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MOTHER AND FATHER KNOW BEST Parents bring passionate but divergent voice to education debate




Special report from ATPE’s D.C. lobbyist PAGE 12 • U.S. Senate candidate survey results PAGE 14



2013 ATPE Political Involvement Training and Lobby Day Feb. 10–11, 2013 Hilton Austin Downtown and the Texas State Capitol Meet face to face with your legislators. Become an effective advocate for public education through political involvement training sessions. Earn continuing professional education (CPE) credit.



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20 16 features

special sections

16 Mother and father

20 Celebrating the Whole Educator

know best


COVER STORY John Dewey wrote in School and Society that “what the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all its children.” But more than 100 years after Dewey’s remarks, “best” and “wisest” are harder to define. Parent advocates come from diverse communities and embrace different reforms. ATPE News takes a look at this increasingly influential group of stakeholders.

13 From school districts to

the District

ATPE is hard at work for you in Washington, D.C. ATPE state officers traveled to Washington in June to accompany ATPE’s D.C.-based federal lobbyist to meetings with key congressman and education department officials. Plus: Check out the results of ATPE’s 2012 U.S. Senate Candidate Survey.

fall 2012

More than 1,000 members attended the 2012 ATPE Summit. ATPE News recaps the festivities, from an inspiring presentation by education legends Drs. Harry and Rosemary Wong to the 32nd annual meeting of the ATPE House of Delegates. 28 Up, up and away Year in and year out, ATPE soars, thanks to our top recruiters. Meet the members of the Ben Shilcutt Plus Club. 32 Your Association 2012-13 state and region leaders · Free CPE opportunities · New and enhanced services and discounts · Grant for Teaching Excellence recipients · ATPE Foundation grant opportunities · Tenet focus: All-inclusive · ATPE-PAC Honor Roll · Kudos · Family Album

departments 4 President’s Message

8 Para-educators’ Place

5 Calendar

10 Tech Support

6 News Briefs

47 Snip-its

columns 11  Legal Opinions What are parents’ legal rights? 12 Capitol Comment Special report from ATPE’s D.C. lobbyist | 3

president’s message

The official publication of the Association of Texas Professional Educators

STATE OFFICERS Deann Lee Ginger Franks Richard Wiggins Cory Colby Cheryl Buchanan

Are you ready to cause an effect? We often fear change, looking ahead with ominous expectation. But what if we, as educators, become the agents of change and, therefore, make it our creation, to be desired and sought with jubilant anticipation? ATPE has many opportunities to create positive change this year. Our beloved Executive Director Doug Rogers will retire in July 2013, and this year we will celebrate his longtime commitment to Texas public education. Simultaneously, the ATPE Board of Directors will undertake the difficult task of finding the right leader both to follow in Doug’s footsteps and bring new ideas forward. Along the way, we will continue the business of supporting Texas educators and embodying ATPE’s commitment to the education profession. The most profound opportunity for positive change is at the polls and under the Capitol dome. In this arena, it is past time for change—time for an education-friendly Legislature, time for the state to fund an equitable and exemplary system, and time for educators and students to receive the respect we deserve. Ghandi said, “We must be the change we wish to see.” I challenge you to commit just 15 minutes a month to being an agent of change. Whether you are a stranger to advocacy or on a senator's speed dial, it takes only moments to place a phone call, write an email or respond to a Legislative Alert Network request. We must be purposeful in our intent. We cannot succumb to the privatization of education. We cannot accept the Trojan horses that will lead to the demise of fair and equitable public education. Thanks to your drive and commitment, ATPE is Texas’ preeminent educators’ association. The achievement of this status has not come easily, yet I contemplate with an old friend from the pages of a cherished book—the character Anne in L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of the Island. (You might know her as Anne of Green Gables.) Anne says: “Just think of all the great and noble souls who have lived and worked in this world. Isn’t it worthwhile to come after them and inherit what they won and taught? Isn’t it worthwhile to think we can share their inspiration? And then all the great souls that come in the future, isn’t it worthwhile to work a little and prepare the way for them? Make just one step in their path easier?” I thank you for the opportunity to lead ATPE. Together, we will prepare the way for the great souls that come in the future.

Deann Lee, ATPE State President

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President, Paris (8) Vice President, Nacogdoches Co. (7) Secretary, Boerne (20) Treasurer, Willis (6) Past President, Ballinger (15)

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Amancio Garza Jackie Hannebaum Jan Womack Ron Fitzwater Bill Moye Judi Thomas Janie Leath Rita Long Kristi Daws Jackie Davis David Williams Julleen Bottoms Greg Vidal Tonja Gray Sarah Beal Shane Whitten Lynette Ginn Teresa Griffin Socorro Lopez Sandra de Leon

Edinburg (1) Corpus Christi (2) Goliad (3) Alvin (4) Warren (5) Willis (6) Nacogdoches (7) Mount Vernon (8) Jacksboro (9) Garland (10) Keller (11) Corsicana (12) Pflugerville (13) Abilene (14) Coleman County (15) Amarillo (16) Hale Center (17) Stanton (18) San Elizario (19) Northside (20)


Doug Rogers Executive Director Alan Bookman Deputy Executive Director Laura Sheridan Associate Executive Director


Doug Rogers Executive Editor Kate Johanns Communications Manager/Editor John Kilpper Senior Graphic Designer Mandy Curtis Senior Copy Editor/Writer Erica Fos Graphic Designer/ Advertising Coordinator Tacy Stephens Copy Editor/Writer

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 2012 in USA by the Association of Texas Professional Educators ISSN © ATPE 2012 0279-6260 USPS 578-050



5 TCEA webinar—iOS Apps for ELA (free for members)

8 Region 1 (McAllen), Region 12 (Waco) and Region 20 (San Antonio) meetings 19 ATPE/TAGT webinar—The Basics of Differentiated Instruction and Tiered Learning: Going Deeper (This is a follow-up session from the ATPE Summit.)

Renew by credit card on the ATPE website.

22 Region 7 luncheon (Tyler)

29 Last day to join ATPE or renew online without experiencing a 30-day delay in employment rights defense coverage*

30  Last day to join ATPE or renew (other than online) to avoid a 30-day delay in employment rights defense coverage*

Learn more about ATPE’s partnership with TCEA. learn/atpe


3 TCEA webinar—Safety in the Cloud (free for members)

4  ACTIVE Life webinar—Health and Wellness: Ways to Improve Learning and Reduce Childhood Obesity Through Activity in the Classroom (free for members)

6 Region 18 meeting (Fort Davis) 9 Voter registration for general election ends 13 Region 4 (Houston), Region 7 (Tyler) and Region 14 (TBD) meetings 22 Early voting for general election begins Log in to the Services and Discounts page at for details. ServicesAndDiscounts

26 ATPE Foundation golf tournament 27  ATPE Leader Development, Membership, Minority & Diverse Population Recruitment, Nomination/Election and Services committee meetings

31 Life insurance open enrollment ends

Find out how your local unit or region can support the ATPE Foundation by becoming a golf tournament sponsor. golfTournament.asp


2  Grant for Teaching Excellence and ATPE Foundation Technology Grant application deadline; early voting for general election ends

6 Election Day Learn important information about the candidates before you visit the polls.

7  TCEA webinar—Bringing Experts into Your Classroom (free for members)

9–10 ATPE Board of Directors meeting 17 Region 1 luncheon (McAllen) *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. Coverage applies to an insured’s activities within his/her professional capacity and does not apply to activities that predate the coverage period. View a detailed summary at Eligibility for ATPE membership benefits is contingent upon ATPE’s receipt of the entire annual membership dues amount for your appropriate membership category. A disruption in payments to an authorized payment plan may result in discontinuation of such benefits, including cancellation of insurance coverage for the entire membership year retroactive to Aug. 1 or your membership date. ATPE reserves the right to determine eligibility for the appropriate membership category. The membership year runs from Aug. 1–July 31.

call (800) 777-ATPE to be put in touch with your region officers red dates indicate atpe deadlines

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Download applications for these grant programs. Awards&Grants/ granttchexclinfo.asp and technologyGrant.asp | 5

news briefs

by Tacy Stephens, copy editor/writer

Keeping the pace

• Hispanic students will comprise 60.9 percent of the student population, up from 46.3 percent in 2007. • African-American students will make up 9.5 percent of the student population, down from 14.4 percent in 2007. • White students will constitute 25.9 percent of the student population, down from 35.7 percent in 2007. Additionally, the Texas Education Agency reports that: • More than half of Texas public school students are economically disadvantaged, an increase from 1.8 million in 1997 to nearly 2.5 million in 2007. • Sixteen percent of students were identified as having Limited English Proficiency (LEP) in 2007, up from 13.4 percent in 1997. Source: Window on State Government: Susan Combs, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts,

Why fractions matter U.S. high school students’ math scores on international tests have not significantly improved in 30 years, and they lag behind those of students from countries such as Canada, China, Finland and Japan. But at a time when math ability is increasingly important for job prospects, researchers have discovered a key to improving overall math scores and have helped refine our theory of mathematical development. How well a student understands basic fractions—specifically, early whole-number division—is the strongest predictor of a student’s later ability to do algebra and other high-level mathematics, according to a recent study funded by the U.S. Department of Education and National Science Foundation. The study analyzed large, nationally representative longitudinal data about U.S. and U.K. students and found a dramatic correlation between 10-year-olds’ grasp of fractions and their achievement at age 16 in higher-level math courses. This finding held true even after statistically controlling for differences in exposure to other math concepts, general intellectual ability, and family income and education. Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Students plan commencements to remember Commencement ceremonies are milestones for graduates everywhere. But at the end of the 2011-12 school year, senior classes across Texas and the country put a spectacular twist on the familiar tradition. 2012 graduates of Ysleta ISD’s Eastwood High School were featured on The Today Show for their parent- and faculty-approved flash mob performance. In a display of fellowship and appreciation, the graduates all simultaneously turned to their friends and families in the audience and performed a synchronized dance entitled “I Had the Time of My Life and I Owe It All to You” to a mash-up of Little Richard’s “You Make Me Want to Shout” and the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling.” The video—and the creativity it shows—has since gone viral. A YouTube search for “graduation flash mob” turns up similar celebrations at high schools around Texas, including one at Houston ISD’s Sharpstown High School. Source: The Today Show,

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atpe news

©fractions/wavebreak media/thinkstock; GRADUATION/ISTOckphoto/thinkstock

Serving approximately 4.5 million students, the Texas public school system enrolls the second-most elementary and secondary students in the U.S.— 20 percent more than it did only a decade ago. According to projections by the Texas State Data Center, a state liaison to the U.S. Census Bureau, this number is expected to increase by approximately 900,000 by 2040, assuming half of the net migration rate during the 1990s. The center reports that Texas student demographics will change dramatically in the next three decades, estimating that by 2040:



Stay up-to-date on education news • Carry your mobile membership card • Access ATPE’s valuable services and discounts • And more! Scan this QR code to download the FREE app for your iOS- or Android-powered device.


Ready to Buy A Home?

The Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation has two programs to help first-time homebuyers become homeowners. Option 1: The Professional Educators Home Loan Program provides a 30-year fixed rate mortgage loan and a down payment assistance grant, equal to 5% of the loan; or Option 2: The Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program provides an annual tax credit of up to $2,000 to qualifying home buyers.

Find out if you’re eligible for either program: (888) 638-3555 ext. 3561 fall 2012 | 7

para-educators’ president’s message place

by Kate Johanns, editor

Building a web of student support MEET THE FINALISTS FOR ASSOCIATE OF THE YEAR ATPE’S EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR AWARDS recognize outstanding educators who work in all capacities in Texas public schools—as administrators, elementary teachers, secondary teachers, special services educators and para-educators. The para-educator award is called the Associate of the Year Award, and this year we had two finalists: Crystal Parks, a special education teacher’s assistant in Sherman ISD, and Lisa Cook Douglas, a secretary in Dickinson ISD. Parks was named Associate of the Year. In their award applications, these outstanding para-educators described their educational philosophies and the rewards of working in Texas public schools. “When our students do falter, they do not fall” “I find my position in the school to be the most important and rewarding,” writes Crystal Parks, a teaching assistant who works with children with autism at Neblett Elementary School in Sherman ISD. “As an assistant, I support my staff throughout the building. My job is something I look forward to each day. I believe that your environment is what you CRYSTAL PARKS make it to be. In my case, my department is my home away from home, and my team is my family. “In the classroom, I assist my teacher with her lesson plans for the day. I assist students with their needs and cheer them on in their struggles. In the school, I am a helper to all those around me—art teacher, music teacher, P.E. teacher, custodian, general education teacher and speech teacher are just a few of the colleagues whom I look forward to working with each day. Our strong relationship is what builds a web so that when our students do falter, they do not fall. “I work as an assistant for children with autism and have for five years. I strongly believe that no matter the severity of his condition, each student is capable of learning. The more they learn, the more self-confidence they will gain. The moments when children make accomplishments from struggles are greater than any paycheck.”

