can even lead to a mental health crisis. A student’s mental health can affect their ability to handle relationships and everyday responsibilities like schoolwork. Teachers can be the first line of defense against a crisis and are a true lifeline for a student in need of help.
Recognize the Warning Signs of a Mental Health Crisis
Many symptoms of a mental health crisis can look similar to normal parts of development, like withdrawing from family to spend more time with friends. However, if a student withdraws from everyone or becomes extremely private for an extended period of time, there may be cause for concern. Here are some warning signs to look for by age group. Younger Students: • physical illness, complaints of headaches or stomachaches • asking to go home or not wanting to go to school
when bad days add up, or unfamiliar behaviors continue, it’s crucial to have an honest conversation.
How to Talk to a Student
One in five US children ages 13-18 experiences a mental illness like depression or anxiety • major changes in behavior—cooperative and engaged before, now irritable or lashing out Older Students: • drastic changes in appearance or social group • extreme mood swings, verbal threats about hurting themselves or others • not participating in, enjoying, or attending things they used to—class, sports, theatre, art, band, etc. Keep in mind that not every student exhibiting unusual behavior is in crisis. Some may just be having a bad day. But
Having a conversation with your student may seem a little scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few steps to guide you through it. These should only be used with high school and some middle school students (depending on their level of comprehension). For elementary and younger middle school students, let parents or legal guardians know about your concerns. 1 Inform the school nurse or counselor of the change in behavior and let them know that you plan to talk to the student. Keep them informed as the situation progresses. 2 Be honest but factual. State the behaviors you see. Use statements like “I noticed you’re turning in incomplete homework” or “You don’t participate in class like you used to” to show the student you recognize the change in their behavior and are concerned. 3 Don’t promise to keep what they say a secret. You have to share your conversation with specific individuals if the student mentions suicide or abuse. Check continued on page 40
ATPE Member Legal Services says:
Getting personally involved with a struggling student can be the first step toward an inappropriate relationship. But despite such warnings, we know that when educators see students in need, their first instinct is to intervene. Whatever you do, be sure to keep your relationship with your students professional.
ATPE NEWS 15
What You Need to Know about Districts of Innovation
T BY ALLISON CUNNINGHAM, ATPE STAFF ATTORNEY
16 ATPE NEWS
he controversial new District of Innovation assessment measures, posting that plan on the (DOI) designation allows school districts district website for at least 30 days, holding public to claim exemptions from many state laws hearings seeking community input, obtaining apthat affect public education. Enacted during the proval by two-thirds vote of the elected board of 2015 Texas Legislative Session via House Bill trustees, and notifying the commissioner of educa1842, Chapter 12A of the Texas Education Code tion, Mike Morath, of their DOI status. Approval by (TEC) allows districts rated acceptable or higher Commissioner Morath is not separately required, to initiate the process to become DOIs. however. Districts that complete the DOI process Designation as a DOI allows a district to seek retain their status as DOIs for five years. exemptions from certain sections of the Texas At the time of writing, 23 districts have Education Code—the notified Commissioner collection of statutes that Morath of their progovern public school adposed innovation plans: ministration in Texas. Big Spring, Canton, Among the provisions a Dripping Springs, El DOI may opt out of are Paso, Grand Prairie, ATPE HAS SERIOUS CONCERNS duty-free lunch periods Gruver, Harlingen, THAT THE DISTRICT OF for classroom teachers, Kaufman, Keene, Los maximum class size, INNOVATION DESIGNATION PUTS Fresnos, Lytle, Mabank, educator certification Mansfield, Northside, PUBLIC SCHOOL EMPLOYEES’ requirements, teacher Palmer, Point Isabel, Red RIGHTS AT RISK BY ALLOWING contracts, and length of Oak, Roscoe Collegiate, DISTRICTS TO ELIMINATE school day. The ability San Antonio, Slidell, to opt out of TEC proviPRIVILEGES AND PROTECTIONS Spring Branch, Terrell, sions is not unlimited, and Victoria. Each disTHAT THEY HAVE COME TO however. DOIs may not trict’s innovation plan EXPECT UNDER THE TEXAS opt out of curriculum reis different, and of those EDUCATION CODE. quirements, state testing, seeking exemptions, and district governance, each has sought different among other provisions. ones, ranging from earliProponents of the new law believe that DOI des- er start dates to maximum class size. ignation will give districts the flexibility they need to make the best decisions for their unique cir- What Can You Do about It? cumstances. However, ATPE has serious concerns If your district is among the 23 that have elected that the designation puts public school employ- to become DOIs, you may reach out to your district ees’ rights at risk by allowing districts to eliminate to request a copy of the local innovation plan that privileges and protections that they have come to each DOI must propose to see which, if any, proviexpect under the TEC. We have voiced these con- sions of the TEC your district has elected to opt out cerns in front of both the Texas House and Senate. of. If your district is considering becoming a DOI, you should familiarize yourself with the specifics How Does a District Become a DOI? of your district’s proposed innovation plan, get inQualifying districts seeking designation as DOIs volved by asking for explanations for each exempmust go through several steps before officially be- tion sought, and take advantage of opportunities to coming DOIs. These steps include creating an in- give public input. novation plan outlining proposed curriculum and continued on page 40
Asking Necessary Questions about Public Education Changes
L BY JOSH SANDERSON, ATPE LOBBYIST
ooking at the details of various educa- data prove that smaller student-to-teacher tion-related issues can be daunting. Rarely class-size ratios are beneficial to student acdoes legislation simply address a single ademic growth, Texas lawmakers have not issue, such as class-size limits or compensation. seriously pursued reducing class sizes or exInstead, we get 391 pages of the NCLB reform bill panding the grades to which those limits apply (Every Student Succeeds Act), or mind-numbing since class-size limits were initially instituted. details of school finance proposals. At the end Instead, in 2011, the legislature made it easier of the day, whether it is the Texas legislature, for school districts to get waivers to circumCongress, or school boards, these policy changes vent class-size limits. Further, in 2015, the DOI have real consequences for both your professional law was created, allowing districts to wholly and personal life. Major exempt themselves from education reforms are class-size limits. taking place, and parents, taxpayers, and eduShould Schools cators must ask thoughtBe Run by Private ful questions about what Corporations? MAJOR EDUCATION REFORMS is happening to Texas’s The lieutenant goverARE TAKING PLACE, AND public education system. nor says that one of his PARENTS, TAXPAYERS, AND highest priorities for the EDUCATORS MUST ASK Is It ok for Someone 2017 legislative session Without a Teaching is to pass a school vouchTHOUGHTFUL QUESTIONS Certificate to Teach er bill. Aside from taking ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING Our Children? public tax dollars away TO TEXAS’S PUBLIC This is the reality now from public schools and EDUCATION SYSTEM. in Texas. In 2015, the legdiverting them to priislature passed a law that vate schools with no acallows a school district to countability, legislators designate itself as a District of Innovation (DOI). have proposed allowing private management of This label allows the district to circumvent cer- certain existing public schools, taking their contain laws such as those that require educators to trol away from locally elected school boards. be certified. Charter schools have long been able Many more questions should be asked and adto hire non-certified classroom teachers; how- dressed, such as: Should you be evaluated based ever, traditional public schools are still required on how your students perform on standardized to hire certified educators unless the district is a tests? Should educators have contracts? Should DOI. We know that having access to an effective you have access to affordable healthcare benefits educator is one of the most important aspects of a and a pension? Should state leaders make it more child’s academic success, and Texas is now making difficult for educators to join professional associit easier for untrained individuals to teach in the ations by trying to take away your right to payroll classroom. deduction? The people we elect get to make choices that afAre Small Class Sizes Beneficial to fect our children and our daily lives. We should be Student Learning? If So, Why Is the State asking ourselves if the choices being made regardPushing Schools toward Larger Classes? ing public education in Texas are acceptable. If the Even though repeated studies and numerous answer is “no,” then we must demand better.
