April 2022 NCAE News Bulletin

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News Bulletin

North Carolina Association of Educators April 2022 Vol. 52, No. 8 www.ncae.org

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye!

NCAE Convention 2022 See a recap of events and activities on pages 3-4.

After more than 50 years, NCAE is saying goodbye to its home at 700 South Salisbury St. and beginning a new chapter in a temporary location at 3700 Glenwood Avenue. “We are preparing to say goodbye to an amazing chapter in our long history,” said NCAE President Tamika Walker Kelly. “The NCAE building, fondly known as ‘The House Educators Built,’ is a special place with lots of memories. It is the place we have gathered to develop strategic plans for the future of our profession, held conferences and workshops that propelled many of you into leadership roles, celebrated victories, and mourned losses. The sale of this special place comes with a host of emotions for all of us.” On Saturday, April 9, NCAE will host a Building Closing Ceremony for members to come and reflect and participate in a final walk-through. Please hold the date to travel to Raleigh for the last gathering as an NCAE family in the space we hold near and dear.

NCAE News Bulletin


NCAE … A Family Affair! NCAE Family, Like you, I entered this profession because I was called to do so. And like you, I knew the work would not be easy, but I never imagined it would Tamika Walker Kelly

be this hard. And I President know as educators, we are tired and weary. But here’s the thing … we are strong because I’ve seen our strength firsthand. I’ve seen our ability to dig deep, and then deeper. There is nothing we cannot overcome. We overcome by persevering. We persevere because we believe a great public school education is transformational. We’ve seen the miracles that can occur when a student learns a new concept or starts to see themselves in a new light. As educators, we spark miracles every day. However, those miracles don’t happen without effort. As the Word says, “Faith without works is dead.” Because of my belief in you as leaders and members, because of our collective belief in the mission and vision of this organization, we must think and plan with forward movement. Over the next few months, your NCAE Board of Directors and you as members will guide our strategic thinking as we align our resources and work. We do so not only to maximize the effectiveness of our organization but

Each month a Lovable Local Leader will be featured in the News Bulletin.

because the conditions of the profession have changed, and we must also. As your president, I want you to know that I am recommitting myself to action on your behalf. I will continue modeling a new kind of leadership, the kind that has brought us so far in such a short time and under such difficult circumstances. Leadership that is inclusive, not exclusive; one that creates space for voices who haven’t been heard before; that invites people in rather than keeping them out. Leadership that cultivates relationships with allies and amplifies our voices. Leadership that allows us all to grow personally and professionally and ultimately puts North Carolina back on the map as the education state. On the days we struggle to put one foot in front of the other, remember: you are not alone. We are not alone. We have each other. We have the foundation of NCAE supporting and promoting our profession. We have thousands of members who believe in what we do together. We have thousands more non-member educators, some of them waiting to be invited in or moved to act because of what they are seeing us achieve. We have allies, and we have our students bright with possibility and potential to remind us why we do this work. I know I have thanked you for your work many times. And I also know that sometimes words of thanks can feel hollow without actions to back them up. NCAE members … know that we see you and we hear you. Your work is vital, and your presence is needed. You are nurturing future leaders in every classroom in every school every single day, and by doing so, you are building a brighter future for all of us! We are so grateful for each of you and for all that you do. Let’s continue to show what is possible when we raise our voices in power because we are family and in this together!

Shirley Young has been an educator for 45 years. She teaches first grade at Emma Elementary School in Buncombe County. Selected as an NCAE Lovable Local Leader, Young said she chose the profession because of her wonderful fourth-grade teacher. “She made such an impact in my life at an early age. She continued to check on me many years after I left her class. She was such an inspiration. I continue to teach because I feel I make a difference and I still enjoy what I do.” When asked what she feels is the best part of her job, Young said, “The children! It is so wonderful to see the ‘ah-ha’ moment when they finally grasp a new concept.”

NCAE News Bulletin


52nd NCAE Convention Clearly Shows “We Are In This Together!” Here are some highlights from the 52nd Annual Convention and Representative Assembly. Delegates gathered virtually on March 26-27 to discuss and make decisions on issues relevant to their work as public school educators. “Now, more than ever, there is so much at stake as it relates to our students and schools,” said NCAE President Tamika Walker Kelly. “The Convention provided us a prime opportunity as educators to share ideas, strategies, and solutions on a larger scale.”


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3) A few of NCAE’s past presidents made an appearance. 4) Vice President Bryan Proffitt shares successes and reminds delegates of the work to be done.