“Send me an invitation to graduation” “As an assistant principal’s secretary, I believe an ‘outstanding associate’ should be able to run the office as usual when the assistant principal is away,” writes Lisa Cook Douglas, secretary in the eighth-grade office at McAdams Junior High School in Dickinson ISD. “The secretary should put the assistant principal’s and the school’s ‘best foot forward’ because LISA COOK DOUGLAS he or she will most likely come in contact with parents, students and staff before the assistant principal does. “The secretary should be honest and discreet about student or staff situations that happen in the office, and he or she should have the skill to cope with a multi-tasking position and act professionally while representing the school. “I have a group of about 20 students who come by every day to say ‘hi.’ They just need a little one-on-one attention. I try to build a bond with at-risk students and figure out what the real issue is. I try to get them to see that I care that they are here every day and that they do their best. … If they make a mistake, I let them know that I still love them, but that that behavior will not be tolerated and there will be discipline for it. I also let them know that tomorrow is a fresh start. … At the end of the year, I tell them to send me an invitation to graduation in four years.”

Learn more about the ATPE Educator of the Year Awards at edofyearinfo.asp. The deadline to apply for the 2012-13 awards is March 4, 2013.

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atpe news



F R I D AY, O C T. 26

WHY: To have fun and win great prizes while supporting literacy, technology, and educator recruitment and retention programs in Texas public schools WHERE: Teravista Golf Club, Round Rock MORE INFO:

The ATPE Foundation is registered in Texas as a nonprofit corporation and is a public charity exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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tech support

by Mandy Curtis, senior copy editor/writer

Flipping education Does this new model create more engaged students?

The flipped model In the April 2012 article “The Flipped Class: Myths vs. Reality” (www., educators Jon Bergmann, Jerry Overmeyer and Brett Wilie describe a flipped classroom as one in which: • Videos or vodcasts (see Tech Term, below) replace direct instruction. • Students have more individual time in class to work with their teacher on key learning activities. • What used to be classwork—i.e., the lecture—is done at home via teacher-created videos, and home work—i.e., assigned problems and worksheets—is completed in class.

Tech Term

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The authors compare what a flipped classroom is to what it isn’t. They believe that a flipped classroom is: • A means to increase student teacher interaction. • An environment in which students take responsibility for their own learning. • A chance for students who are absent due to illness or extra curricular activities to keep up. • A setting in which instructional content is permanently archived. A flipped classroom isn’t: • Synonymous with online video. • A system that replaces teachers with video. • A model in which students spend all of their time staring at a computer screen. Clintondale High School in Clinton Township, Mich., is an example of a public school that has found success following the flipped classroom model. In 2010, the campus began to use the model with 140 freshmen. Teachers created three videos—each about five to seven minutes long—for students to watch at home each week. Class time was then spent on interactive activities covering the information presented in the videos. In just one semester, the school saw the failure rate in English/ language arts reduced by 33 percent, in math by 31 percent, in science by 22 percent and in social studies by 19 percent. Disciplinary actions also decreased by 66 percent.

(Read more about the school’s efforts and achievements at

Pros and cons Of course, there are two sides to every story. Although the idea behind the flipped classroom model is to create an environment of engaged learning, critics point to the fact that not all students have Internet access at home. They also point out that video lectures—which don’t allow students to contemporaneously ask questions— aren’t always the best way to present information.

Links of interest •— Discuss the flipped classroom model on this network created by University of Northern Colorado Mathematics and Science Teaching Institute Outreach Coordinator Jerry Overmeyer. •—Search this education news website for “flipped classroom” to bring up a slew of articles and videos covering flipped classrooms. • classroom—This infographic covers the basics of the flipped classroom and presents statistics on the results of a successful flipped classroom in Detroit. A

An episodic series of videos that can be downloaded or streamed online. (The term is a shortened form of video podcast.) In general, you can subscribe to a vodcast.

atpe news

©computer man/istockphoto/thinkstock; teacher/hemera/thinkstock

Imagine, if you will, a classroom setting in which students do their homework during the day and watch lectures while at home. No, it’s not opposite day; this is the basic concept of a new trend in education—the flipped classroom.

by Paul Tapp, ATPE Member Legal Services Department managing attorney

legal opinions

Understanding parents’ rights Rules for educators to know when managing parent-teacher relations

With a firm grasp of parents’ legal rights, you’ll be better equipped to build and sustain working relationships with parents that benefit the individual at the heart of the matter—your student and their child.

It doesn’t take a government study to recognize that the relationship between teachers and parents has changed dramatically over the past several decades. Research shows that collaboration between parents and educators improves learning outcomes, yet many factors have contributed to a decline in the quality of these relationships. The reasons for this change are open to debate and beyond the scope of this article. Here, however, we can provide educators with information about your legal relationship with parents so that you can avoid potential pitfalls.

Parents and the curriculum The Texas Education Code guarantees parents wide access to the teaching materials used in their child’s school. It entitles them to “review all teaching materials and other teaching aids used in the classroom of the parent’s child; and review each test administered to the parent’s child after the test is administered.” Parents can also request that a district or charter school allow a student to bring home instructional materials. If the materials are available, such requests must be honored, though the student must return the materials the next school day if the teacher requests it. Potentially controversial topics might also become an issue. If a parent provides a written statement of authorization, he is entitled to temporarily remove a child from a class or school activity that conflicts with his religious or moral beliefs. If an educator receives such a request, he should consult campus administrators to find a suitable alternative placement for the student. A parent cannot, however, remove a child from a class for an entire semester or to avoid a test.

Entitlement to information A parent is “entitled to full information regarding the school activities of a parent’s child,” except when this information is related to an investigation of alleged parental child abuse. Because the clause only provides for this one very limited exception, the Education Code clearly intends a parent’s free and complete access to information to be a broad

entitlement. The Texas Legislature’s position on this is illustrated in one of the code’s strict provisions: Any attempt by an educator to encourage or coerce a student to withhold information from a parent is grounds for termination. Doing so could also result in certification sanctions. The bottom line: Educators should be careful never to suggest that students “not tell their parents.” In most cases, parents must give consent before their child undergoes psychological testing or treatment, and if a parent refuses to administer psychotropic drugs or consent to psychological treatment, an educator can neither use nor threaten to use this refusal as the sole basis for filing a child abuse complaint against the parent. A parent must also consent before an educator makes or authorizes the creation of an audio or video recording of a child, except in cases in which the recording is made for safety reasons or for regular classroom instruction, co-curricular or extracurricular activities. In the age of smartphones with recording capabilities, this rule is becoming a controversial topic. Some districts have begun to adopt local policies allowing students limited use of their phones to record classes, though there are still many questions about what constitutes “a purpose related to regular classroom instruction.” When an educator must obtain parental consent isn’t entirely clear. Stay tuned for more on this evolving topic.

Parents and bullying The age-old problem of bullying has become a national topic of conversation, and Texas has introduced legislation intended to diminish the harmful effects of bullying on children. This legislation includes the requirement that all school districts adopt a policy prohibiting bullying and establishing reporting procedures. The new law defines bullying broadly as intimidation and threats made at any time on school grounds, at school events, on school vehicles or by electronic means, as long as they create a reasonable fear of harm or an “intimidating, threatening or abusive educational Continued on page 44

The legal information provided in ATPE News is for general purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for individual legal advice or the provision of legal services. Accessing this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. Individual legal situations vary greatly, and readers should consult directly with an attorney. ATPE members should call (800) 777-ATPE or access the Member Legal Services Intake System (MLSIS) at

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capitol comment

By David Pore, ATPE’s Washington, D.C.-based federal lobbyist

Of capital importance ATPE’s federal priorities include local control and protecting funding

David Pore is a senior legislative and policy adviser at Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington, D.C., and advocates for ATPE members and Texas educators at the federal level. Prior to relocating to D.C., Pore was an ATPE staff lobbyist in Austin.

ATPE has been “teaching the vote” in Washington, D.C. An ATPE delegation—2011-12 State President Cheryl Buchanan, Vice President Deann Lee, and ATPE lobbyists Brock Gregg and Josh Sanderson— joined my colleague Kate Kuhlmann and me on Capitol Hill the last week of June to advocate for education and Texas educators. Our agenda for the week included invaluable meetings with Texas congressmen, key education committee staff members and U.S. Department of Education officials. Our primary focus was raising awareness of the damage that would result from enacting proposed changes to the Teacher Retirement System (changing it from a defined benefit to a defined contribution structure), but we also focused on some of the critical issues surrounding education at the federal level, including reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The ATPE group reiterated what Texas educators hope to see in the ESEA reauthorization and shared some of the lessons Texas has learned as a state ahead of the curve when it comes to education trends. We also strongly advocated against some of the potential budget cuts under consideration by Congress as they would be detrimental to Texas public schools.

ESEA in a holding pattern Passed in 2001, President George W. Bush’s version of ESEA—No Child Left Behind (NCLB)— greatly expanded the federal role in education. The law remains in effect but expired in 2007. Because reauthorization is now five years past due, and the well-known 2014 deadline for 100 percent student proficiency looms near, it is time for Congress to act. Both the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions have passed their own separate versions of an ESEA reauthorization bill. To date, the bills have seen little to no movement beyond their committees, and most insiders venture to guess the law will not be reauthorized until after the presidential election.

The speculation results from the bills’ big and partisan differences, which make the prospect of any bill passing through both chambers and reaching the president’s desk slim. (Both bills would, however, eliminate the Adequate Yearly Progress accountability system, which is largely viewed as impractical and ineffective.) The education department has taken its own approach to alleviating the pressures mandated under current law. In exchange for implementation of some of Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s signature education reforms, waivers from some NCLB provisions will be granted to states. Texas has taken a clear stand against applying for a waiver. Although many are encouraging Gov. Rick Perry to apply for a waiver in order to provide needed but temporary relief for schools, we remain focused on pressing Congress through members of the Texas delegation to reauthorize ESEA and provide long-term solutions. During our meetings, we delivered a message of local control and argued strongly that decisions about accountability be made at the state level and, where possible, at the district level—and not as part of a onesize-fits-all national system. Further, we reiterated our opposition to the use of high-stakes tests as the only measure of student achievement or of teacher quality, but we stated our support for the development of a testing system designed at the local level with teacher and parent input that maximizes student learning through evaluation according to multiple criteria.

Budgetary matters Among the current popular topics in Washington, D.C., is sequestration, or across-the-board budget cuts for all government agencies. When the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction (aka the supercommittee) failed to reach a deal, automatic sequestration went into effect and is set to begin Jan. 2, 2013. Much of the talk surrounding sequestration involves deep cuts in defense funding, but sequestration will also include detrimental accrossthe-board cuts to education. Proposals to slow, stop and reduce automatic cuts have surfaced, but what Congress will ultimately do remains to be seen. Continued on page 44

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atpe news


From School Districts to the District

A T P E carries y o u r m essage t o W as h i n gt o n

The role the federal government plays in public education continues to grow each year, and ATPE’s Washington, D.C.-based federal lobbyist David Pore—whose experience includes advocating for ATPE in Austin—is hard at work in our nation’s capital to ensure that ATPE’s voice is heard.


he week of June 25, 2011-12 ATPE State President Cheryl Buchanan and Vice President Deann Lee traveled to Washington, D.C., with ATPE Governmental Relations Director Brock Gregg and Lobbyist Josh Sanderson to accompany Pore and his colleague Kate Kuhlmann to meetings with decision makers in Congress and the U.S. Department of Education. The ATPE delegation met with education department staff members, House Education Committee majority and minority staff members, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and key Texas congressmen. The group also met with the chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Rep. John Kline (R– Minnesota). ATPE’s advocacy focus on the D.C. trip was to raise awareness of the damages to public schools that would result from converting the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) from a defined benefit plan (DBP) to a defined contribution plan (DCP). Although the decision to convert TRS to a DCP or a DBP/DCP hybrid would be made at the state level, the fact that Texas educators do not contribute to Social Security— making their retirement reliant upon TRS—gives the issue federal implications. With the weakened retirement benefits

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of a DCP, the profession becomes less attractive to talented potential educators, which in turn hurts students. It’s important that ATPE explain this situation to Washington players who hold great sway in Austin. Social Security concerns While in D.C., the ATPE delegation also reiterated the association’s long-standing position calling for full repeal of the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), two offset provisions in federal law that reduce the amount of Social Security benefits Texas public educators are eligible to receive. The GPO applies to any educator who wishes to apply for a spousal or widow’s Social Security benefit based on the educator’s spouse’s earnings. The GPO reduces the amount an educator can receive in spousal Social Security benefits by two-thirds the amount of the educator’s TRS benefit. The WEP applies to educators eligible for both a TRS benefit and Social Security benefits from previous


ATPE’s Washington, D.C.-based federal lobbyist David Pore wrote this issue’s Capitol Comment, which you’ll find on page 12. | 13

ESEA and IDEA The ATPE state officers and lobbyists also used the Washington trip as another opportunity to reiterate ATPE’s positions on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). ESEA and IDEA contain the bulk of federal education policy. (ESEA was most recently reauthorized in 2001 under President George W. Bush as the No Child Left Behind Act.) Efforts to reauthorize ESEA have been underway for several years but are on hold until after the presidential election. ATPE’s positions include: • Support for local control. • Opposition to a standardized national curriculum or test. • Support for requiring all mandates in the ESEA to be fully funded by the federal government. • Opposition to public funding of private schools. All of ATPE’s positions on federal and state education policies are listed in the member-written ATPE Legislative Program, most recently updated and approved by the ATPE House of Delegates July 16 at the 2012 ATPE Summit. Access a copy of the legislative program at A

2012-13 ATPE State President Deann Lee meets with her congressman, U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall (R), who has represented the 4th District of Texas since 1980.