ATPE NEWS 17
PAC HONOR ROLL
THANK YOU FOR YOUR DONATION!
The following ATPE members invested $50 or more in ATPEâ€™s Political Action Committee (ATPE-PAC) from March 30, 2016, through June 30, 2016.
Abilene Tonja Gray
Galena Park Sharon Dixon
La Joya Norma Vega
Clint Rudy Romero
Garland Julia Lepek Nichole Waggoner
Leander Jayne Serna Jeannette Whitt
Coleman County Sarah Beal
Grapevine-Colleyville Kelley Walker
Comal Chris Douglas
Hale Center Brenda Bryan
Lewisville Karen Hames Gerry Hudman Samantha Montano
Andrews Tina Hardarson
Corpus Christi Barbara Ruiz
Austin Elizabeth Abrahams Marcy McNeil
Corsicana Julleen Bottoms
Humble Stephanie Baker James Ellis Gayle Sampley
Alvin Ron Fitzwater Amarillo Nelson Bishop Connie Garris Julie Harris Gina Lewis Shane Whitten
Bastrop Chris Hansen Beaumont Suellen Ener Glen Rabalais Mary Beth Woodall Birdville Shari Emmons Boerne Kimberly Stewart Richard Wiggins Bushland Dawn Riley
Carrollton-Farmers Branch Lori Smith
Crowley Jeannie Evans Diane Pokluda Steve Pokluda Kitty Smith Cypress-Fairbanks Stephanie Bailey Eli Rodriguez Dallas Dianne Reed Floyd Trimble Ennis Nanette Moyers Falls City Phyllis Jarzombek
Maypearl Debbie Martin
Irving Connie Kilday Kristin Kilday Miranda Madden Gary Schepf Jacksboro Kristi Daws Keller Jacquline Price David Williams Killeen Barbara Graham Eileen Walcik Melissa Walcik Ron Walcik
McAllen Twila Figueroa Ma Elena Ingram Daisy Palomo Mesquite Donnetta Allen Wanda Bailey Jennifer Estrada Carl Garner Barbara Jo Green Diane Nix Kay Young Millsap Deann Lee Mission Angie Trevino Nacogdoches Janie Leath Marcella Moody
North East Lola Miller Olga Rubio Northside (20) Yonne Avina Patti Garcia Evelyn Hardaman Bobbye Patton Olney Dale Lovett Paris Jimmy Lee Pflugerville Greg Vidal Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Mike Sweet Plano Caryn Bartle Rebecca Bottin Katy Matthews San Antonio Tina Briones Glenn Ellison Manuela Ellison Skip Hildebrand Annie Perez San Marcos Genie Rolfe
Snyder Chana Jones Spearman Sherry Boyd Spring Ranti Williams Spring Branch Shawn Mustain Texa A&M University Tresa Bottoms Tornillo Cecilia Lettunich Tyler Betty Berndt Eddie Hill Weatherford Crystal Herring Weslaco Hector Cruz Willis Gidget Belinoski-Bailey Toni Smith Judi Thomas Woden John Donihoo Ginger Franks
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18 ATPE NEWS
TEXANS ON EDUCATION
Our Culture’s Brightest Gift to the World
O BY DAVE IRBY PAST PRESIDENT OF FRIENDS OF TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOLS Dave Irby has served on the Friends of Texas Public Schools board since 2011 and is a senior account executive with Northwest Evaluation Association, a nonprofit research and assessment company.
ne evening, while my wife and I were number of public schools in South Africa. South watching TV, I heard a familiar sound- Africa’s top schools rival ours, but the disparity bite: “Our public schools are horrible!” between their best and worst schools is vastly My wife, a fourth-grade teacher in Burleson ISD, greater. Many schools, even in urban areas, lack glanced up at the screen with a scowl and went essentials that we take for granted, like electricback to her school work. I have often heard poli- ity, supplies, and basic training for teachers. And ticians and leaders denounce our public schools, not all children have equal access to education scoring cheap political points at the expense of opportunities. More than a few countries and hard-working teachers and administrators who cultures around the world write off children with give their hearts and souls for the kids they serve disabilities and treat them inhumanely. This is not every day. Are there schools that need improv- so in America. Forty years ago, Congress passed ing? Yes. Are there bad teachers? Of course. But the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, the vast majority of our schools and educators are requiring public schools to educate all children, doing an amazing job considering they often lack regardless of any mental or physical disability. the resources and parental support necessary to Why do most private schools refuse to take stuprepare students for life after high school. dents with disabilities? Because educating every I recently had the opportunity to meet Shanna child with a disability is an incredibly difficult and Peeples, the 2015 expensive proposition. National Teacher of Hats off to the educators the Year. Shanna is an who work tirelessly with English teacher at Palo our children, including Duro High School in the extra special ones. Amarillo, a destination Many say teachers THE VAST MAJORITY OF OUR city for the resettlement have an easy job with SCHOOLS AND EDUCATORS of refugees from around more vacation time than ARE DOING AN AMAZING the world. Shanna says, any other profession. As “As a teacher of refugee the husband of a Texas JOB CONSIDERING THEY students, I’ve been privpublic school teacher, I OFTEN LACK THE RESOURCES ileged to see public educan attest that teachers AND PARENTAL SUPPORT cation through the eyes put in countless hours NECESSARY TO PREPARE of students from counduring and outside the STUDENTS FOR LIFE AFTER tries as diverse as Burma, school year to prepare Somalia, Ethiopia, Iraq, for each day in the classHIGH SCHOOL. and Cuba. I’m thinking room. The next time you of a student who taught hear someone disparagme that public schools are so much more than a ing our public schools, ask what evidence they building—they are our culture’s brightest gift to have to back up their assertion. When they stare the world.” She tells heartwarming stories of sev- back at you with a surprised look on their face, ask, eral refugee students whose lives have been dra- “Did you know the United States is one of the only matically impacted by Amarillo schools. During countries in the world that guarantees an educaan interview on Good Morning America, Shanna tion for every child, even those with disabilities?” was asked why she loves her job, and she respond- Or “When is the last time you volunteered to mened, “[I] can help write the end of the story for tor a student or give your time at a school in your every kid.” neighborhood?” Then share something positive Over the past several years, I have visited a continued on page 40 ATPE NEWS 19
IN THE CLASSROOM Unique graphic organizers provide opportunity for differentiation and creativity BY WENDY MORGAN, SECOND-GRADE TEACHER, ABILENE ISD
t’s Tuesday morning, and a second-grade class is exploring the water cycle. Students are using the exact same materials but working at different levels of support, challenge, and complexity. Several students are creating a product to help them remember vocabulary words. Another group is crafting a model of how the water cycle works. Other groups are producing public service announcements addressing water issues. The teacher has organized all of these activities without having to create any extra materials. How is this possible? Foldables to the rescue! A Foldable is simply a piece of paper that is manipulated into a visual presentation for learning. Foldables help students take complicated ideas and break them down into manageable chunks. This helps students stay actively engaged in the learning process and retain the information better. Students enjoy making Foldables because they have a choice in what they create, unlike when a teacher assigns a standardized worksheet. Because they give students an opportunity to show their creativity, Foldables often become treasured pieces to look back on for review. Students will be proud to share their finished products with friends.