1) NCAE President Tamika Walker Kelly delivers the State of the Association address. 2) Governor Roy Cooper welcomes delegates.


5) Executive Director Matt Aber-Towns addresses delegates for the first time. 6) Ronald Duff Martin of the NEA Executive Committee brings greetings on behalf of President Becky Pringle. 7) NCFPSC made a generous donation on behalf of the Operation Cooperation Service Project.

Click here for more photos

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Sarah Montgomery, 2022 Friend of Education Award recipient


Senator Dan Blue, 2022 President’s Award recipient

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2022 PAC Banner Recipient Region 6 PAC Sustainer Competition Region 7-B HBCU PAC Challenge North Carolina Central University

Delegates raised $10,949.01


NCAE News Bulletin

Justice Cheri Beasley is NCAE’s Candidate for U.S. Senate

The NEA Fund PAC Council has approved NCAE’s recommendation of Justice Cheri Beasley for the United States Senate. NCAE interviewed several candidates, but it was Cheri Beasley who clearly stood out for her dedication and continued support of our students, educators and the profession. Throughout her career, she has been a leader in the fight for investing more in our schools. She believes that our classrooms should be places of opportunity for all children to realize and strive for their dreams, regardless of their zip code. As the first African-American woman to serve as Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, Cheri Beasley has devoted her life to public service and the people of North

Carolina. She was elected to the North Carolina Court of Appeals in 2008 and was elected Associate Justice of the State Supreme Court in 2014, overcoming a Republican wave that flipped Democratic-held seats in North Carolina and states across the country. In addition to advocating for public education, Cheri Beasley will also work to make North Carolina’s future brighter by expanding access to quality health care, standing up for women’s rights, protecting the environment and voting rights, and reforming the criminal justice system, to name a few. Let’s rally behind Cheri Beasley as she continues her journey to become our state’s next U.S. Senator and represent the citizens of North Carolina in Washington.

NCAE News Bulletin


75 Percent Completion Rate

Asheville City Association of Educators’ Petition Yields Huge Support from Public School Employees The Asheville City Association of Educators (ACAE) recently developed a petition as part of its “Our Kids Can’t Wait” campaign that contains eight demands they want to see the Board of Education and Buncombe County Commissioners address. During the March school board meeting, ACAE held a rally to deliver those petitions, completed by more than 75 percent of the district’s public school employees, to officials. Yes, you read that correctly … more than 75 percent of the district’s public school employees completed the petition, including approximately 5 percent of central office staff, according to local president Daniel Withrow. “As of now, the school board is considering our demands. They think what we’re asking for are good ideas but are not sure how to ask for the funds to pay for them. Now we are going to rev up our activism around persuading them to put some political will behind our demands; we know they need to do it, can do it, and have the support of the community.” Like many locals, organizing hasn’t always been one of the local’s strong suits. However, Withrow thinks it’s a combination of things that have changed the playing field. “The needs are high right now and I think we believe organizing can make a difference. When the pandemic began, we organized to bring staff concerns before the school board. Seeing our voices being heard told educators this was something worth doing and putting the effort into. As we organize around more issues, educators are more willing to join ACAE/NCAE and become active members.” Withrow credits Runda Alamour, the NCAE lead organizer in Buncombe County, with helping the local to acquire the high number of completed petitions. Her assistance made a difference in getting work done when ACAE members were unavailable. “One thing that Runda was able to get for us was a list of every staff member in school buildings. Being able to check people off as they signed the petition and prioritizing those still needing to be asked was instrumental

in not having anyone fall through the cracks. Having that list meant we could be very organized and intentional in the way we were having one-on-one conversations.” Organizing isn’t easy but is important to change the public education narrative, Withrow said. Because educators are on the front lines every day, they know better than anyone the students and conditions on the ground. “Organizing is important because our voices, knowledge and expertise have to be part of the decisionmaking process. For too long in North Carolina they haven’t been.” Membership growth has also been a part of the organizing efforts. Three days following the March school board meeting, ACAE gained 20 new members. In the past three years, the local has had close to 100 percent growth, and Withrow feels confident organizing had a huge impact. “I feel there’s always been a debate between whether you grow the local to do stuff or do stuff in order to grow the local. I am heavily leaning toward the second option. For years, we made efforts to get educators to join by speaking at events or at staff meetings without a ton of success. When we began to make ourselves visible by going door-to-door and speaking at school board meetings, educators recognized we are worth joining.” For local affiliates out there struggling with organizing, Withrow has this advice: “Trust that your expertise is valuable. Those necessary one-on-one conversations might seem scary – they are scary to me, too – but your colleagues are craving them. A lot of people really want to talk and have their voices heard, so know it’s worth doing.” #OurKidsCan’tWait