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ATPE’s 2012 U.S. Senate Candidate Survey


n June, ATPE asked the four major party candidates vying for the seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison—Republicans Ted Cruz and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Democrats Paul Sadler and Grady Yarbrough—to complete our U.S. Senate Candidate Survey so that they might share their education views with ATPE’s members. Candidates were asked to limit their responses to each question to no more than 100 words, and they were informed that responses from the candidates who won each party’s July 31 primary runoff elections would be published in the Fall 2012 ATPE News and posted on Candidates Sadler and Yarbrough responded; despite multiple requests from ATPE, Cruz and Dewhurst did not. Sadler and Cruz won their parties’ primary runoffs July 31 and will face each other on the November ballot.

« atpe news

photo courtesy of deann lee

employment. The WEP uses an alternate formula to calculate these individuals’ Social Security benefits; this formula can reduce the amount for which an individual is eligible.

1. Do you support using public tax dollars for a voucher, tax credit or scholarship that enables K–12 students to attend private schools? Please explain your position. Cruz: Did not respond. Sadler: No, I do not support such a program. We are struggling in every state to sufficiently fund education, fairly pay teachers and school employees, and provide medical benefits. A voucher system would simply take away important funds from public education. 2. Do you support repealing the Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision for Texas educators? Please explain your position. Cruz: Did not respond. Sadler: Yes. I believe it is unfair to lose spousal benefits. These benefits were paid for and earned by individual citizens. It is critical that we retain talented educators, and this provision acts as a disincentive for those individuals to remain employed as teachers. 3.Texas is studying the potential impact of incorporating features of a privatized defined contribution plan into the Teacher Retirement System, which is currently structured as a defined benefit plan. To what

extent do you believe public pension systems should be privatized? Cruz: Did not respond. Sadler: I do not—but this is a state issue, and as a United States senator, I would not have the opportunity to address the subject directly. 4. In what ways do you believe the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), better known as No Child Left Behind, could be improved? What role should the federal government play in public education policy? Cruz: Did not respond. Sadler: I have never supported No Child Left Behind for many reasons. It immediately became unworkable when they attempted to implement punitive measures that could not align with state accountability measures. Alternatively, the federal government should play a supportive role in public education primarily through the use of grants or best practice incentives or direct funding of specific programs. 5.The Obama administration has called for basing teacher salaries and performance evaluations on students’ standardized test scores. Do you support using standardized

Paul Sadler, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, speaks to ATPE Summit attendees July 16. ATPE invited Republicans Ted Cruz and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Democrats Sadler and Grady Yarbrough to speak to the ATPE House of Delegates. Cruz, Dewhurst and Yarbrough declined ATPE’s invitation.

tests in this way? Please explain your position. Cruz: Did not respond. Sadler: No, I have never supported this position. There are simply too many intangibles that affect student performance that neither the teacher nor the school system can control. Linking performance to those unknown and uncontrollable factors makes such an evaluation system unfair to the teacher. A

About the candidates Paul Sadler


• Democrat • Occupation: Attorney • Other elected offices held: Texas House of Representatives, 1991–2003 • • P.O. Box 2222, Austin, TX 78768 • • (512) 914-4391

• Republican • Occupation: Attorney •O  ther elected offices held: None, but was appointed solicitor general from 2003–2008 • • 815 A Brazos PMB 550, Austin, TX 78701 • • (512) 637-8777

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MOTHER AND FATHER KNOW BEST Parents bring passionate but divergent voice to education debate


In 1907, John Dewey wrote in School and Society that “what the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all its children.” Any other ideal for our schools, he said, “is narrow and unlovely; acted upon, it destroys our democracy.” But more than 100 years after Dewey’s remarks, “best” and “wisest” are harder to define. Today, parent advocacy groups endorse a range of major reforms and can be found on both sides of debates about school policy issues such as funding, privatization and vouchers. Parent advocates come from diverse communities, represent different children and embrace different methods.

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Testing parents

As schools adjusted to the new State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) testing and accountability regime this past spring, parents became more publicly vocal, including a group from Austin ISD’s Anderson High School. These parents founded a grassroots advocacy network called Texans Advocating Meaningful Student Assessment (TAMSA) in January. Now a statewide organization, TAMSA is working with policymakers to ensure that the 83rd Legislature takes a more reasoned appraoch to standardized testing, including eliminating the requirement that end-of-year STAAR exams count as 15 percent of final course grades. TAMSA supports multiple-measure assessments and local control over grading policy.


“Parents who feel excluded but believe that the status quo is not good enough need to persist,” says Dineen Majcher, a mother and TAMSA cofounder. “TAMSA’s primary focus is to improve the STAAR testing regime. We are not opposed to diagnostic testing that identifies learning gaps in an effort to address those issues. We are opposed to imposing greater stakes on students, which turns the system into one that is punitive for students and ultimately will result in higher dropout rates. This is a train wreck that we can avoid with sound public policy.” TAMSA holds meetings with key legislators to discuss testing reforms, facilitates letter-writing campaigns and provides members with legislative updates through email alerts. The parent-led group has attracted professionals from across the state, including lawyers, doctors, child psychologists, college professors, business owners and national experts on testing issues, according to Majcher. TAMSA argues that the current testing system will harm Texas’ most vulnerable students, citing research from the Texas fall 2012

Center for Education Policy projecting that 30 percent of English language learners will not graduate from high school once the STAAR test is fully implemented. TAMSA argues that poor implementation and the withdrawal of state funding have left many schools with scant instructional materials and training to prepare students—and the financial burden of remediating those who do not pass. “The STAAR testing regime has turned ‘accountability’ upside down,” Majcher says. “In our judgment, the state should be accountable to parents and taxpayers to ensure that students are receiving a quality education.” TAMSA hopes to reclaim the language of accountability from private interests. “We understand that the Texas Association of Business and others use ‘accountability’ to describe how well a school or district is teaching the statemandated curriculum,” Majcher says. “But accountability should include more factors than one four-hour test to evaluate how well a course curriculum is being taught. Some factions of the business community equate ‘accountability’ with ‘testing.’ TAMSA believes we should decouple these terms. We all need to be clearer in the language we use to address education issues.”

School-based democracy

In addition to testing changes, parents are also calling for greater transparency and participation in decisions that affect schools. In January 2011, Austin ISD announced without community input that it might close as many as 15 schools in inner-city Austin. In response, a group of parents formed Coalition to Strengthen Austin Urban Schools (Coalition SAUS) to voice its dissent. The group has received local and national attention for opposing the

district’s decision to contract with the South Texas charter school corporation IDEA, which will occupy public school campuses in low-income, minority neighborhoods in East Austin starting in 2012-13. Coalition SAUS now includes parents from 24 campuses in the Austin urban core and advocates for greater community involvement in districtand campus-level decision-making. “The Coalition has stood up at every AISD board meeting since last spring and requested that the board put in place a transparent, authentic, participatory, community-based process for making decisions about campus closures or repurposing,” Coalition SAUS co-chair Lorie Barzano says. “Our coalition is necessary because elected officials, professional educators, the Legislature and experts on education hold all their discussions without including the two most important stakeholders in the education debate: the students and their parents.” Some parents’ rights are protected in Title I of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which requires that districts have a written parent involvement policy drafted in partnership with the community. School districts receiving Title I funding must include parents in the development and review of school improvement plans for underperforming schools and use 1 percent of Title I money to fund involvement programs for parents or guardians who have recently immigrated, are economically disadvantaged or have limited English proficiency. At the state level, parent involvement laws vary in scope and detail. The Massachusetts State Board of Education, for example, must include one member who represents public school parents. Florida, Indiana, Louisiana and New Mexico have laws requiring that certain kinds of local education policy be written in collaboration with parents. | 17

Although a few states have sanctions for noncompliance with these rules, accountability for parent involvement laws is generally not pursued aggressively— except by parents themselves. Coalition SAUS parents regularly testify at education committee hearings in both chambers of the Texas Legislature, where Barzano says she points to Chicago’s local school councils (LSCs) as a model partnership between schools and parents. LSCs consist of six parents, two educators, one non-teaching school staff member, two community members, the principal and one student. Each LSC is responsible for evaluating the school learning environment and family engagement platform, approving the school budget and monitoring the school’s improvement plan. Most LSC-run schools serve impoverished neighborhoods and have outperformed nearby “turnaround schools” that have either been handed over to charter operators or undergone dramatic staff changes through outside intervention. Supporters of this kind of school-based democracy attribute its success to the collaboration between educators and parents and a governance structure that values transparency, local control and consensus building. In the same spirit, Coalition SAUS organizes monthly workshops in innercity Austin neighborhoods where community members and educators can learn about issues that affect their schools, hear from other education groups and learn how to become polit-

ically involved. During the primary elections, the coalition organized public forums where parents could question candidates for the State Board of Education and the Texas Legislature. But because its members come from community schools with different needs, Coalition SAUS does not endorse candidates for elected office. Instead, the group focuses its efforts on making administrators and lawmakers more responsive and accountable to parents. Coalition SAUS recently became a local affiliate of Parents Across America (PAA), a network of parent groups in urban areas around the country that includes Chicago nonprofit Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE) and Class Size Matters, a New York City nonprofit dedicated to achieving smaller classes nationwide. “We started reaching out to different groups in different cities that were facing similar issues, like school closures and co-location with charter schools,” Barzano says. “Parents Across America had the same philosophy about how to improve public education, and it was committed to empowering parents in the decision making process.” Parents Across America recently defined its federal legislative priorities in a written appeal to Congress and recommended major policy changes for the reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (also known as No Child Left Behind). The group supports reforms

in school finance; teacher retention, mentoring and professional development programs; prekindergarten and early childhood development programs; and incentives for working in schools with the greatest need. It opposes policies that expand high-stakes testing and the use of student test scores in teacher evaluation and staffing and tenure decisions.

Parents opt out

Like Coalition SAUS, Parents Across America also opposes vouchers, charter conversions and other forms of corporate-led school privatization, and the group outlines measures that would render charter authorization more transparent and democratic and set up protections against discriminatory enrollment practices. “The Coalition is about improving our public schools,” Barzano says. “A charter school is a private entity taking over public property. We want tax dollars used to improve our public education system, not to be diverted off into private testing companies or private subcontractors for charter schools. There’s no accountability to the taxpayer for how their money is being spent when it’s handed off to private entities.” These positions place both the coalition and PAA at odds with parent groups who view vouchers and charter schools as forms of parent empow-

Learn more about these parent advocacy groups

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· Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment (TAMSA)—

· Texans for Real Efficiency and Equity in Education (TREE)—

· Coalition to Strengthen Austin Urban Schools (Coalition SAUS)—

· Stand for Children Texas—

· Parents Across America (PAA)—

· Texas Parent PAC—

· Parent Revolution—

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erment. Many parents—represented in groups such as Texans for Real Efficiency and Equity in Education (TREE) and Stand for Children Texas—are calling for legislation that would allow parents to opt out of traditional public schools in favor of charters. Led by former House Public Education Committee Chairman Kent Grusendorf, TREE is among the latest groups to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Texas public school finance system. A small group of parents is demanding a stronger version of Texas’ so-called “parent trigger” law. Parent trigger laws, adopted by only seven states but backed by mayors across the country, allow a majority of parents to petition for one of a few radical school turnaround measures, including school closure, firing staff and turning the school into a privately managed charter. The first version of the law was drafted by the California parent group Parent Revolution, which is funded by a charter operator and a network of high-profile corporate foundations that support pro-charter legislation.

A PAC for parents

When change at the campus- and district-level is limited by state policy, parents have other political tools at their disposal. Texas Parent PAC is a bipartisan political action committee founded in 2005 by mother, PTA veteran and former Coalition for Public Schools leader Carolyn Boyle. “Texas Parent PAC believes the quickest way to get legislators’ attention is through the ballot box, by electing new legislators and kicking out those with a record of supporting harmful legislation and funding schemes,” Boyle says. Texas Parent PAC opposes voucher schemes that take funding away from public schools, siding with the

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nearly 95 percent of Texas children who attend neighborhood public schools. “The voucher issue is just a distraction from the state’s No. 1 priority, which is to have a top-notch public school in every neighborhood of the state,” Boyle says. “Voucher programs don’t give power to parents—they give power and tax money to private schools, which can pick and choose which students to admit. The best way to truly empower all parents is with the expansion of public school choice within school districts.” Texas Parent PAC strongly supports increased funding for public schools after the 82nd Legislature cut state support for public education by $5.4 billion and failed to fund enrollment growth for the first time in history. The PAC endorses and provides financial support to an equal number of Republicans and Democrats during each election cycle. Since 2005, Texas Parent PAC has helped defeat a number of incumbents and supported 23 first-time candidates elected to the Legislature. The PAC supported an additional 11 winners in the 2012 primary elections, seven of whom are current or former school board members. The majority of the PAC’s support comes in the form of $50 to $100 contributions from more than 1,100 parents and public school supporters, with many $1,000-plus donations from business leaders, according to Boyle. Endorsements are made by a board of volunteers after panel interviews with candidates and a review of feedback from constituents. The PAC does not accept contributions from corporations. “The outcome of the primary and general elections will have a big impact on the actions that can be expected in 2013,” Boyle says. “If educators and parents all voted, we could swing every election and have a Legislature that truly

makes education its top priority. We must be good role models for children by researching candidates and voting in every election.”

My kid or yours?