20 ATPE NEWS
How can you use Foldables in your classroom? Here are a few tips: • Foldables can be used in all subject areas and grade levels. See page 23 and ATPE’s Pinterest page for ideas. • Practice the folds several times before teaching the folds to your students. Use phrases such as “corner to corner,” “lining the sides up,” and “creasing the line.” • Explicitly demonstrate the procedures for several folds at the beginning of the year. Make sure students are capable of designing and constructing Foldables on their own. • Teach your students the basic folds, such as hamburger, hotdog, shutter, and taco fold (see page 22). You can use those basic folds to create matchbooks, pocketbooks, or vocabulary books. • As you are planning your lesson, think about the different parts of a concept. If there are three focus points, make a three-tabbed foldable. Developing materials that meet the needs of a diverse group of students can be challenging, but allowing students to create their own product of learning results in more buy-in from students and less work for teachers. So what are you waiting for? Get folding!
Author Wendy Morgan (in back, wearing yellow
shirt, holding blue paper) presented a session on Foldables at a recent PLAN event hosted at McMurry University in Abilene. Trainer Kim Hardin (in red) and ATPE board member Desirie Ries (far left in blue) also shared their tips and tricks for Foldables fun in the classroom. Students in Wendy Morgan’s class use Foldables
to study inspiring historical figures. One student created this Foldable biography of artist Frida Kahlo, and inside, wrote: “The important thing about Frida Kahlo is that she followed her dreams. She was an important cool artist who never gave up.“
ATPE NEWS 21
WANT TO BRING YOUR CLASSROOM INTO THE
What do you need to get started with Foldables?
Here are a few of the basic folds to get started:
• BRIGHTLY COLORED PAPER • RESEALABLE PLASTIC BAGS FOR STORING PROJECTS
• SAMPLES OF COMPLETED PROJECTS TACO FOLD
• COLORED PENCILS
• SCISSORS • CRAYONS • STAPLES • TAPE • GLUE
IS HERE TO HELP! We’ve got all the tips you need to make Foldables a success in your classroom, from step-by-step project plans to a handy supply list. Get more Foldables ideas on ATPE’s Pinterest page at pinterest.com/atpe/foldables.
22 ATPE NEWS
TRY THESE GREAT PROJECTS IN YOUR CLASS TODAY!
Envelope Fold 1 2
MAKE A TACO FOLD. CUT OFF THE EXCESS PAPER STRIP.
OPEN THE TACO FOLD AND REFOLD IT THE OPPOSITE WAY.
FOLD THE CORNERS TO THE CENTER POINT.
Four-Door Book 1
MAKE A SHUTTER FOLD.
FOLD IN HALF (HAMBURGER).
OPEN AND CUT ALONG THE TWO INSIDE VALLEY FOLDS.
Pictured: water cycle vocabulary envelope fold
Pictured: water cycle in action four-door book
You can also use this project to help students learn math operations, historical facts, and vocabulary words.
You can also use this project to help students learn math rules and historical events.
ATPE NEWS 23
A COMPLICATED PROFESSION EDUCATION COMMISSIONER MIKE MORATH SHARES HIS VIEWS ON TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOLS Interview by Jennifer Canaday, CAE, and Elaine Acker
24 ATPE NEWS
path to becoming Texas’s newest education commissioner was anything but predictable. After receiving a business degree from George Washington University and running his own software company, Morath was elected to the Dallas ISD school board, where he served for more than four years before Governor Abbott appointed him education commissioner. In January 2016, Morath took the reins of the Texas Education Agency, where he oversees the education of the more than five million public school students across the state. ATPE talked to him about his vision for Texas public schools.
Classroom photo courtesy of TEA; BOD photo by Elaine Acker
ATPE: WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO MAKE THE LEAP FROM SUCCESSFUL TECH ENTREPRENEUR TO DALLAS SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER TO YOUR CURRENT POSITION? Morath: I found my calling. I’ve always been passionate about kids. My software company was focused on streamlining a child nutrition program, so I spent a lot of time in the early education world, but I’ve been a Big Brother now for about 10 years. My first Little was a Dallas ISD student who bounced around to a bunch of schools in Dallas. It was both objectively fascinating and emotionally heart-wrenching to look at the juxtaposition of my life versus his. I was born to two parents who loved each other and loved me, and even though we weren’t rich, I never suffered from want. We moved to Texas when I was about ten, and my mom actually called TEA to ensure that wherever we moved, there would be a great school for their little boy. So we moved to Garland and I got a great education in Garland public schools. And then I compare that to my first Little. He didn’t really know his father. His mom wanted the best for him, but she wasn’t able to provide the kind of structure he needed. And even though we’re blessed to have so many angels dedicated to our kids working very hard in our schools, schools are big, and in Dallas, they are besieged with the forces of poverty. Both
Commissioner Morath visits with the ATPE Board of Directors.