NCAE News Bulletin


Tracey Barrett “I always looked up to my teachers and respected them. Both of my grandmothers were teachers, and I have aunts, uncles and cousins who are educators. I also received a fantastic public education, from kindergarten through college. “I grew up in Asheville, where public education was prioritized by the community. I saw in my own public school education the benefits of having relatively well-resourced public schools that attracted great teachers. I had those great teachers and they inspired me to want to be a teacher. “Today, I teach U.S. History to juniors in Durham. It’s a powerful time to have a history class, where students can connect the struggles from the past and present to their own lives. It's gratifying to see them use the content of history to better understand the present and to fit themselves into it in a way that feels empowering and hopeful. It’s the best part of my day. “Because I was a history and women studies major in college, I make sure in teaching U.S. History, I’m not just adding a few token women here and there. I try to teach about how gender worked throughout history and how structurally social norms and rules were set up to disenfranchise and disempower women, and how those structures have been upheld over time. Trying to undo those oppressive norms has been challenging. Especially today, as we are collectively understanding there are not only two types of people, and the fight to affirm everyone’s gender identity is a fight against this long history of rigid, binary gender norms. “As for my union, I came to the Durham Association of Educators and NCAE because rank-and-file educators were organizing, coming together, and advocating for a student who had been detained by ICE. They were fighting to get him out of an immigration detention center, and I was inspired by that and wanted to work with the teachers who were a part of getting him out. Since then, we've seen in North Carolina a huge groundswell of educators organizing, from mass actions in Raleigh and GOTV efforts for pro-public education candidates to protections during the pandemic. “I see the union as the place where educators can go to strengthen their practice and profession. It’s a place full of people who know what’s best, have experience, and understand what's possible and what can become possible if we fight together. I feel very grateful to be a part of NCAE.” Reprinted from NEA Today

Nash County Member Shares Passion for Special Needs Students

White’s passion for students has a special connection to her family. She was the only sibling born without special needs.

NCAE member Lillian White said her family’s experience inspired her to teach children with special needs. A teacher at Nash Central Middle School in Nash County, her heart has always been with exceptional children. Her love for them and for what she does earned her the recent title of WRAL Teacher of the Week. “I am my mother’s only child without special needs,” said White, who went out of her way to make sure her students didn’t lose ground during the pandemic. “Getting them [students] to be in a state where they can advocate for themselves is one of my main goals in the classroom.” White’s students are non-verbal and have their own form of

communication in the classroom, and she wanted to make sure they didn’t lose that during virtual learning. So, she drove to students’ homes to deliver materials and keep that connection. “It was not a chore to go and take it to them because I wanted them to maintain that level. They did well. These are the kinds of victories that keep me coming back to school each day! “This is my motivation and drive. Just to see what they are going to give me each day. I look forward to that.” To see the interview with White, click here.

NCAE News Bulletin


See How Much You Can Shave Off

Educators Are Finding Relief from Their Student Loan Debt

Guilford County Member Wins Governor’s Educator Discovery Award NCAE member Rachel Johnson, a career technical education teacher specializing in game art, digital, and video design at High Point Central High School in Guilford County, is one of six North Carolina educators who won Governor’s Educator Discovery Awards to help strengthen their work in schools. The teachers received $1,000 each to pay for professional development to help them better prepare their students for future careers. Johnson will take a course in Unreal Engine Game Design Basics through Studio Arts in Los Angeles. Unreal Engine is a 3-D creation tool used in multiple industries such as architecture and construction, civil engineering, mechanical and electrical engineering, graphic design, interior design, and game development. This course will be led by industry professionals and cover the fundamentals of Unreal Engine for game design. The Governor’s Educator Discovery Award provides a stipend of up to $1,000 for preK-12 traditional public and public charter school teachers to pursue a professional development experience of their choosing. There have now been eight rounds of teachers to receive the award and brings the total number of grants awarded to 24. Winning teachers are selected from an impressive and growing applicant pool, demonstrating a strong interest in the program and the opportunities it provides. To be eligible for the Governor’s Educator Discovery Awards, teachers submit a proposal with details about their teaching experience, the professional development activity they wish to pursue, and how it would enhance their efforts to create a work-based learning activity for their students. To learn more about the award or submit an application, click here.