As parents organize to advocate in the interest of their own children, their challenge will be to empower families at the margins of education debates and help them earn the attention and respect of reformers. Policymakers have a lot to learn from parents. We cannot base policy decisions on an antiquated picture of the American family. For example, not all children come from two-parent families in which one parent is willing or able to stay at home during the child’s early developmental years. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly one-third of U.S. families in 2008 were single-parent families. In 2011, less than a quarter of married couple family groups with children younger than age 15 had a stay-at-home mother, a number that has decreased since the beginning of the U.S. recession. These numbers tell an important story and have implications for policy around early childhood education programs, which have been proven to close achievement gaps and improve life outcomes for children in impoverished communities. Parents also have a lot to learn from other parents. A recent Gates Foundation-funded survey commissioned by several national education groups found that 68 percent of AfricanAmerican parents with a median household income of $33,000 and 70 percent of Latino parents with a median household income of $22,000 identified their own neighborhood public schools as the ones in most need of reform and improvement. But the same survey found that 68 percent of Americans with a household income of at least Continued on page 44 | 19

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The 2012 ATPE Summit

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PLANning for the future Speakers energize attendees On Saturday of the summit, attendees were inspired by presentations by top educational experts and speakers, including Brad Cohen, Barbara Coloroso, Sharon Draper, Chef Jeff Henderson, Patrick J. and Patrick H. Hughes, Nancy Oelklaus, Drs. Harry and Rosemary Wong, and special guests from TCEA and the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented. Henderson shared the story of his journey from drug dealer to prisoner to renowned chef. He spoke of the importance of education, particularly at a young age, and how essential it is for educators to help their students be successful with their gifts. “Everybody was born with a gift,” he said. “Everybody was born with potential.”

Chef Jeff Henderson is a Food Network personality.

Acknowledgments Thank you to our generous sponsors and volunteers

Showing support

Financial sponsors Bells Promotional Products, Frost Insurance, the Law Office of Daniel Ortiz, Long-Term Care Resources, Nationwide Insurance and Oxford Commercial/Cushman & Wakefield

ATPE-PAC and ATPE Foundation raise funds

Guest participants Cindy Chapman, Teresa Gross, Cody Harral, Lauren Harral and Joni Reese

The ATPE Political Action Committee (ATPE-PAC) raised $13,208 for future advocacy efforts during its live and silent auctions and region caucuses. Special thanks go to auction item donors: • I ndividuals: Kristi Brashier, Tina Briones, Merry Creager, Kimberly Cross, David de la Garza, Lauren Douglas, Ginger Franks, Monica Gonzalez-Rios, Brock Gregg, Bill and Teresa Griffin, Roger Gutierrez, Carolyn Huebel, Ma Elena Ingram, Connie Kilday, Bridget Loffler, Julie Mihalko, Sandra Patterson, Irene Rodriguez-Dubberly, Gary Schepf, Amy White and Richard Wiggins •L  ocal units: Bowie, Ennis, Fort Bend, Irving, SouthlakeCarroll and Warren • Regions: 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17 and 18 Some donations were received without names. We apologize if you donated an item and were left off of the list above.

Thank you to Brim, Arnett, Robinett, Conners & McCormick P.C. for sponsoring the 2012 ATPE Summit T-shirt. Proceeds from T-shirt sales benefited ATPE-PAC. The ATPE Foundation raised $755 for its literacy initiatives, technology programs, and educator recruitment and retention efforts.

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Educator of the Year Committee members Chairwoman Patrice Rabalais, Ebony Cousins, Caroline McClain, Joan Phillips, Eli Rodriguez and Jessica Skinner Leader of the Year Committee members Chairwoman Gwen Craig, Ruben Pena, Vicki Renfro, Irene Robbins, Abby Rogers, Ruthie Phillips and Cynthia Villalovos Nomination/Election Committee members Chairman Carl Garner, Meredith Bowman, Carolyn Cossey, Dana Day, Darlene Kelly, Susan Norris, Alicia Romero and assistant Alison Kimble Member volunteers Charlotte Anthony, Stephanie Bailey, Caryn Bartle, Julleen Bottoms, Brenda Bryan, Cheryl Buchanan, Kathy Cannon, Kimberly Cross, Jackie Davis, Kristi Daws, David de la Garza, Tim Fogarty, Jason Forbis, Ginger Franks, Patti Gibbs, Jill Gipson, Monica Gonzalez-Rios, Tonja Gray, Teresa Griffin, Jackie Hannebaum, Alison Hayter, Misty Houston, Janie Leath, Billie Lee, Deann Lee, Julia Lepek, Charles Lindsey, Rita Long, Socorro Lopez, Gail Loski, Andrea Martini, Teresa McHam, Sandra Patterson, Ann Petrillo, Elizabeth Reynolds, Cindi Rojas, Frances Selner, Cindy Smith, Vickie Storrie, Jane Via, Katherine Whitbeck, Richard Wiggins, David Williams and Jan Womack | 21

Effecting change in the House of Delegates


here better to watch ATPE’s member-owned, member-governed philosophy come to life than during the annual gathering of the House of Delegates (HOD)? This year, the delegates met July 16 to discuss three bylaws amendments and two sets of bylaws clarifications; honorary, standing, current and prefiled resolutions; the ATPE Legislative Program; and main motions.

Bylaws amendments The HOD considered three bylaws amendments, all of which were adopted. Members may visit to read the updated ATPE State Bylaws. The amendments have the following effects: • Local units in Waller County, which have been included in Region 6 since the bylaws were first written, have been reassigned to Region 4. This change aligns the ATPE regions with those of the Texas Education Agency’s Education Service Center regions. • The ATPE state office now has the option of using email to notify members of the annual HOD meeting and business. • If the local unit president is unable to do so, the local unit vice president can now certify local unit delegates. The HOD also received a report on two sets of bylaws clarifications, which addressed editorial errors in the document.

Resolutions Honorary resolutions The HOD adopted two honorary resolutions. The first recognized Immediate Past State President David de la Garza. The second was in honor of Mary Short, ATPE’s long-time parliamentarian.

Standing resolutions The HOD supported the continuation of the 13 existing standing resolutions without amendment. Current resolutions The HOD allowed two 2011-12 current resolutions to expire and adopted two 2012-13 current resolutions: RESOLVED, that ATPE study changing the distribution of awards based on local unit membership so that categories are more proportionally distributed. RESOLVED, that the Bylaws Committee consider allowing ATPE retired members the opportunity to run for state office.

ATPE State President Cheryl Buchanan congratulates parliamentarian Mary Short on her surprise honorary resolution during the HOD.

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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 2012-13 ATPE Legislative Program as recommended by the Legislative Committee. Visit introLegProgram.asp to review the program.

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The cream of the crop


TPE honored educators, education students, ATPE leaders and friends of Texas public education during the summit at the Membership Awards Luncheon and the Awards Banquet.

Judy Coyle Texas Liberty Award ATPE’s highest honor, which is named after ATPE founding member Judy Coyle and recognizes outstanding service to public education, was awarded this year to five pro-public education advocates. Mayor Julian Castro, a 37-year-old San Antonio native, is the youngest mayor of a Top 50 American city. First elected in 2009, he handily won re-election in 2011 with nearly 82 percent of the vote. Under his leadership in 2010, the city opened Café College, a one-stop counseling center offering advice on financial aid, college admissions and standardized test preparation to any student in the San Antonio area. Castro will deliver the keynote speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (D–San Antonio) represents a large portion of Bexar County. A former five-term state representative, she is now serving her fifth term as Texas state senator for District 26. Van de Putte currently serves as chairwoman of the Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee and is also a member of the Senate committees on Education, State Affairs, and Business and Commerce. She served as president of the National Conference of State Legislatures from 2003 to 2005.

Rep. Scott Hochberg (D–Houston) was elected to represent District 137 in 1993. During his time in the Legislature, Hochberg served as the vice chairman of the Public Education Committee and as chair of the Education Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee. He also represented Texas as a vice chairman of the education panel of the National Conference of State Legislatures and has been recognized as one of Texas’ “Ten Best Legislators” by Texas Monthly. Hochberg is retiring from the Texas Legislature.

Alafair Hammett Media Awards

Sen. Wendy Davis (D–Fort Worth) was elected to the Texas Senate in 2008 to represent District 10 in Tarrant County. She serves on the committees on Education, Transportation and Homeland Security, and Veteran Affairs and Military Installations, and she also serves as vice chairwoman of International Relations and Trade. In 2009, Texas Monthly named Davis legislative “Rookie of the Year.”

Newspapers with a circulation of more than 50,000: Francisco Vara-Orta, San Antonio Express-News

Dr. John M. Folks recently retired from his position as superintendent of Northside (20) ISD, one of the largest and fastest-growing school districts in Texas. The 41-year educator was named the 2011 Texas Superintendent of the Year by the Texas Association of School Boards.

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Named for ATPE’s first state president, this award recognizes Texas reporters for their outstanding support and coverage of public education. The 2012 recipients are: Newspapers with a circulation of fewer than 25,000: Gary Long, Brownsville Herald Newspapers with a circulation of 25,000 to 50,000: Ethan Fowler, Abilene Reporter News

ATPE staff service awards Congratulations to the 12 state office staff members honored during the summit for 105 years of combined experience. Five years of service: Legal Assistant Tammie Brown, Senior Copy Editor/Writer Mandy Curtis, Member Services Field Representative Doug Eckart, Member Services Field Representative Kathy Lanfer, Staff Attorney Martha Moring and Lobbyist Josh Sanderson 10 years of service: Legal Receptionist Sonia Castaneda, Member Services Field Representative Sarah Denny, Staff Attorney Jessica Strickel and Staff Attorney Jackie Strashun 15 years of service: Managing Attorney Paul Tapp 20 years of service: Data Analyst Eddy Williams | 23

Educator of the Year Awards These awards recognize ATPE members who demonstrate exceptional or innovative capabilities in their respective educational fields. Administrator Sandra Clement, principal, South Park Middle School, Corpus Christi ISD Clement knows that it truly does take everyone in a community working together to educate a student. “Creating an environment that ignites a desire to learn and excel encompasses more than just the actions of the principal,” she says. “It involves the commitment and dedication of students, teachers and parents alike.” Associate Crystal Parks, special education aide, Neblett Elementary School, Sherman ISD Parks aims to make every day important and knows the value of positive thinking. “My job is something that I look forward to each day because I love it,” she says. “I believe that your environment is what you make it to be. In my case, my department is my home away from home, and my team is my family.” Finalist: Lisa Cook Douglas, Dickinson ISD Elementary Teacher Diane Pokluda, kindergarten through fourthgrade alternative educator, Crowley Learning Center, Crowley ISD Pokluda finds that the biggest rewards that come with teaching are nonmonetary. “I love being able to say, ‘I made a difference!’” she says. “… I have now taught long enough to have received notes from previous students thanking me. One student included a note in her high school graduation announcement [saying] that I was one of her favorite teachers and that she hoped to become an educator herself.”

Join the ranks of ATPE award winners! Find applications and deadlines for ATPE’s 2012-13 awards at

Secondary Teacher Andrea Barnes, seventh and eighth-grade teacher, Aragon Middle School, CypressFairbanks ISD Barnes knows that an educator is never truly done learning. “A great educator, in my opinion, must be innovative and exciting,” she says. “I believe one has to research teaching methods, know multiple personality techniques, be enthusiastic to teach the lesson every day, and totally love their job! My alarm rings every morning at 4:30, and I literally jump out of bed ready to start the day.” Finalists: Trudy Byers, Birdville ISD, and Rose Perez, Corpus Christi ISD Special Services Educator Marlee Clark, librarian, Jack E. Singley Academy, Irving ISD Clark believes that all educators often have to play the role of therapist and counselor. “Students are sometimes able and willing to express their academic and personal needs to us so that we’re able to address them,” she says. “Other times, students are either unable or unwilling to express what their needs are. As educators, we must be attuned to these situations.”

Finalist: Teri Naya, Birdville ISD

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Local Unit of the Year The ATPE Local Unit of the Year Award acknowledges local unit efforts and accomplishments during the year. Each winning local unit receives $500. University local units Texas A&M University–Central Texas ATPE • Region 12 • Chartered in 2003

Local units with 1,001-plus members Cypress-Fairbanks ATPE • Region 4 • Chartered in 1981 • 2,088 members • 2011-12 officers: President Eli Rodriguez (pictured), Vice President Jesse Guerrero, Secretary Pamela Tompkins, Treasurer Roman Nunez and Membership Chair Rebecca Keels

• 160 members • 2011-12 officers: President Ronald Sursa (pictured), Vice President Tonya Miller, Treasurer Melissa Stokes and Membership Chair Lloret McNeill Finalists: McMurry University ATPE, Region 14, and Texas Woman’s University ATPE, Region 11 Local units with 1–500 members Paris ATPE • Region 8 • Chartered in 1985 • 252 members • 2011-12 officers: President Jodi Andoe (pictured), Vice President Morgan Chesshire, Secretary Melanie Carter, Treasurer Jimmy Lee and Membership Chair Abby Rogers Finalists: Crowley ATPE, Region 11, and DeSoto ATPE, Region 10 Local units with 501–1,000 members Brownsville ATPE • Region 1 • Chartered in 1980 • 506 members • 2011-12 officers: President J.M. Garza, Vice President Gregorio Rincones, Secretary Irma BarrientesSherman, Treasurer Scott Sherman (pictured) and Membership Chair Frances Mata Finalist: Lewisville ATPE, Region 11

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Campus Representative of the Year The ATPE 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 $500 each, and their local units each receive $250 for future local unit activities. Local units with 1–500 members Michael Sweet, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ATPE Sweet ensures timely receipt of membership applications through attention to detail and a bit of friendly nudging. “I ensure accurate and timely processing of applications by sitting down with the prospective member and completing it right there with them on the spot,” he says. “[If ] they want to take it home so that they can think about it, I always check [with them] the next day to see what we can do to get them to [become] a new member.” Finalists: Gina Godding, Palmer ATPE, and Jan Skrananek, La Vega ATPE Local units with 501–1,000 members Irma Barrientes-Sherman, Brownsville ATPE Barrientes-Sherman sees the power of personal interaction when she’s recruiting for ATPE, particularly with “nonjoiners.” When she comes across individuals who aren’t members of any organization, she provides them with ATPE information and tells them personal stories about how her ATPE | 25

membership has helped her in the past. “ATPE is a fantastic association that has helped me in times of serious difficulties,” she says. “I am truly proud to be a member.” Local units with 1,001-plus members Debbie Massey, Mesquite ATPE Massey keeps the members on her campus informed through technology. “I created a PowerPoint presentation to highlight the benefits and discounts available to ATPE members, including a summary of the [82nd] legislative session and how the ATPE lobby team [advocates] for educator rights,” she says. “I arranged with my campus administrator to speak at our new teacherluncheon on our campus.”