because my Little moved around a lot and because of the way the school system works, he just got lost in the system. Nobody really ever said, “You’re not going to get past me.” It really hit home when he was about 16 and wanted to apply for a job. I helped him fill out a job application at Braums. He didn’t have the level of literacy skills that you need to fill out a job application. There are tens of thousands of kids like him in Dallas, hundreds of thousands in the state of Texas, and I just could not let that continue. This was the challenge that I was called to do. ATPE: WHEN YOU VISITED THE ATPE BOARD OF DIRECTORS RECENTLY, OUR BOARD MEMBERS EXPRESSED CONCERNS ABOUT STUDENT TESTING. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN AS FAR AS TESTING GOES IN TEXAS? Morath: Let me start with the grand caveat that I am an employee of the state. I do what the legislature tells me. That being said, when I’m asked my opinion, I give it. Assessments are useful. Teachers do assessments of students all the time, both formal and informal. To the extent that assessments provide meaningful feedback on student performance that teachers can then use to adjust their practice, that’s critical. What we want is a system that encourages the kind of diagnostic feedback that shows where mastery has been achieved, where mastery is lacking, and where specialized differentiated instruction is needed. In addition to that, assessments should be aligned with our expectations for students across the board. With external assessments, you can have a common set of expectations for all Texas kids, and I think that’s a real value. ATPE: DO YOU THINK THERE’S TOO MUCH TESTING, THOUGH? Morath: I don’t think that’s answerable in the abstract. If you have an assessment that is not being used to drive instruction, that ATPE NEWS 25
Commissioner Morath with Elaine Acker, ATPE's marketing and communications director (left), and Jennifer Canaday, ATPE's governmental relations director. particular assessment was too much. If you’re using assessments to help improve how we educate kids, that’s extremely valuable. A lot of it just depends on the context and how it’s used to improve outcomes for kids. ATPE: THERE’S BEEN AN ATTEMPT TO GIVE DISTRICTS AND STATES A LITTLE MORE FLEXIBILITY AROUND TESTING AND TO ALLOW FOR SOME INNOVATIVE PILOT PROJECTS. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT MIGHT HAPPEN ALONG THOSE LINES IN TEXAS? Morath: It’s possible. We’re looking at the recommendations that come from the Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability as well as our marching orders from the legislature. To the extent that folks are interested in some sort of innovation under assessment, then we’ll go in that direction. ATPE: WHAT CHANGES WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE FOR EDUCATOR PREPARATION AND CERTIFICATION? Morath: Teaching is one of the most complicated professions. Think about the process that a neurosurgeon goes through. A neurosurgeon is responsible for one brain that is asleep, and a teacher is responsible for 30 brains that are awake. You have to have the same kind of depth of knowledge of the craft. You have to have deep content knowledge if you’re interested in ensuring that students are reading at an appropriate level. You have to know everything there is to know about literacy and language, but you also have to know the research on brain development and how language acquisition works. This is an incredibly demanding profession, and what strikes me as necessary to prepare people for that task, first and foremost, is a high level of core content knowledge in the academic area that you’re interested in teaching. Think about what happens after medical school. You go through this intense four-year training process to develop deep content knowledge, but after 26 ATPE NEWS
you pass your boards, you’re not cracking open skulls. You have to go through a long-term process of preparing the tools of the trade. Once you’ve received deep content mastery, you need to have pretty intense vocational training to practice applying issues related to classroom management and the planning of a sequence of conversations with students so that lessons impart the maximum amount of impact. I’d love to see that sort of very aggressive residency embedded in teacher preparation as much as possible, so that when folks walk into the classroom and they are the teacher of record for the first time, the number of surprises they’re presented with is minimized.
ATPE: DO YOU THINK THIS LEVEL OF PROFESSIONALISM AND SUPPORT IS NEEDED TO KEEP TEACHERS IN THE CLASSROOM AND ADEQUATELY PREPARE THEM FOR A CAREER? Morath: It’s necessary but not sufficient. If you walk in and your first day followed by your first year is a nonstop sea of emotion and problems, it’s going to leave a bad taste in your mouth for the profession permanently. So clearly we have to address that. But does that actually keep people in the profession long term? I don’t know. I think compensation is part of it. And there’s the working conditions that you’re in. Are you supported in a school to engage in the pursuit of mastery? You have doctors that publish and conduct research. They have a deep level of expertise because they end up becoming a master in one part of their craft. This is necessary as well for teachers. It’s human nature. You want to be empowered, to walk tall and stand tall in your field. So I think we need to address a variety of things simultaneously—preparation, continuous improvement, tools, empowerment to pursue mastery, compensation. ATPE: WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WE CAN DO TO RAISE THE PRESTIGE AND THE PERCEPTION OF THE VALUE OF THE EDUCATION PROFESSION? Morath: I don’t think there’s one answer to that, but there are a few answers that we have good reason to believe are relevant. One thing is entrance requirements. Think about what psychology tells us about satisfaction, prestige, and recognition. The harder we make the entrance requirements, the more people we attract to the profession, the more prestige the profession gets. A lot of people are afraid that if we do that, it will lead to a teacher shortage, but we have really solid evidence to believe that the opposite will actually happen. Another piece is compensation. You can say a lot of things about American culture for good and ill, but one thing we do
Left by Gene Acuña; Below Courtesy of TEA
respect in this country is money. We need to change the compensation paradigm so that a notable percentage of teachers are making salaries that people have a high level of respect for. ATPE: HOW DO WE BALANCE THE NEED FOR HIGHER STANDARDS AT THE STATE LEVEL WITH THE NEW DISTRICT OF INNOVATION (DOI) LAW, WHICH ALLOWS A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF DISTRICTS AROUND THE STATE TO IGNORE SOME LAWS LIKE CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS? HOW DO YOU RECONCILE THOSE TWO OBJECTIVES? Morath: I don’t know that I see the same conflict that you do there. The state certification system is the key signal to what is required to be prepared to be a teacher, but there’s also a need for innovation across the board. If you abandon the concept of teacher certification requirements in its entirety, there may be a conflict, but that’s not really what the DOI law allows. It allows experimentation and innovation for alternative ways of
preparing teachers. That may be necessary because the regulatory regime for teacher certification may be moving slower than what is necessary in terms of preparing people to be good instructors in the classroom, I think in the area of career and technical education in particular. To be a computer science teacher, you have to go through our certification process to reach the level of certification that’s required. I can certainly conceive of a situation, though, where you have a part-time teacher who is a skilled programmer by day, but in the morning that person comes in and walks a junior and senior level class through a whole series of algorithmic development processes that are pretty darn robust. And if you force that person to go through the certification process, you might not get there. Clearly, we need to create this signal that entering the classroom is something that requires a high level of rigor, but we also need to allow for innovation because we’re not going to get everything right in Austin. We never have, we never will. continued on page 40
Commissioner Morath reads Dr. Seuss to the students of Blackshear Elementary School (Austin ISD) on March 2, 2016— Dr. Seuss Day.
ATPE NEWS 27
THE 2016 ATPE SUMMIT LEAD. LEARN. CONNECT. Three reasons ATPE members travel to Austin for our associationâ€™s annual leadership training and governance conference every summer. At summit, ATPE member volunteers receive training to help them successfully run ATPE local units and regions, participate in the House of Delegates (HOD) meeting, elect state officers, and network with their peers from around the state. Our association is a family that cares deeply about students and educators, and summit is our homecoming. The next few pages highlight leaders, members, and supporters who are making a difference in ATPE and in the community. You will also find information about decisions made during the HOD. The ATPE state office thanks everyone who participated in the 2016 ATPE Summit.
