NCAE North Carolina Association of Educators
Vol. 52, No. 6
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NCAE News Bulletin
Putting Our LOVE Into Action We have made it to February! And as we enter the month, the common sentiment Tamika Walker Kelly
during this President time is love. Of course, this month typically focuses on romantic love, but there are so many more ways to show love. As educators, our work is an expression of love for the students, families and communities we serve. You show your love by going the extra mile for students, building positive relationships with parents, and supporting one another as a listening ear or a shoulder
to lean on. The amount of love you put into action deserves to be returned ten-fold. I am deeply grateful for the work you, our educators, do in our school buildings across the state. February is also the month when we show love by honoring diversity in our community by celebrating Black History Month. We celebrate the contributions of Black People in our local communities and around the world. From notable figures like Ida B. Wells to our own NCAE history, there is much to love about the cultural richness added to our lives. Now, more than ever, we must reaffirm that Black History is American History, and we do that by cultivating welcoming, diverse classrooms. Let us be reminded that our love for our students, public schools and our NCAE make us truly #InThisTogether! Happy February!
ATTENTION ALL ESPs! … National Conference Set for March 25-27, 2022 The 2022 NEA ESP National Conference will take place March 25-27, in New Orleans, LA. This annual conference is a chance to connect with education support professionals across the nation, an incredible professional development opportunity, and of course, fun! Registration closes on February 18. Spread the word!
NCAE News Bulletin
Brandon Morrison Defender of Truth … Teaching with an Anti-Racist Lens
randon Morrison is a fifth-grade teacher at Eastern Guilford Middle School in Guilford County. He wants his students to dig deeper into what they see in the world, including what’s taught in the classroom. He’s seen his share of curriculum that depicts the life of enslaved people as a “wonderful time on the plantation” or discusses how Africans “migrated” to the U.S. “This was enslavement. When seeing those things, it’s important to speak truth as much as possible,” he explains. “I give my students real-talk sessions. Many of them, as fifth graders, already have the knowledge and understanding of social justice and how society works. I don’t think we give them enough credit.” Morrison doesn’t shy away from big concepts, either. He talks to his students—in terms they can understand—about capitalism, racism, stolen land from Indigenous people, the driving forces behind societal systems, and more. His goal is to give his students information they can process, explore, and use to develop their own opinions and beliefs. “Education can open minds, but it is also a pathway for students to think beyond what I’m teaching,” Morrison shares. “And I challenge people who say we don’t need to teach this. I challenge them to first assess why they think that way. If my fifth graders can look at our nation’s systems of oppression and say, that’s stupid, an adult can do the same.” Reprinted from NEA Today
“Miss Alston goes out of her way to assist staff and make everyone aware of what is new around school. She ensures we all know our rights and how to get whatever information we need.” This is how a colleague described Remonia Alston, named as an NCAE Lovable Local Leader. She works at the Main Street Academy in Forsyth County and has been a member of the public school system for 23 years. She has been a member of NCAE for 20 years. Alston said she chose public education as a career because of its importance. For her, it’s a “Love” thing. She loves seeing children be all they can be. “My love thing is
spreading the love for education and learning. You’re never too old to learn.” When asked what the best part of her job is, she responded: “Watching children express their needs, being a friend, and lending a listening ear. What motivates me to continue in this field is the future; looking ahead to see what the end result will be for these children. Also, letting them know they are valued and how they can be channeled.” Alston describes herself as a good neighbor who keeps her colleagues informed. It’s one quality she feels makes her a Lovable Local Leader. “I see myself as a support person. I am someone who goes out of my way to get information and share it. If I don’t know the answer, I have no issues finding someone who does!” Each month a Lovable Local Leader will be featured in the News Bulletin.
NCAE News Bulletin
In This Together: Building Resilience, Cultivating Hope The pandemic has been affecting the lives of public school students and educators for almost two years. Educators across the state are feeling a plethora of emotions that many shared during a recent Zoom meeting hosted by the Association. Members and non-members gathered in a safe space to talk about their feelings and the issues they are facing on their jobs as the pandemic continues to surge. But there was a glimmer of hope … the group received next steps on ways to build resilience and take action together!