ATPE Newsletter Award This award recognizes outstanding local unit newsletters and e-newsletters. Print newsletter (local units with 1–400 members) Lytle ATPE—Sandra Jopling, editor E-newsletter Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ATPE—Michael Sweet, editor

Sam Houston Award for Political Involvement This award recognizes an individual member’s outstanding achievements in five major areas and overall excellence in the growth and development of individual grassroots advocacy involvement. Ma Elena Ingram, McAllen ATPE Ingram has grown into her political involvement through the years and is now making it a priority. “After having completed the task of putting my children through school and university, I now dedicate my extra time to [advocating for education],” she says. “For the past few years, I have [jumped] into organizing events for friends who are seeking public office, have hosted dinner parties and have organized rallies for their constituents to understand what my friends can bring to an elected position.”

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2011-12 ATPE Political Action Committee Honorees Davy Crockett Fundraising Challenge This challenge was established to recognize the regions and local units that raise the most money per member for ATPE-PAC. In two categories below, we have two winners; this is due to a change in the PAC award policy from the amount pledged to the actual amount of dollars donated during the PAC award year. This year’s winners are: Regions with fewer than 10,000 members— Regions 5 and 6 Region 5 ATPE raised $4,287/$2.77 per member. 2011-12 President Jackie Arthur Region 6 ATPE raised $10,059/$1.86 per member. 2011-12 President Charles Lindsey Regions with 10,000+ members—Region 10 Raised $18,652/$0.75 per member. 2011-12 President Carl Garner Local units with 1–500 members—Warren and Willis Warren ATPE raised $1,659/$19.99 per member. 2011-12 President Kay Daniel Willis ATPE raised $8,129/$16.55 per member. 2011-12 President Donna Ward Local units with 501–1,000 members—Beaumont Raised $2,296/$4.10 per member. 2011-12 President Mary Beth Woodall Local units with 1,001+ members—Killeen Raised $2,080/$1.91 per member. 2011-12 President Alice Page Stephen F. Austin Honorees Stephen F. Austin honorees are the greatest supporters of the ATPE Political Action Committee (ATPE-PAC). This honor is bestowed based on cumulative contributions to ATPEPAC since July 1997. This year, ATPE-PAC is proud to announce the sixth member to reach the $4,000-contribution level—Past State President David de la Garza of Northside (20) ATPE.

atpe news

Stephen F. Austin ATPE-PAC Honorees $4,000 Northside (20): David de la Garza $2,000 Fort Bend: Cathy Duvall Humble: Gayle Sampley Killeen: Melissa Walcik $1,000 Bowie: Rebecca Scott Ennis: Carolyn Huebel Harlandale: Elizabeth Lynn Huntsville: Brenda Lynch Jacksboro: Kristi Daws Jefferson: Karen Ives La Vernia: Clay Bordner Lewisville: Tim Fogarty North East: Lola Miller Northside (20): Misty Tegeler Olney: Trudy Matus Plano: Ken Eckler San Antonio: Byron Hildebrand $500 Amarillo: Shane Whitten Boerne: Margaret Hastings Bowie: Toni Stone Carrollton-Farmers Branch: Lori Smith Crowley: Carlos Diaz Education Service Center (11): Marcia Williams Garland: Angela Arey Irving: Deborah Bellew, Elizabeth Crowley Leander: Carol Rogers Lewisville: Samantha Castillo Lumberton: Jackie Arthur, Lumberton Medina Valley: Bertha Benedetti Mesquite: Deborah Massey North Lamar: Alison Hayter Northside (20): Cynthia Sloan Odessa: Olga Garza Pflugerville: Greg Vidal Spring Branch: Cynthia Woods State office: Doug Rogers Warren: Bill Moye Weslaco: Maria Aguirre Ysleta: Jennifer Adams

fall 2012

Your 2012-13 ATPE state officers. From left: State Treasurer Cory Colby, State Vice President Ginger Franks, State President Deann Lee, Immediate Past State President Cheryl Buchanan and State Secretary Richard Wiggins.

Keeping tabs ATPE staff members tweeted via @OfficialATPE during the ATPE Summit and PLAN using the hashtags #atpesummit and #atpePLAN. A few attendees joined in and posted their thoughts on the event. @myphouston: Tierney Cahill speaking to the presidents ‌ she is amazing @DeannLee85: Important day in HOD as we make decisions that will affect the future of education. Please vote with purpose! @1ladyintexas: Gearing up to do some serious educational business with the House of Delegates! @msfrogz: Nominators and candidates did a great job. Things running smoothly and ahead of schedule @cindyjwhitaker: Fantastic entertainment at the #atpesummit Awards Banquet. It’s been a great experience in Austin! @leticiadvp: Happy and proud to fight for our educators! @TylerATPE: Summit was wonderful! Looking forward to next year already! @cpickitt: One of the best. | 27

Up, Up and Away T ha nks to th e B e n Sh ilc u tt Pl u s Clu b, ATP E So ar s Ea c h Year

The Ben Shilcutt Plus Club is an elite group of recruiters named after one of ATPE's founding members. To join the club, an ATPE member must recruit at least five new ATPE members. (Top recruiter Jim Cumming of Houston ATPE recruited 90 new members!) Find out whom you know in the Ben Shilcutt Plus Club.

28 |

atpe news

Top Recruiter Jim Cumming–Houston ATPE Recruited 90 new members

“I ‘customized’ ATPE applications at the kitchen table with my son, and then I visited 100 out of 300 campuses to place the applications in teacher/staff mailboxes.”

30-plus R e c r uit e d 30 or mor e ne w me mb e r s

Garland Jackie Davis

Brownsville Maria Mujica

Corpus Christi Monica Gonzalez-Rios

Garland Robert Quach

Duncanville Gail Loski

Humble Gayle Sampley

Plano Jill Gipson

Ennis Nanette Moyers

fall 2012 | 29

Also Soaring:


La Joya Hilda Martinez Norma Vega

Alief Heriberto Ibarra-Abrego Debbie Stolpa

La Vega Cameron Garrett

Recruited 10–19 new members

Andrews Teresa Gross Tina Hardarson

winner of $1,000 grand prize! Plano Jill Gipson


Recruited 20–29 new members

Dickinson Susan Thomas Frenship Terry Howard McAllen Ma Elena Ingram Mesquite Deborah Massey Midway (12) Jason Forbis

Austin Molly Anderson Birdville Bill Monty Carrollton-Farmers Branch Amanda Peeler Coleman County Sarah Beal Corpus Christi Michelle E. Barabino Rose Perez Dallas Carmen Garcia Del Valle Kevin Daniel Johnston

Lubbock Isabel Gutierrez Nacogdoches County Linda Tootle Mark Whitehead Nocona Patti Gibbs Paris Deann Lee Plano Lana Adams Paul Bartle Mandy Rains Dennise Schuler San Antonio Sheryl Bibles Nelly Rosales-Nino Sherman Crystal Parks Socorro Cecilia Bueno

Garland Carol Phelps Nichole Waggoner

Westwood Kathryn Hightower

Hale Center Diane McLaurin

Ysleta Jennifer Adams Susanna Morse

Gabriel Estrada Darletta Jaycox Heidi Langan Maria Maldonado Linda McKay Lukin Murphy Kay Platis Jackie Totten Beaumont Richard Byars Suellen Ener Glen Rabalais Tiffany Woodall Birdville Teri Naya Boerne Bob Beckett Sarah Czar OnaBeth Day Kimberly Grosenbacher Beth Manz Teri Nail Burkburnett Stacy Brown Cleburne Tena Alexander Columbia-Brazoria Bess Simple Connally Christina Flores Cynthia Hudson



Christopher Adams Elaine Bashman Carlos Diaz Jeannie Evans Patti Oxentenko Diane Pokluda Katherine Smith

Nacogdoches Katherine Whitbeck

Irving Jeri Bailey Gary Schepf

Alief Phyllis Steffek Linda Treend Louis Werner

Cypress-Fairbanks Judy Hitchcock Marilyn Ocker

Palmer Gina Godding

Judson Marcie Helmke

Andrews Joni Reese

Dallas Vicki Reed

Pasadena Linda Escamilla

Killeen Jaime Williams

Angleton Makeda Stroman

Denton Jennifer Engelbrecht Amy Miller Holli Rice Vicki Storrie

Montgomery Christopher Douglas Mount Vernon Rita Long

Stephenville Brenda Burks

30 |

Hays Steve Thompson Humble Jenneffier Culver

Recruited 5–9 new members

Austin Eleanor Carr

atpe news

El Paso Amada Hernandez Ennis Mary Dowell Galena Park Jeri Davis Garland Jeanne Davis Sara Erickson Emma Fonseca Julia Lepek James Manley Greg Platt Kimberly Platt Beverly Purdom Blanche Richardson Timothy Richardson Maxine Stokinger Seidy Trent Jane Via Phyllis Welch Gregory-Portland Veronica Stapper Harlandale Marta Delgado Hays Brenda Hawkins Cody Mize Houston Cynthia Villalovos

Humble Robbin Burger Jim Dang Betsy Duplechain Marjorie Morrison Tesslyn Mustain Jane Painter Melissa Parker Stacey Ward Matthew Wiggins Irving Kathleen Adams Jo Carol Adamson Carolyn Carter Cheryl Drews Ashley Hargrove Michelle Harris Lisa Lobb Allison Lopez Angela Newby Donna Plunkett Mary Surber Judson Susan Hopkins Carol LaFond Killeen Eileen Walcik Melissa Walcik Ron Walcik Lackland Rose Carrion Mary Reyes

La Joya Evangelina Garza Mike Lopez Lewisville Karen Hames Llano Suzan Gibbs Lytle Leslie Pedrotti Magnolia Sirena Rutledge-Troxell Mansfield Ruthie Phillips McMurry University Gae Lynn McInroe Mesquite Dawn Comley Jessica Good Jennifer Grady Connie Haas Nacogdoches Sara Zavorka Nacogdoches County Shannon Whitehead

Paris Jodi Andoe Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Michael Sweet Richardson William Parker San Antonio Randall Iglehart Laura Purchis Schertz-CiboloUniversal City Lisa Evans Stephenville Melinda Petross Tyler Kergy Smith Woden Gigi Bradshaw Shelly Watson Ysleta Maria Armendariz Lidia Cordero Alicia Pedregon

North Lamar Jerry Jarrell Sandra Patterson

Join the 2012-13 Ben Shilcutt Plus Club The Ben Shilcutt Plus Club recognizes ATPE’s top recruiters. To join the club in 2012-13, submit the names of the new members you recruit by March 4, 2013, using an official ATPE Ben Shilcutt Plus Club entry form or the form available at Personal, computer-generated lists will not be accepted. In addition to being recognized in ATPE publications and at the 2013 ATPE Summit, you will receive a special gift for being a member of the 2012-13 Ben Shilcutt Plus Club: • 5-Plus Club members will receive a 512 MB USB drive. • 10-Plus Club members will receive a 1 GB USB drive and one grand-prize* entry. • 20-Plus Club members will receive a 2 GB USB drive and two grand-prize* entries. • 30-Plus Club members will receive a 4 GB USB drive and three grand-prize* entries. Please note: A new member is any individual who was not an ATPE member during the prior school year. First-time professional and associate members who were college students or teacher trainees during the prior school year are also considered new members. Only entries that list five or more new members will be considered, and you must be a current-year ATPE member to qualify as a recruiter. New members will only be attributed to one recruiter. If a new member’s name is included on more than one form, only the first recruiter based on the state office date of receipt will get credit for the recruitment. The $1,000 grand-prize drawing will take place at the 2013 ATPE Summit in Austin!


fall 2012 | 31

your association

state & region leaders

2012-13 State Officers

Presenting your 2012-13 ATPE leaders

Deann Lee

Ginger Franks

Richard Wiggins

Cory Colby

Cheryl Buchanan

President Paris, Region 8

Vice president Nacogdoches County, Region 7

Secretary Boerne, Region 20

Treasurer Willis, Region 6

Past president Ballinger, Region 15

Wiggins is a special education department chair and has 10 years of education experience.

Colby, a five-year educator, is an AP and dual credit government and U.S. history instructor.

A 25-year education veteran, Buchanan teaches sixth-grade English and ESL.

Franks, a 30-year education veteran, teaches special education in Martinsville ISD for the Nacogdoches County Co-op.