2016 ATPE LEAD. LEARN. CONNECT.
28 ATPE NEWS
ATPE NEWS 29
Thank you to our generous sponsors and volunteers.
Frost Bank, La Quinta Inns & Suites, Liberty Mutual Insurance, and Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union
Educator of the Year Committee members
Chair Marcie Helmke, Teresa Millard, Gerry Montes, Holli Rice, James Spears, and Ericka Thrower
Leader of the Year Committee members
Chair Ma Elena Ingram, Allen Bettis, Barbara Cantrell, Trasa Cobern, Jennifer Hill, Rashelle Nielsen, and Jerrica Pruitt
Nomination/Election Committee members
Members can visit atpe.org/about-atpe/governance/house-ofdelegates to read the updated ATPE State Bylaws. The adopted amendments have the following effects starting with the 201718 membership year: • An annual dues increase will be implemented for professional and associate members to ensure ATPE can continue offering the best benefits program in Texas. • A new administrator membership category will apply to principals; assistant, deputy, and area superintendents; and superintendents. • Candidates for state office will be required to have served as a local unit or region leader at least once in the last five years.
Resolutions Honorary Resolution
Chair Donna Ward, Gidget Belinoski-Bailey, Sheryl Bibles, Carolyn Hess, Bill Monty, Eli Rodriquez, Barbara Ruiz, and Angie Trevino
The HOD adopted an honorary resolution in honor of Past State President Richard Wiggins for his service to ATPE.
Bylaws Committee Chair Christopher Adams
The HOD readopted 13 standing resolutions without changes. Members can read the resolutions by visiting atpe.org/aboutatpe/governance/house-of-delegates.
Resolutions Committee Chair
Legislative Committee and PAC Committee Chair Chris Douglas
HOUSE OF DELEGATES ATPE’s HOD gathering reflects our member-owned and member-governed philosophy. At the HOD, delegates represent local unit members and vote for leaders and on policies that will guide our association. This year, delegates met July 22 to vote for state officers and to consider proposed bylaws amendments; honorary, current, and standing resolutions; and the ATPE Legislative Program.
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It was resolved that in 2017 ATPE will establish a recruitment reward program for retirees and will encourage more retiree participation in recruitment from August through October. It was resolved that in 2017 the ATPE Board of Directors will consider submitting a 2017 bylaws amendment to the ATPE Bylaws Committee that would allow ATPE ambassadors to serve as voting delegates at the HOD.
ATPE Legislative Program
The ATPE Legislative Program, presented to legislators at the beginning of each legislative session, outlines the association’s legislative priorities and guides ATPE Governmental Relations in its advocacy efforts. The HOD adopted the 2016-17 ATPE Legislative Program as recommended by the Legislative Committee; visit atpe.org/leg-program to review the program.
Photos by Erica Fos and John Kilpper
2015-16 AWARDS ATPE honored educators, students, ATPE leaders, and friends of Texas public education at summit.
Judy Coyle Texas Liberty Award
Charles Pickitt Educator of the Year Award
The ATPE Educator of the Year Award has been re-named to honor Charles Pickitt’s extraordinary contributions to ATPE. These awards recognize ATPE members who demonstrate exceptional or innovative capabilities in their respective educational fields.
Administrator of the Year Gary Schepf, Irving ISD Gary Schepf has been the coordinator of career and technical education for Irving ISD for four years. Finalists: Deann Lee, Millsap ISD, and Jennifer Orona, Fort Worth ISD
Associate of the Year Bill Haley with ATPE’s Governmental Relations team This award, ATPE’s highest honor, is presented to individuals who demonstrate superior service to public education. This year the Judy Coyle Texas Liberty Award was presented to Bill Haley, a former Texas state senator. A native of Center, Texas, Senator Haley is a graduate of TCU, where he earned a degree in history and government along with his teaching certificate. After graduation, Haley taught public school for more than a dozen years. He was elected state representative in 1978 and chaired the House Committee on Public Education from 1981 to 1987. During his time in the House, Haley helped enact some of the most sweeping reforms in Texas education since the 1940s, including bills to increase public school funding and the curriculum reform of 1981. He authored what is arguably the most extensive education bill in Texas history: House Bill 72. Filed in 1984 during a special session on funding for education and roads, House Bill 72 created the 22-to-1 class-size limit, no pass/no play for student athletes, and the first state-funded pre-K programs in Texas; enhanced graduation requirements; increased funding for economically disadvantaged school districts; and instituted a pay raise for teachers. After being elected next to the Texas Senate, Haley chaired the Senate Administration Committee and was vice chair of the Senate Education Committee from 1991 to 1993. Upon leaving the legislature, Haley became a lobbyist who represented ATPE for many years, and he has continued to teach at the college level.
Kay Deckerhoff, Willis ISD Kay Deckerhoff is a computer lab paraprofessional at AR Turner Elementary in Willis ISD. She has worked in education for 22 years. Finalists: Lisa Cook, Dickinson ISD, and Hilda Martinez, Mission CISD
Elementary Teacher of the Year Celena Miller, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD Celena Miller works at Pharr-San JuanAlamo ISD’s Cesar Chavez Elementary as a science lab teacher. She has been in the education field for eight years. Finalists: Robin Hurt, Irving ISD, and Terri Pitts, North East ISD
Secondary Teacher of the Year Carrie Becker, Lewsville ISD Carrie Becker is the Lamar Middle School technology educator and math team coach in Lewisville ISD. She has spent 17 years in the education field. Finalists: Kim Grosenbacher, Boerne ISD, and Linda O’Brien, Jasper ISD
Special Services Educator of the Year Alice Hartlaub, Corpus Christi ISD Alice Hartlaub is a speech language pathologist in Corpus Christi ISD (home campus Montclair Elementary). She is a 32year education veteran. Finalists: Kathy Brown, Bay City ISD, and Gidget BelinoskiBailey, Willis ISD
ATPE NEWS 31
Doug Rogers Campus Representative of the Year Award
The Doug Rogers Campus Representative of the Year Award is designed to acknowledge those special ATPE volunteers who are fundamental to the continued growth and development of our grassroots organization. Winners receive $1,000 each, and their local units each receive $250 for future local unit activities.