NCAE News Bulletin
Durham Member Ensures Students Have Food Before Schools Close for Holiday Break
What started with one family in 2015 expanded to helping 5,200 students at 12 Durham schools prior to the last day of school before the 2021 holiday break. The accomplishment left Turquoise LeJeune Parker speechless and emotional. Parker, a teacher at Lakewood Elementary School and NEA Director on the NCAE and NEA Board of Directors, started a food drive after hearing of a family’s need. A few days away from the start of her holiday vacation, she received a text message from the mother of one of her second-grade students. The parent wondered if Parker knew where she could find food for her children during the school’s two-week winter break because her refrigerator and pantry were almost empty. Her kids relied on free school breakfasts and lunches. On Dec. 14, 2015, Parker decided to text everyone she knew asking for donations to buy enough holiday groceries for all 22 students in her class at the time. This is the seventh year she’s led this effort. With the help of donors and community partners, she was able to raise more than $100,000 this year to feed students. “Two weeks is a long time for children to be out of school without lunch or breakfast,” Parker said. “Children eat a lot and food is expensive.” With funds in hand, Parker bought non-perishable food items at Costco to ensure that students and their families would not go hungry. It took several days for her and volunteers to bag the groceries, sending them home two grade levels at a time. Of the 12 schools where students received the groceries, 98 percent of them receive free or reduced lunch. Unfortunately for many of them, school provides the only meal they receive daily. Food insecurity is a major concern for many communities in Durham, especially for low-income people of color, according to “Our America Equity Report” by ABCaffiliated stations. Nearly three-quarters of Black and Latino residents don’t have access to supermarkets within walking distance, 25 percent more than white residents.
“Guy-brarian” Shares Love of Reading with His Middle School Students and Colleagues Gabriel Graña has always enjoyed sharing his enthusiasm for poetry and stories. A media specialist at Smith Middle School in Chapel Hill, he says he was inspired to become a librarian by a former colleague who served in the role during his first year as an English Language Arts teacher. February is most notably recognized for Valentine’s Day and African American history but it is also National Library Lovers’ Month, which is dedicated to celebrating libraries, book enthusiasts and lovers of libraries. Whether part of the community or schools, libraries play an integral role in literacy and so do those, like Graña, who work within their walls. One of only a few male media specialists in the state who are NCAE members (there are 10, to be exact), Graña fondly refers to himself and his colleagues as “guy-brarians.” He has been an educator for 16 years, eight as a librarian. Although he loved being a classroom teacher, he always enjoyed multimedia work and other creative applications of the position. “I knew I wanted to reach more of the school population, so librarianship seemed a great fit. I’m hooked!” Click to read more.