Region 2

Region 3

Region 4

Region 5

Region 6

Amancio Garza

Jackie Hannebaum

Jan Womack

Ron Fitzwater

Bill Moye

Judi Thomas


Corpus Christi





Susie Andrews

Monica Gonzalez-Rios

Yvonne Meharg

Stacey Ward

Jackie Arthur

Charles Lindsey

Rio Hondo

Corpus Christi





Vice presidents:

Vice president: Rebecca

Vice president:

Vice president:

Vice president: Glen

Vice president:

Hector Cruz, Weslaco;

Quinones, Corpus Christi

Darlene Schick,

Eli Rodriguez,

Rabalais, Beaumont

Donna Ward, Willis

Hilda Martinez, La Joya;

Secretary: Lauro Rios,



Secretary: Janice

Secretary: Chirs

J.M. Garza, Brownsville


Secretary: Joy

Secretary: Ann

Brent, Vidor

Douglas, Montgomery

Secretary: Esther

Treasurer: Amelia Flores,

Roppolo, El Campo

Petrillo, Houston

Treasurer: Sue Allen,

Treasurer: Melodye

Buckley, Laredo

Corpus Christi

Treasurer: Terry

Treasurer: Jim


Pinson, Conroe

Treasurer: Michael

Misc. officer: Rose Perez,

Divers, Palacios

Cumming, Houston

Sweet, Pharr-San Juan-

Corpus Christi


Region 1


2012-13 Region Officers

Lee is Paris ISD’s state/ federal programs director and has 24 years of education experience.


Past president: Julie Sanders, Alief

Past president: Roger Gutierrez, Welsaco

32 |

atpe news

Region 8

Region 9

Region 10

Region 11

Region 12

Region 13

Janie Leath

Rita Long

Kristi Daws

Jackie Davis

David Williams

Julleen Bottoms

Greg Vidal


Mount Vernon






Kimberly Cross

Sandra Patterson

April Tipton

Carl Garner

Melba Poppe

Sandra O’Connor

Genie Rolfe


North Lamar





San Marcos

Vice president:

Vice president:

Vice president: Stacy

Vice president:

Vice president: Karen

Vice president:

Vice president:

Shannon Whitehead,

Judy Johnson,

Brown, Burkburnett

Shane Huff, Mesquite

Hames, Lewisville

Ron Walcik, Killeen

Christie Smith,

Nacogdoches County

Mount Vernon

Secretary: Belinda

Secretary: Jane Via,

Secretary: Sheri

Secretary: Patty




Wolf, Wichita Falls


Merritt, Lake Worth

Reneau, Waco


Malinda Holzapfel,

Abby Rogers, Paris

Treasurer: Elizabeth

Treasurer: Meredith

Treasurer: Darius

Treasurer: Janice

Jayne Serna, Leander



Reynolds, Jacksboro

Malloy, Ferris

Hatchett, Keller

Hornsby, West



Carie Archer, Chisum

Past president: Patti

Past president:

Past president: Jason

Connie Hernandez,

Julie McCullough,

Gibbs, Nocona

Merry Creager, Ennis

Forbis, Midway (12)



Misc. officer: Dustin



Region 7

Anderson, Jacksboro

Region 15

Region 16

Region 17

Region 18

Region 19

Region 20

Tonja Gray

Sarah Beal

Shane Whitten

Lynette Ginn

Teresa Griffin

Socorro Lopez

Sandra de Leon


Coleman County


Hale Center


San Elizario


Chana Appleton

Darlene Kelly

Linda James

Ranelle Baldwin

Bridget Loffler

Patti Garcia

Tina Briones



River Road




San Antonio

Vice president:

Vice president:

Vice president:

Vice presidents:

Vice president:

Vice president:

Vice president:

Angel Haley, Abilene

Jose Delgado,

Deborah Sutterfield,

Caroljean Byrnes,

Olga Garza, Odessa

Michael Slaight, Clint

Mary Reyes, Lackland


San Felipe-Del Rio



Secretary: Tina

Secretary: Cecilia

Secretary: Julie

Melissa McCormick,



Secretary: Brenda

Hardarson, Andrews

Bueno, Socorro

Mihalko, Lackland


Pamela Crenwelge,

Stephanie Parker,

Bryan, Hale Center

Treasurer: Joni Reese,

Treasurer: Rudy

Treasurer: Marcie




Treasurer: Gail Carter,


Romero, Clint

Helmke, Judson

David Curry, Abilene




Luz Mendez, Junction

Dawn Riley, Bushland

Past president: Susan



Region 14

Cooper, Lubbock

summer 2012 | 33

your association

atpe news

Enjoy enhanced CPE offerings ATPE has expanded the professional learning opportunities available to members by forging partnerships with TCEA, ACTIVE Life and the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT). ATPE is collaborating with each of these groups to present free continuing professional education (CPE) webinars available to members:  Through the TCEA partnership, ATPE members have free access to 10 webinars on a variety of topics—from the cloud to e-books—held throughout the school year. Register at  ATPE and TAGT are collaborating on a Sept. 19 webinar that’s a follow-up to an ATPE Summit session. TAGT panelists will be returning for The Basics of Differentiated Instruction and Tiered Learning: Going Deeper. Access a registration link in early September at index.asp, where you can also download a podcast of the summit session.  Together with ACTIVE Life, which provides programs that build and sustain healthy communities, ATPE is presenting a four-part webinar series that will provide participants up to two hours of CPE credit. Look for the first in the series—Health and Wellness: Ways to Improve Learning and Reduce Childhood Obesity Through Activity in the Classroom—Oct. 4. Access a registration link at Plus: Educators who are members of both ATPE and TCEA are eligible to apply for the Let’s Get Mobile Grant. Four recipients will each receive a classroom set of five iPads and a $25 iTunes gift card. Let’s Get Mobile applications will be available Sept. 15 at with an Oct. 12 submission deadline.

Meet our member-models ATPE wishes to give special thanks to the six members who served as our 2012-13 membership campaign models. Look for these educators on a brochure or poster near you: 1 Isabel Gutierrez, Lubbock ISD.

4 Janae Frezza, Birdville ISD.

2 Henry Bostick, Royal ISD.

5 Walter Lee, Round Rock ISD.

3 Rachael Brunson, Round Rock ISD.

6 Teresa Toliver, Alief ISD.

Save on health screenings ATPE members now receive a discount from Life Line Screenings on vascular screenings that detect risk for stroke, abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral artery disease and atrial fibrillation. ATPE members pay either $60 for each screening or the special price of only $129 for four screenings (a savings of $111). More than 1,200 screenings are held at locations throughout the state each year. Log in to Resources/ServicesAndDiscounts for more information.

2 4 1

34 |




atpe news

Don’t miss your chance to enroll in guaranteed-issue insurance benefits  Log in to for more information and to enroll. Life insurance ATPE continues to offer our enhanced voluntary group life insurance program for the 2012-13 membership year. Enrollment is open through Oct. 31, 2012. Please note: During the enrollment period, eligible members have 60 days from their date of membership with ATPE to enroll.

Critical illness insurance Help fill gaps with guaranteed-issue critical illness insurance from Chartis. ATPE members can purchase critical illness insurance for themselves and their families at competitive rates. Enrollment is open year-round.

ATPE Summit program reaches industry’s peak ATPE keeps reaching new heights with its annual events. The association has been recognized by Association Media & Publishing (AMP) for the 2011 ATPE Summit program, which garnered ATPE a bronze award in the on-site convention program category of AMP’s EXCEL Awards. The EXCEL Awards recognize outstanding work in the field of association communications and publishing. The 2011 ATPE Summit program was one of 180 winners selected from more than 1,000 entries across all award categories. Award recipients were announced at a June awards gala in Baltimore and will also be featured in the September/October issue of AMP’s Signature magazine. The on-site program featured a graphic identity developed by ATPE Senior Graphic Designer John Kilpper. Kilpper and fellow ATPE Communications staff members Mandy Curtis, Erica Fos, Kate Johanns and Cam Todd produced the program.

Accident insurance Now at a reduced rate from ACE, for $11.21 per month, ATPE members can purchase 24-houra-day, 365-days-a-year accident protection for themselves and their families regardless of their health history. Enrollment is open year-round.

the ATPE Vision 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.


fall 2012 | 35

your association

atpe news

Classrooms take flight with the 2011-12 Grant for Teaching Excellence Through the Grant for Teaching Excellence program, created in 1986 to honor Christa McAuliffe, the teacher who died in the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, ATPE awards a $1,000 grant each year to one elementary educator and one secondary educator to fund innovative classroom projects. The 2011-12 grants were awarded in November 2011, and recipients were recognized for their accomplishments July 14 during the ATPE Summit.

Today’s special is a good read As elementary recipient Lauri Peters of East Central ISD says, there are 10 ways to become a better reader: read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read and read! In her grant application, Peters wrote that many of the prekindergarten through third-grade students on her campus—Pecan Valley Elementary, where 72 percent of students have been identified as economically disadvantaged—lack the luxury of having books for their parents to read to them every night. So Peters, a dyslexia specialist, used her grant to treat students and parents to an evening at the Reading Restaurant this past Feb. 9. The restaurant was set up in the Pecan Valley cafeteria, where parents and students sat at tablecloth-covered tables with floral centerpieces. Teachers served as the waitstaff, bringing guests “appetizer” books and leading them in a “main course” math or science activity. For “dessert,” students were allowed to choose books to take home. (Cookies and juice were served, too.)

Building roots that lead to STEM Secondary recipient Jodi Andoe, an eighth-grade science teacher in Paris ISD, recognized that the science achievement gap on her campus—the disparity among students’ ability to meet science passing standards—was the result of an opportunity gap. “Most of my students have never had an opportunity to play with traditional building toys,” Andoe wrote in her applications. “By giving them this opportunity and focusing on their curiosity and creativity in a nontraditional classroom setting, we can increase critical thinking skills and expose students to new opportunities.” Instead of being enrolled in a remediation class, 18 eighth-graders at Paris Junior High were selected to participate in a pilot STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) elective course. Students worked in teams to develop building plans, study robotics using LEGO MINDSTORMS Educational NXT kits and rely on NASA resources to plan a return trip to the moon. “My students deserve an equal education with the same opportunities other students in our surrounding community have,” Andoe wrote.

Apply for a $1,000 grant

36 |

Learn more about the ATPE Grant for Teaching Excellence program in the Resources section of Applications for 2012-13 grants are due Nov. 2.

atpe news

foundation news

Future educators receive foundation scholarships The ATPE Foundation announced its 2011-12 scholarship recipients during the ATPE Summit. The Barbara Jordan Memorial Scholarship, named for the late Texas congresswoman and educator, is awarded annually to up to six outstanding junior, senior and graduate students enrolled in educator preparation programs at predominantly ethnic-minority institutions. Recipients of $1,500 scholarships are:  Olga Berron, University of Texas at El Paso.  Milron Daniels, Prairie View A&M University.  Hilda Hernandez, South Texas College.  Rachel Johnson, University of Texas at San Antonio.

your association

Apply for ATPE Foundation grants $2,500 technology grants The ATPE Foundation Technology Grant program provides $2,500 grants to eligible Texas public school educators for project-based classroom technology programs. Two grants will be awarded during the 2012-13 school year, and funds must be used to purchase technology resources for classroom use by May 2013. Applications must be postmarked by Nov. 2. $1,500 literacy grants Through the Beth Ann Rogers Literacy Initiative, the ATPE Foundation provides $1,500 grants to Texas public school libraries to purchase literacy materials and modernize literacy resources. Seven grants will be awarded during the 2012-13 school year. Applications must be postmarked by Feb. 1, 2013. Visit to find grant criteria, guidelines and applications.

 Analisa Sanchez, University of Texas at El Paso.  abriela Soto, University of Houston–Downtown. G The Fred Wiesner Educational Excellence Scholarship is named for one of ATPE’s founding members. Four $1,500 scholarships are awarded to outstanding college students currently enrolled in educator preparation programs. The 2012 recipients are:  Madison Campbell, Abilene Christian University.  Kourtney Faldyn, Texas A&M University.  Jennifer Goedken, Lamar University.  Amanda Johnson, Tarrant County College. Applications for the 2012-13 Barbara Jordan Memorial and Fred Wiesner Educational Scholarships are due June 2, 2013. Find more information and applications at

Foundation raises more than $2,000 during May The ATPE Foundation raised more than $2,000 during its first annual donation month! The May campaign’s theme was “Spring Forward.” All donations will help support the foundation’s literacy and technology grants and educator scholarships. Thank you to everyone who supported the foundation with your generous donations. Supporting the foundation is easy: Make tax-deductible donations at using your Visa or MasterCard, or print a donation form to mail in with your cash or check. Donations of any size are appreciated and can be given in honor or in memory of family, friends or colleagues.

Foundation interviews Teachers of the Year

The ATPE Foundation is registered in Texas as a nonprofit corporation and is a public charity exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

fall 2012

Twenty-four of the 40 Texas Regional Teachers of the Year attended an ATPE Foundation gathering June 3–5 at the Westin Austin at The Domain. The foundation’s goal for the event was to compile focus group information that could be used by school districts, education organizations, state agencies and legislators as they work to improve public education. A report on the focus group findings is available at | 37

your association

tenet focus

Exploring ATPE’s 10 tenets ATPE was founded in April 1980 with a distinct set of philosophies. In this ATPE News series, we’ll take an in-depth look at each of ATPE’s 10 tenets and explain how they act as the building blocks of the association. This is the fourth article in the series.