Local Units with 1–200 Members Sherry Boyd, Spearman ATPE Sherry Boyd is a English language arts/reading teacher at Birdwell Elementary in Spearman ISD. Finalists: Eden Renovato, Waller ATPE, and Marisela Yanez, Rio Hondo ATPE
Local Units with 201–500 Members Kally Evans, Willis ATPE Kally Evans is a seventh-grade science and dance PE teacher at Lynn Lucas Middle School in Willis ISD. She has been in education for nine years and has been an ATPE member for eight years. Finalists: Rockie Solis, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ATPE, and Michael Sweet, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ATPE
Local Units with 501-Plus Members Michael Balderas, Edinburg ATPE Michael Balderas is the campus technology support specialist at Robert Vela High School in Edinburg ISD. He has been in education and with ATPE for ten years. Finalists: Linda Collins, Mesquite ATPE, and John Tyson, Abilene ATPE
32 ATPE NEWS
Local Unit of the Year Awards
The ATPE Local Unit of the Year Award acknowledges local unit efforts and accomplishments during the year. Each winning local unit receives $1,000.
Local Units with 1–200 Members Santa Rosa ATPE, Region 1 2015-16 officers: President Eduardo Hinojosa (pictured), Vice President Anna Gaytan, Secretary Martina Benavides, and Treasurer Russell Totora Finalist: Medina Valley ATPE
Local Units with 201–500 Members Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ATPE, Region 1 2015-16 officers: President Michael Sweet (pictured), Secretary Rockie Solis, and Treasurer Olga Baldazo Finalists: Dickinson ATPE and Wichita Falls ATPE
Local Units with 501-Plus Members Weslaco ATPE, Region 1 2015-16 officers: President Hector Cruz (pictured), Vice President Virginia Silva, Secretary Gloria Silva, and Treasurer Maria Aguirre Finalists: Brownsville ATPE and La Joya ATPE
University Local Units Tarleton State University ATPE, Region 11 2015-16 officers: President Ashlee Estes, Vice President Abigail Freeman, and Secretary Brittany Wright
Excellence in Communications Award
This award recognizes outstanding local unit communications. Each winning local unit receives $250.
Local Units with 1–200 Members La Porte ATPE Finalist: Rio Hondo ATPE
STAR Membership Challenge Winners
The STAR Membership Challenge is designed to encourage new member recruitment by recognizing and rewarding successful recruiters.
First Place Hilda Martinez, La Joya ISD Hilda Martinez works as a team teacher for first grade at Carl C. Waitz Elementary in Mission CISD. She has been an educator for 22 years and an ATPE member for 10 years. (118 qualified entries)
Local Units with 201–500 Members Boerne ATPE Finalist: Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ATPE
Local Units with 501-Plus Members Brownsville ATPE Finalists: Irving ATPE and Mesquite ATPE
Second Place Diana Bush, Medina Valley ISD Diana Bush retired from Medina Valley ISD in 2013, after 28 years of teaching reading at different levels. She now teaches homebound students in her district. (48 qualified entries)
Alafair Hammett Media Awards
Named for ATPE’s first state president, this award recognizes individual local media reporters for their outstanding support and coverage of public education. The 2016 recipients were: Julie Chang, Austin American-Statesman (Austin) Ashlei King, KABB-TV (San Antonio) Mark Wiggins, KVUE-TV (Austin)
Runners Up Kally Evans, Willis ATPE (39 qualified entries) Norma Vega, La Joya ATPE (29 qualified entries) Karen Hames, Lewisville ATPE (27 qualified entries)
ATPE NEWS 33
OUR FAMILY ALBUM SHOWCASES ATPE MEMBERS WORKING, COLLABORATING, AND HAVING FUN ACROSS THE STATE. Are you or someone you know featured on these pages? If not, send us a photo for the next issue! You can send a high-quality photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to include the names of the people in the photo and tell us what event was taking place.
Region 1 Director Michael Sweet and ATPE State President Julleen Bottoms participate in the Region 1 Convention.
REGION 4 Ulysses Guerra recruits new members during Lone Star College-CyFair’s Spring Fling Club Rush.
REGION 13 Members from Region 13 gather for an ATPE Connect event at Lake Travis.
REGION 3 El Campo ATPE members Maria Delgado, Fran Kyle, Cheryl Ener, and Kelli Cook.
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Comal ATPE local unit president Chris Douglas reads ATPE News while traveling with students in Capri, Italy.
REGIONS 1&2 Front row left to right: Matilde Guerra, Melba Cruz, and Angie Trevino. Back row left to right: Mary Best, ATPE Regional Rep Roger Gutierrez, and Melissa Deurioste.
REGION 11 Texas Womanâ€™s University ATPE officers meet with chapter sponsors for a local unit meeting.
Photos by ATPE staff; Capri, Italy photo courtesy of Chris Douglas
Officers left to right: Meredith Malloy, Wendy Smith, Wanda Bailey, Shane Huff, Debbie Massey, and Jerrica Pruitt.
REGION 7 Officers left to right: Teresa Millard, Janie Leath, Kim Dolese, Michelle Adams, and Betty Berndt.
REGION 14 Officers left to right: Deirdre N. Toney, Desirie Ries, Tommie Hicks, and John Tyson (Leslie Ward not pictured).
ATPE NEWS 35
What’s More Fun Than Being an ATPE Member?
Recruit the most members and win. It’s that simple! The STAR (Success Through ATPE Recruitment) Membership Challenge awards successful recruiters. Volunteer leaders who recruit five or more new 2016-17 professional, first-time professional, or associate members between April 1 and Oct. 31, 2016, are eligible to receive a gift in December 2016. The volunteer leader who recruits the most new members during that time will be named ATPE SuperSTAR and will receive $1,000. The runner-up will receive $500.
Not a volunteer leader? Then make today the day you get started as a campus representative, local unit officer, or ambassador! Contact ATPE’s volunteer program coordinator at volunteer@atpe. org to learn about opportunities in your district.
Along with valuable savings, you’ll enjoy access to benefits like 24-Hour Claims Assistance.
For a free quote, call 888-323-1207 or visit www.LibertyMutual.com/ATPE Client # 122657
Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants may qualify. Auto coverage provided and underwritten by Liberty County Mutual Insurance Company, 2100 Walnut Hill Lane, Irving, TX. Home coverage provided and underwritten by Liberty Insurance Corporation, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116. ©2016 Liberty Mutual Insurance Valid through November 16, 2016.
36 ATPE NEWS
TOP RECRUITING TIPS Encouraging fellow educators to join the state’s top educators’ group isn’t a hard sell. ATPE is the largest family of Texas educators, our attorneys know education law, our lobbyists actively support Texas educators, and we offer huge savings and discounts. When sharing these great reasons to join with your colleagues, keep these recruiting tips in mind!