NCAE News Bulletin
New NCAE Staff Five new staff members have joined the NCAE family: Riley Driver is a lead organizer in Guilford County, where she has been doing organizing work for several years. She most recently worked as a classroom teacher, saying her involvement with the Guilford County Association of Educators (GCAE) is the main reason she did not quit the profession early in her career. “Connecting to that work brought me huge hope and personal growth. When I learned of the opportunity for our district to get a full-time organizer, I was ecstatic! Workers here are growing GCAE and it’s a big deal to be able to level up our capacity. Leaving the classroom has been one of the hardest decisions of my professional life but I know NCAE is the right place for me to make an impact in a really challenging time for public schools.” A graduate of UNC-Greensboro, Driver became a teacher because she thought it was a career in which she could make a real impact; and it’s true. “Supporting children to be ready for the future they want is one way we can build a better world. We put so much of our hope into our public schools – we need to put in the resources and support to match.” Brandon Mond is a lead organizer in Wake County. He worked for Carolina Jews for Justice, a statewide community organization, before coming to NCAE. “I wanted to work with the brilliant public school educators who are coming together to transform their working conditions and their students’ learning conditions,” said Mond. “I believe those who work inside our public schools know what’s best at their jobs and I am excited to support them in realizing their power to put forth their vision.” A native of Dallas, Texas, Mond said many members of his family have been public school educators and he benefitted a great deal from the public school system in which he and his younger sister were educated. He received his post-secondary education from the University of Texas at Austin. Milo Norlin is a membership processing technician in the Membership Department. Previously, he worked as a field organizer for the Association, where he was assigned to the central regions of the state working with ESPs. A native of Asheville, Norlin worked with the Progressive Turnout Project doing campaign field work in the General Election and with the
Pierce Freelon Senate campaign. He recently completed an internship with the N.C. AFL-CIO. Norlin, a trained classical pianist who is teaching himself how to play Blues and Jazz, is a product of public education. “I am excited to work to build a union that members, students and parents can be proud of.” Brendan Rogers is a lead organizer in Wake County. Prior to joining the NCAE family, he worked as a school secretary at a high school in Durham. “I wanted to work for NCAE because I saw my union needed more hands to push the work along and I thought I might be helpful to the organization. Put simply, public education is the heart of our community. I think it’s also significant that here in North Carolina, public education is one of the few tangible products of Reconstruction we still carry with us today. That’s important to defend, both to honor those who fought for it in their time and to give opportunities to learn to future generations who would otherwise be denied those opportunities.” A native of Wisconsin by way of Baltimore, MD, Rogers is a graduate of Macalester College in Minnesota, where he earned a bachelor’s in Latin American Studies. For five years, he taught English as a Second Language to adults, immigrants and refugees in both Minnesota and North Carolina. “My focus was teaching people who lacked access to literacy in both English and their native tongue, most of whom had never been able to attend school as children.” Tommie Shimrock is a lead organizer in Buncombe County. Prior to coming to work at NCAE, he was an organizer for 6,000 nurses at the University of Michigan Medical Center. He also worked as a UniServ director and lead organizer for two large locals in the Denver metro area. According to him, the most important work in which he was involved was as a middle school special education teacher for 10 years. As a rank-and-file union member organizing and growing, Shimrock knew the union was the most effective vehicle to use to work toward and see change in the profession. “Upon moving to North Carolina, I knew I wanted to be involved with an organization that was on the forefront of all this work. I feel lucky to be able to embed in the community in which I now live and work to see educators and schools are supported and on the forefront of change.” Shimrock completed his undergraduate studies at Ohio University, where he studied special education and education legislation. He earned a master’s degree in Education Foundations, Policy and Practice from the University of Colorado Boulder, with a focus on organized labor and its impact on crafting public education policy.
NCAE News Bulletin
NCAE NBCT 2022 Spring Sessions Spring National Board Seminars will consist of a deep dive into components 1, 2, 3, 4, body of knowledge and standards, ePortfolio, writing, and MOC renewal sessions. NCAE NBCTs will lead candidates each session. Introduction for Initials is FREE for all. All other sessions: NCAE Members: $5 Non NCAE Members: $20 ***All fees collected pay facilitators***