All-inclusive ATPE members believe all members of the public education community (including teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, retirees, teacher trainees, college students and the public) should be invited to join ATPE. Ora na azu nwa—in the Nigerian Igbo culture, this means it takes a community or village to raise a child. This proverb is an apt description of public education. And, with a little adaptation, it’s also apt for ATPE’s core belief that it takes all members of the education community to create the best possible public education system. We recently asked our members—via email and on ATPE’s Facebook page—what “allinclusive” means to them. Here’s some of what they had to say. “Everything is covered. Meaning that nothing is missed or left out, or that no one is missed or left out.”—Vanesa Cunningham, teacher trainee member, Texas A&M University–Central Texas “ATPE is all-inclusive because we embrace, and encourage others to embrace, educators from every background and walk of life who contribute at every level in Texas public education.” —ATPE State Treasurer Cory Colby, AP and dual credit government and U.S. history teacher, Willis High School, Willis ISD. “’All-inclusive’ means that everyone in the education community—whether teacher, aide, principal, nurse, custodian, etc.—is working collaboratively to educate our young [so] that they may become productive members of society. It is great to be a part of ATPE where all members of the education community are represented.”—Dennis Hataway, social studies teacher, La Vega High School, La Vega ISD “Everyone who works for schools can be a member of ATPE and participate in our wonderful organization on so many levels, and they can be involved in the processes of making us better, being a part of a huge, diversified family, where everyone is included.” —Sandra Patterson, applied science teacher, North Lamar High School, North Lamar ISD “All-inclusive to me is taking everyone into consideration and giving them a voice. As for ATPE, it gives a voice to everyone connected to education and makes [them] equal.” —Ronald Sursa, teacher trainee member, Texas A&M University–Central Texas “All-inclusive means ATPE includes and covers all those blessed to work in the Texas public education system.”—Jamie King, science and GT teacher, Mount Vernon Elementary School, Mount Vernon ISD “Every individual is an educator. Everyone can learn from anyone. We embrace all who— while working in their position as community member, parent, support staff, classroom teacher, counselor, cafeteria worker, bus driver, administrator, coordinator, et al.—continue to provide the highest quality education for the children of Texas. These Texas heroes keep all Texas children at the forefront of every decision. We are all-inclusive because together we prevail and divided we fail!”—ATPE Past State President Connie Kilday, retired member, Irving ISD.

10 ATPE tenets


Member-Owned/ Member-Governed

Right to Work/ Oppose Strikes

Superior Services to Members




Issues-Oriented Advocacy

Independent Association

Local Control of Public Schools

Look to the next issue of ATPE News for information on ATPE’s collaborative tenet.

38 |

atpe news

atpe-pac honor roll

The following ATPE members donated $50 or more to ATPE’s Political Action Committee (ATPE-PAC) between March 28 and June 30, 2012.

Arlington Susan Gosdin Ballinger Cheryl Buchanan Shannon Caughron Beaumont Kirk Brown Bickie Coffey Linda Pate Mary Beth Woodall Boerne Richard Wiggins Burleson Mary Bryan Carrollton-Farmers Branch Stefani Johnson Clear Creek Martha Anne Pierson Cleburne Tena Alexander Renee Norton Crowley Jeannie Evans Diane Pokluda Dallas Dianne Reed Nancy Sims Beverly Stone

fall 2012

Dallas Baptist University Judy Abercrombie Del Valle Mary Hopkins Ennis Merry Creager Ferris Meredith Malloy Betty McCoy

Katy Janet Charpiot

New Caney Brenda Lynch

Killeen Eileen Walcik Melissa Walcik Ron Walcik

North East Lola Miller

La Joya Vangie Garza La Vernia Clay Bordner

Fort Bend Kathy Aaron Cathy Duvall

Leander Carol Rogers

Fort Worth Steve Pokluda

Lumberton Jackie Arthur Sallie Mooneyham

Galena Park Lissa Shepard

McAllen Ma Elena Ingram

Garland Nichole Waggoner

Mesquite Jerry Bonham Carol Davies Debbie Massey Diane Nix Cindi Rojas

Harlandale Nancy Arzola Hays Dee Reedy-Yanez Huntsville Kathy Partin Irving Connie Kilday Kristin Kilday

Nacogdoches Katherine Whitbeck Nacogdoches County Carl Franks Ginger Franks

Northside (20) Kathy Day David de la Garza Lynda Stark

your association

Thank you for your donation!

State office Brock Gregg Kate Johanns Texas Tech University Magdalena Toda Tyler Betty Berndt Eddie Hill

Olney Becky Spurlock Sam Spurlock

Waco Sandra O’Connor

Palmer Gina Godding

Warren Sue Allen Kay Daniels

Pasadena Sharon Sellers Harrison Pflugerville Greg Vidal

Waxahachie Robin Brown Nora Crist Dale Kriegel Kim Kriegel Terri Whatley

Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Mike Sweet

Weslaco Aggie Aguirre

Plano Lindsay Beattie

West Sue Melton

San Antonio Judy Byrnes Glenn Ellison Randall Iglehart

Willis Cory Colby Ysleta Jennifer Adams

Schertz-CiboloUniversal City Janya Hodge | 39

your association


Bravo, ATPE members

Congratulations to all ATPE members who go the extra mile to achieve great heights in their field. Beeville Scott Jones was awarded the Jones High School Bell Award at the school’s 2011-12 graduation. The senior class presents the Bell Award each year to two of its most inspiring and dedicated teachers.

Carroll Nichole Gilley, who teaches leadership at Carroll Senior High School, was named the Carroll ISD Secondary Teacher of the Year. Gilley was recognized on the field before a Texas Rangers game on CISD Night and will represent Region 11 in the Teacher of the Year selection process this fall.

Secondary Teacher of the Year for Deer Park ISD. Whatley teaches seventh-grade English, language arts and reading.

• Amy Pierpont, Willow Creek Elementary.


• Jessica Sharp, Cambridge School.

Ana Mascolo was named Humble ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year. Mascolo is an academic coach at Elm Grove Elementary. Gaby Diaz Worley was named Humble ISD Secretary of the Year. Twenty-seven Humble ATPE members were named Teacher of the Year on their campuses:

• Robin Pullen, Kingwood Park High School.

• Donna Smalley, Eagle Springs Elementary. • Brittany Templeton, Creekwood Middle School. • Patricia Ucci, Jack Fields Elementary.

• Jane Bowling, Maplebrook Elementary.

• Chioma Ukabam, Summer Creek High School.

• Leonor Calderon, Quest Early College High School.

• Marsha Waggenspack, North Belt Elementary.


• Kasey Collette, Deerwood Elementary.

• Stacey Ward, Timbers Elementary.

Six Dayton ATPE members were honored as 2011-12 Dayton ISD Campus Teachers of the Year:

• Heather Daugherty, Pine Forest Elementary.


• Ana Maria Beltrami, Stephen F. Austin Elementary. • Ellen English, Dayton High School. • Pam Gore, Nottingham Middle School. • Cindy Jones, Woodrow Wilson Junior High School. • Heydi Juarez, Colbert Elementary. • Olivia Smith, Kimmie M. Brown Elementary. Three Dayton ATPE members were selected as 2011-12 Campus Rookie Teachers of the Year:

• Christopher Frey, Humble High School. • Julie Gere, HISD Disciplinary Alternative Education Program. • Paula Hall, Fall Creek Elementary. • Amy Hays, Woodland Hills Elementary. • Brandy Heckman, Lakeland Elementary. • Carol Ann Mavrinac, Shadow Forest Elementary. • Tiffany May, Foster Elementary. • Wendy McAlister, Oaks Elementary. • Katie Mitchell, Greentree Elementary.

• Yeny Acuna, Stephen F. Austin Elementary.

• Jennifer Mouton, River Pines Elementary.

• Leah Hanson, Dayton High School. • Stephanie Stanley, Brown Elementary.

• Bridget Mullin, Atascocita Springs Elementary.

deer park

• Michelle Neyrey, Timberwood Middle School.

Christopher Whatley was named the 2011-12 Teacher of the Year at Bonnette Junior High School and was a finalist for

40 |

Anne Clark, an 11-year educator, instructional coach and fifth-grade teacher at Johnston Elementary, was honored as the Irving ISD Elementary School Teacher of the Year. Gary Schepf, a 34-year educator who teaches business technology at Jack E. Singley Academy, was named the Irving ISD Secondary Teacher of the Year. In June, Clark and Schepf were each recognized on the field at a Texas Rangers game.

• Kelly Nunn, Humble Elementary. • Jenni Olges, Oak Forest Elementary.

judson Seven Judson ATPE members received the 2012 Spirit of Judson Award, which honors Judson ISD employees “who sacrifice their own time in order to put students first.” They are: • Nicole Ellis, Kirby Middle School. • Melissa Golsch, Hartman Elementary. • Virginia Hedges, Judson High School. • Cynthia Law, Elolf Elementary.

atpe news

• Elizabeth Taylor teaches eighth-grade math and algebra at Mike Moses Middle School.

• Karen Scott, Stubblefield Alternative Academy.

• David Rodriguez, Wagner High School.

All three are active mentors to novice teachers in Nacogdoches ISD.

Seven Judson ATPE members were named 2011-12 Distinguished Award winners:

Six Willis ATPE members were recognized as 2011-12 campus Paraprofessionals of the Year:


• Concepcion Butler, Cannan Elementary.

• Pearlie Mason, Candlewood Elementary. • Lacey Riggan, Judson Secondary Alternative School English.

• Samantha Bender, Masters Elementary. • Jennifer Cooper, Olympia Elementary. • Rebecca Defenbaugh, Judson ISD. • Sondra Guichard, Candlewood Elementary. • Phoebe Love, Woodlake Elementary. • Raquel Martinez, Crestview Elementary. • Michele Molleda, Rolling Meadows Elementary.

Mesquite Charles Armstrong, who teaches at the Learning Development Center in Mesquite ISD, was awarded the 2012 Leon Jaworski Award for Teaching Excellence in Law-focused Education. The Jaworski Award recognizes educators who have educated students about the importance of the law, the courts and the legal profession. Armstrong was awarded $500 for the purchase of law-focused educational materials.

Two Ricardo ATPE members were honored as 2011-12 Teachers of the Year at Ricardo Elementary in Ricardo ISD. Both are retiring after more than 30 years as educators and 25 years in Ricardo ISD:

Three Nacogdoches ATPE members were honored in May as 2011-12 Outstanding Mentor Teachers by the Stephen F. Austin State University Department of Secondary Education and Educational Leadership. • Kimberly Cross teaches history at Nacogdoches High School. • Nola Schmidt teaches biology at Nacogdoches High School.

fall 2012

• Linda Godfrey, Brabham Middle School. • Lenais Hatfield, Turner Elementary.

• Jennifer Aldrich teaches first grade.

• Kimberly Madsen, Meador Elementary.

• Delora Unterbrink teaches kindergarten.

• Lynnette Sparks, Stubblefield Alternative Academy.

Jesus Rios was named the 2011-12 Teacher of the Year at Ricardo Middle School. Rios teaches computer literacy and is the Ricardo Middle School band director.

Kathy Spencer, C.C. Hardy Elementary. Spencer was also named the 2011-12 Willis ISD Elementary Paraprofessional of the Year.

Sherman Karen Roan was named the 2011-12 Teacher of the Year for Neblett Elementary in Sherman ISD. Roan teaches special education.

WILLIS Seven Willis ATPE members were honored as 2011-12 campus Teachers of the Year: • Brooke Adamick, Cannan Elementary. • Courtney Brown, Parmley Elementary.


• Debbie Wilder, A.R. Turner Elementary.

Cheryl Hartner, Lucas Middle School. Hartner was also named the 2011-12 Willis ISD Secondary Teacher of the Year.

Be recognized for your efforts If you know an ATPE member who deserves recognition, let us know. It could even be you! Kudos covers awards, scholarships and other education-related achievements. Email kudos to ATPE Communications at, or send them to ATPE News, 305 E. Huntland Dr., Ste. 300, Austin, TX 78752-3792.

• Christina Henderson, Willis High School. • Kristen Hooten, C.C. Hardy Elementary. Hooten was also named the 2011-12 Willis ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year. | 41

your association

family album





Zapata ATPE leaders hold a membership appreciation dinner at The Steakhouse in Zapata. Pictured are 2011-12 Region 1 ATPE Vice President Susie Andrews; ATPE field rep Sarah Denny; 2011-12 Zapata ATPE President Paul Soto, Vice President Vicky Garza and Secretary Rebeka Longoria; 2011-12 Region 1 ATPE Past President Ma Elena Ingram; 2011-12 Zapata ATPE Treasurer John Jackson; and 2011-12 Region 1 ATPE Vice President Mike Sweet.

42 |


Region 13

Lubbock ATPE leaders meet at Olive Garden in April to plan for the local unit’s 2012-13 officer election and organize an end-of-year member appreciation event. Pictured are 2011-12 Lubbock ATPE Secretary LaRae Boucher-Irons, President Isabel Gutierrez, Membership Chair Vickie Estrada, Treasurer Teresa McHam and 2012-13 President Lisa McClelland.