Talk to fellow educators on campus about the benefits of ATPE membership
Invite nonmembers to ATPE events (like ATPE Connect events)
Wear your ATPE shirt or pins to school-related events
Always have a stack of ATPE applications or fliers available
Share ATPE content in your social media networks
ATPE Staff Members Celebrate Anniversaries! 5 years of service: Steve Lockwood, Mary Rivera 10 years of service: Lance Cain, James Callaway, Ronnetta Carr, Chris Chodacki, Erica Fos 15 years of service: Debbie Dornhoefer, John Kilpper 25 years of service: Stephanie Williams
ATPE NEWS 37
Meet Your 2016-17 ATPE Leaders 2016-17 State Officers
Corsicana Region 12
Mesquite Region 10
San Antonio Region 20
Abilene Region 14
Willis Region 6
Bottoms, a 24-year education veteran, is a K-5 technology applications teacher and campus technical specialist.
Garner is sixth-grade math and science teacher with 16 years of experience.
Hildebrand is a retired math teacher with 32 years of education experience.
Gray is a K-5 Literacy Success teacher and has 23 years of experience.
Colby, a nine-year educator with Willis ISD, is now a professor of history at Lone Star College.
2016-17 Region Officers REGION 2
Michael Sweet Pharr-San Juan-Alamo
Cesarea Germain Corpus Christi
Andy Erdelt Palacios
Eli Rodriquez Cypress-Fairbanks
Suellen Ener Beaumont
Charles Lindsey II Magnolia
Rene Zuniga South Texas College
Adrian Guerrero Robstown
Ramon Shick Columbus
Imelda Hernandez Galena Park
Susan Harrell Newton
Susan Ambrus Navasota
Cathy Stolle Karnes City
Ryan Nassif Clear Creek
Katelyn Hanson Vidor
Gidget Belinoski-Bailey Willis
Sue Boyette Wharton
Lannie Milon Houston
David Ochoa Vidor
Jessica McHale Navasota
Terry Divers Palacios
Yvette Vickers-Jones Cypress-Fairbanks
Maya Issac Newton
Lori Mitchell Willis
Shawn Mustain Spring Branch
Janice Brent Vidor
Charles Lindsey II Magnolia
Michael Balderas Edinburg
Barbara Ruiz Corpus Christi
Susana Ramirez Pharr-San Juan-Alamo
Virginia Randal Corpus Christi
Rebecca Monsevalles Weslaco
Vienna Delagarza Mathis
Hector Cruz Weslaco
38 ATPE NEWS
Jackie Hannebaum Corpus Christi
Janie Leath Nacogdoches
Jimmy Lee Paris
Dale Lovett Olney
Meredith Malloy Ferris
Karen Hames Lewisville
Jason Forbis Midway (12)
Jayne Serna Leander
Kimberly Dolese Nacogdoches
Alison Hayter North Lamar
Amy Murphy Graham
Wanda Bailey Mesquite
Teri Naya Birdville
Patty Reneau Waco
Gregory Vidal Pflugerville
Betty Berndt Tyler
Carie Archer Chisum
Laura Epps Jacksboro
Wendy Smith Forney
Christopher Adams Hurst-Euless-Bedford
Janice Hornsby Axtell
Christie Smith Pflugerville
Connie Phosay Rivercrest
Belinda Wolf Wichita Falls
Jerrica Pruitt Mesquite
Holli Rice Denton
Teresa Millard Woden TREASURER
Michelle Adams Nacogdoches
Hazel Doyle Prairiland
Patti Gibbs Nocona
Deborah Massey Mesquite
Betty Plunkett Krum
Kristi Daws Jacksboro
Shane Huff Kaufman
David Williams Keller
Jane Sykes Waco
Michael Perez Comal
Christina Flores Connally
Carla Carter Comal
Ron Walcik Killeen
Desirie Ries Hawley
Darlene Kelly Ballinger
Dawn Riley Bushland
Brenda Bryan Hale Center
Bridget Loffler Odessa
Rudy Romero Clint
Tina Briones San Antonio
Leslie Ward Abilene
Jose Delgado San Felipe-Del Rio
Sherry Boyd Spearman
Caroljean Byrnes Frenship
Bill Griffin Stanton
Michael Slaight Clint
Marcie Helmke Judson
John Tyson Abilene
Cheryl Buchanan Ballinger
Shane Whitten Amarillo
Mandy Wilbur Frenship
Gail Adlesperger Big Spring
Robert Whitman Ysleta
Yvette Milner Bandera
2ND VICE PRESIDENT
Deirdre Toney Abilene
Angel Castillo San Felipe-Del Rio
Yolanda Capetillo Amarillo
Lynette Ginn Hale Center
Stacy Gallier Andrews
Sylvia Zamora Clint
Kimberly Woerner Medina Valley
Maria Mendez Junction
Stephanie Parker Canyon
Susan Wilson Lamesa
Tina Hardarson Andrews
Eduardo Sierra San Elizario
Diane McLaurin Hale Center
Tina Hardarson Andrews
Jennifer Adams Ysleta
Tommie Hicks Hawley PAST PRESIDENT
Gae Lynn McInroe McMurry University
Kimberly Stewart Boerne PAST PRESIDENT
Mary Reyes Lackland
ATPE NEWS 39
continued from page 15
How to Spot a Mental Health Crisis
with your school administration for the rules on reporting. 4. Once you have an idea of what might be going on, let the student know that you’d like to tell their counselor and/or the nurse so they can follow up with the student’s family or legal guardians. Want more information or support? Attend a Youth Mental Health First Aid training, an eight-hour interactive course about how to help someone who may be in crisis or showing signs of mental illness. Ask your principal to offer it as part of your school’s professional development. Trainings are free for all district employees and school resource officers, with continuing education units and continuing professional education hours available. Learn more at www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/cs/take-a-course/find-a-course/. Sherry Blyth, LCSW, is the director of crisis services, and Laura Hernandez Gold, LCSW-S, is the prevention services program manager at Austin Travis County Integral Care. continued from page 16
What You Need To Know about Districts of Innovation
As always, ATPE is committed to protecting your rights and advocating on your behalf. We will do our best to provide you with developments and updates regarding this important issue. Learn more at atpe.org/doi.
SAVE THE DATE FOR THESE UPCOMING ATPE EVENTS!
LOBBY DAY & POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT TRAINING March 5-6, 2017, in Austin, Texas
continued from page 19
Our Culture's Brightest Gift to the World
and specific from your own experience. Together we can spread the good news about what is happening in our public schools—“our culture’s brightest gift to the world.” continued from page 27
A Complicated Profession
ATPE: Is there anything else you want our members to know? Morath: The single most important thing I want to say is thank you. I am tremendously grateful for your work, both in terms of the position that I have now and because I would not be the man that I am today without the great teachers I had growing up in this state.
40 ATPE NEWS
2017 ATPE SUMMIT July 10-12, 2017, at the Austin Convention Center
2016-17 ATPE MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION MM
Method of Payment (select one)
atpe.org | (800) 777-ATPE
Payroll deduction— Complete this application form, including step 4
All other forms of payment–Join online
(not accepted after January 31, 2017)
Personal check—Complete application form and attach personal check STEP 2
Including credit card payment, credit card installments, and ACH bank draft
Name (first, middle, last) Employee ID number
Last 4 digits of SSN Male
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Cell phone (required)
Home phone (optional)
Personal email (required) Campus email (optional)
Physical Mailing address City, State, Zip I understand that ATPE may contact me via the information provided on this application form, including email and text, to communicate with me about my benefits and to administer my account.