Since spring 2019, NEA Member Benefits and Savi have partnered to help NEA members who are currently paying off student loans. Through special access to this comprehensive student loan repayment calculator, NEA members can easily find out how much of their student loan debt can be forgiven as well as how much they can reduce their monthly repayments. As of December 2021, more than 23,900 NEA members have reduced or eliminated their student loan debt obligations with help from the NEA Student Debt Navigator tool. Here’s a look at the numbers:

$360.2 MILLION The total amount of student loan debt eligible for forgiveness

$30,840 The average amount

of student loan debt forgiven

$35.6 MILLION The total annual projected savings on student debt repayments

$2,000 The Public School Forum is now accepting applications for the North Carolina Education Policy Fellowship Program, which focuses on leadership and professional development in the context of education policy. The deadline for applications is July 31. Click here for more details.

The average annual savings on student debt repayments Run your numbers today and see what you might be able to save through repayment and forgiveness plans based on your current situation.

NCAE News Bulletin



You Are Invited To Our Ninth



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* Visit us online or call for eligibility requirements. NEA Members Insurance Trust is a registered trademark of the NEA Members Insurance Trust. NEA Complimentary Life Insurance is issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, Newark, NJ. 0302614-00002-00


$150 per person Business/Cocktail Attire

2022 Honorees

Educators get an advantage with Horace Mann auto insurance Contact your representative today!

NFL Fullback (Retired) Vonta Leach

NC Secretary of State Elaine Marshall

The Honorable Robert Hobgood

RESERVATONS & SPONSORSHIPS - DETAILS NCFPSC.org Checks payable to NCFPSC - P.O. Box 1928, Clayton, NC 29578-1928 Contact: Marca Hamm / marca.hamm@ncfpsc.org / 704.796.2317 NCFPSC is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit - Contributions tax-deductible. $100 per seat is tax-deductible over fair market goods/services received.

Horace Mann Insurance Company and its affiliates underwrite Horace Mann auto insurance. Horace Mann Service Corporation and certain of its affiliates (Horace Mann) enter into agreements with educational associations where Horace Mann pays the association to provide services aimed at familiarizing association members with the Horace Mann brand, products or services. For more information, email your inquiry to association.relations@horacemann.com. AM-C04504 (2-22)

NCAE News Bulletin




for NEA Members NEA Discount Marketplace The NEA Discount Marketplace, powered by Rakuten, enables members to earn cash back when they shop and save on brand-name merchandise from more than 3,500 top retailers and online stores.* Check out the following memberexclusive deals in April at neamb.com/marketplace: • TaxSlayer -- Offers affordable pricing for filing basic and more complicated tax returns, plus free, unlimited phone and email support. • H&R Block -- With H&R Block Free Online, file more credits and deductions (e.g., the Student Loan Interest Deduction). Get the biggest refund possible -- guaranteed! • Bed Bath & Beyond -- Update your home for spring and summer with fresh finds for every room. Sameday delivery and store and curbside pickup available. • Container Store -- There’s no need to sacrifice style when tidying up your home or office space. Find proven storage and organization solutions that complement any décor! • Walgreens -- Save on pharmacy, health & wellness, and photo products. Refill prescriptions easily online. Options to order items for delivery or in-store pickup. Save on School and Office Supplies! NEA members get discounts on classroom & home office supplies, electronics and accessories, print services and more. • Get free next-business-day shipping when you spend $50 or more on qualifying items, you’ll receive your order the next business day.* • Lowest price guaranteed: If your local store or a special officedepot.com offer has a deeper discount, you will receive the best price. In-store shoppers will see the best price highlighted right on their sales receipt.


Dates to Remember April 2nd National Love Our Children Day 3rd Weed Out Hate 5th National Library Day 6th National Bookmobile Day 9th NCAE Building Closing Event 11th National Pet Day Link 15th-18th NCAE Spring Break (Offices Closed) 22nd Earth Day 23rd Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day 28th Take Your Daughters & Sons to Work Day 30th Animal Advocacy Day Celebrate Diversity Month Fair Housing Month Global Child Nutrition Month National Child Abuse Prevention Month National Humor Month National Pet Month Link Physical Wellness Month

“You can teach a student a lesson for a day, but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.” — Clay P. Bedford Follow NCAE events and activities on:



Positions stated in this publication do not necessarily reflect the official position of NCAE unless so identified. The NCAE News Bulletin, a journal of the Association, is published by the North Carolina Association of Educators, 700 S.Salisbury St., Raleigh, NC 27601, 1-800-662-7924. Linda Powell, Editor/Designer


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