Region 13 leaders hold a meeting May 5 at Texas Land and Cattle in Austin to review region projects from the past school year and discuss their vision for the 2012-13 year, including organizing a creative membership campaign and getting educators more politically involved during election season. Pictured are 2011-12 Region 13 Vice President Monica Huff-Dixon and 2011-12 Round Rock ATPE President Heather Dickson and Treasurer Colleen Frerichs .

atpe news

welcome back! KINGSVILLE ATPE in Region 2


has recently reactivated. It has 67 members and is led by President Ode Moreno, Vice President Daniel Naranjo and Secretary Debora Barry.

highlights Region 15 Region 15 leaders meet in May at Lin’s Grand Buffet in San Angelo to conduct officer elections, receive updates from 2011-12 Region 15 Director Sarah Beal and prepare for their trip to the 2012 ATPE Summit. 2011-12 ATPE State President Cheryl Buchanan, from Ballinger ATPE, and Secretary Ginger Franks, from Nacogdoches County ATPE, also attended.

BROWNSVILLE ATPE presented scholarships to five Brownsville ISD graduating high school seniors in May. 2011-12 ATPE State Vice President Deann Lee from PARIS ATPE volunteered at the first annual Lamar County Memorial Junior Special Olympics in Paris, which served special needs students and honored the memory of former Special Olympic athletes.


Twenty-two DENTON ATPE members participated in the Denton Relay for Life in April to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer. The local unit raised money for the American Cancer Society by creating a banner with paper footprints donors could purchase for a minimum of $1 each.

Region 9 ATPE Executive Director Doug Rogers leads officers in a pledge of the ATPE Leader’s Oath of Office March 5 at the Region 9 ATPE convention. At the convention, leaders discussed region business, shared local unit news and planned member appreciation and recruitment events. Pictured are 2012-13 Region 9 ATPE Treasurer Elizabeth Reynolds, President April Tipton, Secretary Belinda Wolf, Vice President Stacy Brown and Rogers.

fall 2012

TEXAS WOMAN’S UNIVERSITY (TWU) ATPE was recognized by the university as the TWU Organization of the Year for its service to the campus and the surrounding community. For his service and leadership, REGION 10 ATPE Director Dab Johnson received special recognition from members during the Region 10 “Desire to Inspire” convention in June at the Hilton Bella Harbor in Rockwall. | 43


Continued from page 11—Legal Opinions


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environment for a student.” This is a vague standard, and educators should recognize that a parent’s perception of what constitutes an “abusive environment” for their child might differ from the educator’s. Because most educators’ responsibility under local policy will be to simply report instances of potential bullying, the safest course for educators is to report any and all close cases. Texas’ bullying law also requires that district policies prohibit retaliation against a person who reports bullying. Therefore, every educator should be careful to protect anyone reporting a bullying incident from negative action. Finally, the law requires that district policies establish investigation procedures. These procedures vary by district, and every educator should know them. With a firm grasp of parents’ legal rights, you’ll be better equipped to build and sustain working relationships with parents than benefit the individual at the heart of the matter—your student and their child.A Continued from page 12—Capitol Comment

Simultaneously, Congress spent recent months considering fiscal year 2013 appropriations bills, including a bill that funds the education department. A deal was announced July 31 to continue funding the government through March 31, 2013. We expect this legislation to be passed by Congress and signed by the president in September and anticipate few changes, if any, in federal education funding until then. The ATPE delegation strongly advocated against cuts to education. At a time when Texas and other states are experiencing extreme cuts to education at the state level, students, educators and our education system as a whole cannot afford to also face cuts at the federal level. In all, the week was valuable and productive for ATPE. It is always an honor to advocate on behalf of ATPE in Washington.A Continued from page 19—Parent advocates

$100,000 said they thought of schools in other places as those most in need of reform. Parents who advocate for market-oriented policies such as vouchers and charter schools might not recognize the consequences of these policies on surrounding public schools. Those who advocate for more state funding will likely disagree over which programs funding should support or how it should be distributed. PTA groups in affluent neighborhoods can maintain special programs by raising money to offset budget cuts, while low-income neighborhoods are often forced to accept support from outside reformers with their own priorities. Texas’ school finance system, which ties school resources to the wealth of the surrounding community, has further widened the cultural gaps between these school communities—in some cases pitting parents against parents in a zero-sum struggle over limited resources. Reforms that do not address these inequities among families and communities—this segregation of perspectives—cannot be sustained.A

atpe news

2012-13 ATPE Membership Application 3 Ways You Can Join ATPE:

1 Mail this completed application to the ATPE state office. 2 Give this completed application to your ATPE campus rep. 3 Join at (and pay by credit card).

1 Provide your contact information.

2 Select your membership category.

This information helps us maintain your unique member record, a tool that allows us to provide member services more efficiently.

Last 4 digits of your Soc. Sec. #: XXX-XX-__ __ __ __



Refer to the chart on the back of this application to find your appropriate category.

Insured categories*

*See back.



$ ______

First-time Professional


$ ______


$ ______

Yes, I have been an ATPE member in the past. Member ID# _______________ (Optional—If you don’t know it, no problem.) Name_________________________ _______________________ _________ Last



I have never been a Professional member.

Middle initial


ISD ___________________________ Campus __________________________

Paraprofessional and classified positions

Home address ____________________________________________________


City/State ____________________________________ ZIP _______________

Teacher Trainee

Home phone ( ____ ) _____________________________________________

Uninsured categories

Student teacher in Texas


School email ____________________________________________________


$ ______

Retired former school employee

Home email _____________________________________________________


College Student

Submit your email addresses to receive the latest news on member benefits.

Non-teaching college student

Yes, send me information about volunteering for ATPE!



$ ______

Friend of public education

3 Invest in public education. Support ATPE in your school district.

Local unit dues


Support candidates and officeholders who prioritize public education. Suggested donation: $12.

$ ______


4 Select a payment method. Check enclosed. Payroll deduction Complete the authorization below. Arrangements for payroll deduction are the responsibility of the applicant.


$ ______

Payroll Deduction Authorization Payroll authorizations for 2012-13 will not be accepted after Jan. 31, 2013. I, ______________________________________________ , authorize the _____________________ school district to deduct the total amount of $ _______ over ______ payments in order to pay for ATPE state dues, local dues and political action donations. I further authorize the Association to notify the school district of changes in the annual dues amounts and the school district to deduct the new amounts. If my employment with the district ends, I authorize any unpaid balance to be deducted from my final check. This authorization for the deductions referenced above will be effective until I give notice to the school district that I want to revoke it.

I wish to cancel deduction of membership dues for:

Texas AFT





____________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______________ Applicant’s signature

Applicant’s Social Security number or employee ID number

Date of signature

2012-13 AP8

Questions You Might Have About ATPE Membership

1 Are ATPE membership dues tax-deductible?

4 When is my ATPE membership effective?

ATPE membership dues are not deductible as charitable contributions for income tax purposes but may be deductible as miscellaneous itemized deductions, subject to IRS restrictions. It is estimated that 4.6 percent of your dues dollar is used for lobbying activities and is therefore not deductible.

For paper applications, your membership date is established when your application is received in the state office, or when your application is received, signed and dated by a designated local unit representative. For online applications, your membership date is established at 12:01 a.m. C.S.T. on the date following successful transmission of your online application and payment at

2 How does ATPE spend my membership dues? • $3.32 pays for a subscription to ATPE News (published four times per year) and includes all state and local sales taxes. • Up to $24 of Professional and Associate member dues and up to $4 of Teacher Trainee member dues pays for the Educators Professional Liability Insurance Policy.*

3 What does the Liability and Employment rights

Defense Insurance* for the 2012-13 membership year cover?

*Coverage applies to your activities as a Professional or Associate member in the course of your duties of employment with an educational institution, or to your activities as a Teacher Trainee member in the course of your duties as a student in a teacher education program in an accredited college or university. Coverage is underwritten by National Union Fire Insurance Company 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 STATE OFFICE. view a detailed summary at The policy applies only to activities that begin during the period when coverage is effective and does not apply to activities that predate the coverage period.

5 When is coverage effective? *

*Coverage begins on the later of 8/1/12 or your Membership Date and expires on 8/1/13 except for the following: COvERAGE IS EFFECTIvE ON 8/1/12 IF YOU RENEW MEMbERSHIP ANYTIME DURING AUGUST OR SEPTEMbER 2012, AND EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS DEFENSE INSURANCE IS NOT EFFECTIvE UNTIL 30 DAYS AFTER YOUR MEMbERSHIP DATE IF YOU JOIN AFTER 9/30/12 AND WERE ELIGIbLE FOR MEMbERSHIP FROM AUGUST 2012 THROUGH SEPTEMbER 2012. Eligibility for membership benefits is contingent upon receipt of the entire membership dues amount for your appropriate membership category. A disruption in payments to an authorized payment plan may result in discontinuation of such benefits, including cancellation of insurance coverage for the entire membership year, retroactive to Aug. 1 or your membership date. For further information, call (800) 777-ATPE.

6 What does ATPE-PAC do? The ATPE Political Action Committee (ATPE-PAC) accepts voluntary donations from members to advocate for ATPE’s legislative priorities. ATPE-PAC does not endorse political candidates. Donations to ATPEPAC are not a condition of employment or membership. A member may donate more or less than the suggested amount or may choose not to make a donation without it affecting his or her membership status, rights or benefits with ATPE. Donations are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.

ATPE Membership Categories You must join in the appropriate insured category in order to qualify for 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-ATPE.

Insured Categories*

Uninsured Categories

Professional MeMber ($145) /first-tiMe Professional MeMber ($80)

associate MeMber ($70)

college student MeMber (free)

• Administrator/ Supervisor

• Department Head/ Chair

• Regional Service Center Staff

• Aide to position in Professional category

• Athletic Director/ Coordinator

• Diagnostician • Instructional Officer

• School Psychologist/ Associate

• Alternative Center Aide

• Athletic Trainer

• Intern Teacher

• Social Worker

• Bus Driver

• Nurse (LVN)

• At-Risk Coordinator

• Cafeteria Worker

• Audiologist

• Superintendent/Asst. Supt.

Public MeMber ($10)

• IT Director/ Coordinator

• Regional Service Center Aide

• Friend of public education

• Band/Choral Director

• Librarian

• Teacher

• Nurse (RN)

• Therapist/Pathologist

• Computer Programmer/Entry

• Secretary

• Coach • Counselor

• University Professor

• Custodial Worker

• Substitute Teacher

• Curriculum Director

• Parent/Community Coordinator

• Dean of Instruction

• Principal/Asst. Prin.

• Visiting Teacher

• Clerk–General

• Deaf Interpreter • Educational Aide/ Technician

retired MeMber ($10)

• Maintenance Worker

• Retired former school employee

• Security Guard

teacher trainee MeMber (free) • Student teacher in Texas

• Non-teaching college student

by Mandy Curtis, senior copy editor/writer


One click to the classics In the 1450s, the Gutenberg Bible was the first major book to be produced on a printing press. Project Gutenberg, an online storehouse of free e-books, brings a technological twist to Gutenberg’s legacy of making books available to the masses. At, you’ll find nearly 40,000 e-books—written in or translated into more than 50 languages—available to read, download or listen to free of charge. The site is able to present these books for free because their copyrights have run out in the U.S.

The site includes classic titles such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Grimm’s Fairy Tales and the works of William Shakespeare.

The vitality of thought is in adventure. Ideas won’t keep. Something must be done about them.

—ALFRED NORTH WHITEHEAD, English mathematician and philosopher (1861–1947)

eSchool News names top apps


In June, eSchool News ( published its picks for the top new educational apps for both Apple and Android devices.

A new app aims to put science, technology, research, engineering, arts and mathematics (STREAM) event information into the palm of your hand.

 or Apple devices, the top F picks were:

1 Edmodo*

1 Advanced English & Thesaurus*

2 Frog Dissection

2 AnyMemo Free

3 Grammar Up HD

2 HomeWork*

4 History: Maps of the World*

4 Kids ABC Phonics

5 iStudiez Pro

5 Kids Numbers and Math*

6 Monster Anatomy

6 Splashtop Whiteboard

7 Motion Math

7 Star Chart

8 P  rofessor Garfield Cyberbullying*

8 Teacher Aide Pro


 or Android devices, the top F picks were:

10 T he Elements: A Visual Exploration


9 U  nited States History Free* 10 WolframAlpha

Find more information and download links for these apps at and www. *Available for free.

fall 2012

STREAM, developed by Tricia Berry, director of the University of Texas Women in Engineering program, and Ray Wolf, CEO of Green Integrated Services, is a free iPhone app that can be used by both educators and students to search for STREAM events in certain locales. The duo developed the app because they identified a need for a centralized place where people interested in STREAM events (such as the annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day at the University of Texas) could find information. The app is available now; visit http:// for more information and to download. | 47

“The value of ATPE membership far exceeds the cost.” —HENRY BOSTICK 10-year ATPE member Fifth-grade reading teacher Royal ISD

Choose ATPE once again When you choose ATPE each year, you’re making a good investment in yourself. Eligible members receive: „ Access to the broadest scope of professional liability insurance and employment rights protection* offered by any Texas educators’ association.

„ Strong advocacy from ATPE Governmental Relations, which acts as the voice of members at the State Capitol, in Washington, D.C., and at state agencies.

„ Publications and online resources that will support you both in and out of the classroom.

Renew by credit card at or using the application you received in the mail. If you pay dues via payroll deduction and your membership rolls over from year to year, please confirm that dues are being deducted. The 2011-12 membership year expired July 31.

*Terms and conditions apply. For more information, refer to the membership application on page 45, or visit

„ Valuable services and discounts. By accessing just a few, you can easily recoup your annual dues.

Fall 2012 ATPE News  

Read the Fall 2012 issue of ATPE News, the quarterly magazine of the Association of Texas Professional Educators. Feature articles include a...

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