I am interested in becoming an ATPE volunteer. STEP 3
Membership Category (select one) & Invest in Education
How to Submit Your Application Mail the application to:
Student Teacher, College Student, Retired, and Public members may join online at atpe.org. 2016-17 Professional, First-Time Professional, and Associate memberships will not be accepted after Jan. 31, 2017
ATPE 305 E. Huntland Dr., Ste. 300 Austin, TX 78752
Professional (teacher, administrator, etc.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $145
Or hand deliver it to an authorized ATPE representative. Faxed or scanned applications are not accepted.
First-Time Professional (never been a professional member). . . . . $90 Associate (para-educator, aide, support staff, etc.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $70 Invest in Education Political Action Committee (optional) . . . . . . . . . . . . .
ATPE Local Unit Dues (optional). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Support legislative advocacy for educators and students.
Received Date Print Name
Support ATPE in your local school district.
The ATPE membership year begins 8/1/16 and ends 7/31/17. Some benefits effective dates may not match effective membership dates. Visit atpe.org for disclosure details and limitations.
▲ YOU MUST RETURN THE TOP SECTION OF THE APPLICATION TO THE ATPE STATE OFFICE. ▲
▼ FOR PAYROLL DEDUCTION, PLEASE DETACH THE LOWER PORTION ONLY AND SUBMIT IT TO YOUR PAYROLL OFFICE. ▼
Payroll Deduction Authorization
2016-17 Professional, First-Time Professional, and Associate memberships will not be accepted after Jan. 31, 2017 I authorize ISD to deduct membership dues and donations. I further authorize ATPE to notify the ISD of changes in the amount of my annual dues and the ISD to deduct the new amounts. If my employment with the ISD ends, I authorize any unpaid balance to be deducted from my final check. This authorization for deductions is effective until I give notice to the ISD that I want to revoke it.
I wish to cancel deduction of membership dues for: TX AFT
Last 4 digits of SSN
Printed Name Signature
JOIN ATPE ONLINE!
Scan the QR code or visit atpe.org/join to join ATPE online.
ATPE Membership Categories You must join in the appropriate insured category in order to qualify for Professional Liablilty coverage. ATPE reserves the right to determine eligibility for the appropriate membership category. Commissioned peace officers are eligible for public membership only. Professional and Associate membership is open to persons employed in Texas by a public school district, institution of higher education, Regional Education Service Center, State Board for Educator Certification, or the Texas Education Agency. If you have a question about the eligibility of job descriptions not listed below, call (800) 777-2873. INSURED CATEGORIES Professional Member ($145) First-time Professional Member ($90) Administrator/Supervisor Athletic Director/Coordinator Athletic Trainer At-Risk Coordinator Audiologist Band/Choral Director Business Manager Coach Counselor Curriculum Director Dean of Instruction Department Head/Chair Diagnostician Instructional Officer Intern Teacher IT Director/Coordinator Librarian Nurse (RN) Parent/Community Coordinator Principal/Asst. Prin. Regional Service Center Staff School Psychologist/Associate Social Worker
UNINSURED CATEGORIES Superintendent/Asst. Supt. Teacher Therapist/Pathologist University Professor Visiting Teacher
Join online at atpe.org
Associate Member ($70)
Retired Member ($10)
Aide to position in Professional category Alternative Center Aide Bus Driver Cafeteria Worker Clerkâ€“General Computer Programmer/Entry Custodial Worker Deaf Interpreter Educational Aide/Technician Maintenance Worker Nurse (LVN) Regional Service Center Aide Secretary Security Guard (Unarmed) Substitute Teacher
Retired former school employee
College Student Member (Free) Non-teaching college student
Public Member ($35) Friend of public education
Student Teacher Member (Free) Student teacher in Texas
ATPE is always at your fingertips. Thousands of members are following OfficialATPE on Facebook. Member photos, association news, teaching tips, and election information are being updated daily. Make sure you are following ATPE on Facebook at facebook.com/ OfficialATPE. ATPE posts on other social media platforms, too. Be sure to follow us.
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elcome to the newest section in the magazine! Brain Break will feature games, quizzes, and fascinating factoids. Although a traditional crossword puzzle kicks off the inaugural edition, we’ve given our version an education twist! The answers are related to schooling in Texas or our association. Check your answers on the ATPE Blog at atpe.org/Fall16/ BrainBreak. To be entered into a drawing for an ATPE-branded 20-ounce stainless tumbler, snap a photo of your completed crossword puzzle and email it to email@example.com by Oct. 3. So pull out your pencil, put on your thinking cap, and give it a whirl!
5 6 7
12 13 14
4 ATPE’s Professional Learning _____ offers free courses for CPE credit.
6 Clarifies how students will be assessed on an assignment. 8 ATPE state president. 11 _________ learning combines traditional classroom instruction with online activities. 12 _________ Album is a section in this magazine featuring photos of members. 14 Try not to trip on this item full of books and papers. 15 Texas state agency responsible for public education. 16 He or she is in the classroom when you are not. 17 Subjects and content to be taught.
18 _________ Central is ATPE´s online resource for leaders. 19 A _________ school is a public school with a focused theme and aligned curriculum. 20 ATPE and _________ Choose. org provide funding to enhance classrooms.
DOWN 1 The ATPE _________ Membership Challenge encourages new member recruitment.
10 Lockable compartment that often contains a mirror and photos. 11 Level of student achievement expected at particular ages or grades.
2 _________ thevote.org is ATPE’s advocacy website.
13 High-energy gathering held before a sporting event.
21 Provides retirement benefits to Texas public school employees.
3 Texas Commissioner of Education.
16 When these end, everyone leaves campus for a break.
22 Oversees the certification of public school educators.
7 ATPE members meet with lawmakers during this event.
23 ATPE’s epic lip-sync battle takes place during this event.
5 Location of ATPE’s state office.
9 _You’re sure to find a Bunsen burner here.
17 Colorful sticks that kids often try to eat instead of use for art. 19 The eagle is a popular choice for this.
ATPE NEWS 43
Association of Texas Professional Educators 305 E. Huntland Dr., Ste. 300 Austin, TX 78752-3792
Here are three great reasons to join the Association of Texas Professional Educators: 1
SUPERIOR LEGAL PROTECTION*
EASY PAYMENT OPTIONS
Dare to compare.
Discount programs, legislative influence, and more. Choose payroll deduction, credit card payments, or bank drafts.
(800) 777-ATPE ATPE.ORG
*Eligibility, terms, & conditions apply. For more information, visit atpe.org.