Unpack Comp 3
Body of Knowledge February 17
Unpack Comp 3
Body of Knowledge March 15
Unpack Comp 4
Unpack Comp 1
Unpack Comp 1
Unpack Comp 2
Unpack Comp 2
Register by scanning the QR code or using this link: https://bit.ly/NBCTSpring2022
Sessions Facilitated by NCAE NBCT Facilitators
NCAE News Bulletin
#4. Watauga County Schools - Number of schools: 10 (4,756 students) - Graduation rate: 90 percent (59 percent reading proficient and 52 percent math proficient) - (13:1 student to teacher ratio) #3. Union County Public Schools - Number of schools: 52 (41,707 students) - Graduation rate: 93 percent (60 percent reading proficient and 63 percent math proficient) - (16:1 student to teacher ratio) Best School Districts in North Carolina Stacker compiled a list of the best school districts in North Carolina using rankings from Niche. Niche ranks school districts based on a variety of criteria, including academics (SAT/ACT scores and state proficiency tests), teacher salaries, expenses per student, and access to extracurricular activities. Founded in 2017, Stacker combines data analysis with rich editorial context, drawing on authoritative sources and subject matter experts to drive storytelling. #10. Elkin City Schools - Number of schools: 3 (1,219 students) - Graduation rate: 77 percent (62 percent reading proficient and 53 percent math proficient) - (14:1 student to teacher ratio) #9. Newton Conover City Schools - Number of schools: 7 (3,001 students) - Graduation rate: 94 percent (44 percent reading proficient and 38 percent math proficient) - (16:1 student to teacher ratio) #8. Wake County Schools - Number of schools: 191 (163,404 students) - Graduation rate: 90 percent (56 percent reading proficient and 50 percent math proficient) - (16:1 student to teacher ratio) #7. Mount Airy City Schools - Number of schools: 4 (1,640 students) - Graduation rate: 87 percent (47 percent reading proficient and 43 percent math proficient) - (14:1 student to teacher ratio) #6. Mooresville Graded School District - Number of schools: 8 (6,080 students) - Graduation rate: 94 percent (55 percent reading proficient and 54 percent math proficient) - (16:1 student to teacher ratio) #5. Asheville City Schools - Number of schools: 10 (4,443 students) - Graduation rate: 91 percent (59 percent reading proficient and 46 percent math proficient) - (12:1 student to teacher ratio)
#2. Polk County Schools - Number of schools: 7 (2,201 students) - Graduation rate: 92 percent (62 percent reading proficient and 58 percent math proficient) - (13:1 student to teacher ratio) #1. Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools - Number of schools: 20 (12,426 students) - Graduation rate: 91 percent (67 percent reading proficient and 64 percent math proficient) - (14:1 student to teacher ratio)
NCAE News Bulletin
Witness Sports History!
It is an exciting time in the Carolinas with Charlotte Football Club becoming the region’s newest professional sports franchise! The Panthers want to offer members of NCAE, as well as their friends and families, the opportunity to attend Charlotte FC’s inaugural match at Bank of America Stadium on March 5, 2022. The match is expected to be an historical event and draw the largest crowd in Major League Soccer history. The atmosphere will be electric, and the game will be unlike any sporting event Charlotte has ever seen. You will not want to miss it. You can purchase discounted tickets by scanning the QR code below and welcome the Carolinas’ newest professional sports franchise home for as little as $17!
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“Education would be much more effective if its purpose was to ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl should know how much they do not know, and be imbued with a lifelong desire to know it.” — William Haley
NCAE News Bulletin
for NEA Members
Dates to Remember 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 2,500 top retailers and online stores. Check out the following February member-exclusive deals at neamb.com/marketplace: •Dell -- Explore the latest in home-office technology, including laptops, desktops, gaming PCs and accessories. Dell products offer innovation, premium materials, and expert craftsmanship. •H&R Block -- Get more FREE with Block! With H&R Block Free Online, file more credits and deductions (e.g., the Student Loan Interest Deduction) than included with the other online free services. •Kohl’s -- Find deals on apparel and footwear for every member of the family, small kitchen appliances, bed & bath accessories, and fragrances, beauty products and jewelry. •Macy’s -- Refresh your home and wardrobe for the New Year! Macy’s offers reliable quality and namebrand merchandise, whether you’re outfitting your kids or your living room! Plus, save big on clearance items. •Blue Apron -- Make life easy with meal kits from Blue Apron, featuring the highest quality, sustainably sourced and non-GMO ingredients. Choose from signature, wellness, and vegetarian menus for up to four people. NEA Mental Health App Avail yourself of free and low-cost resources to cope with all the stressors daily life may toss your way. Learn more at www.neamb.com/mentalhealth.
February 10th 11th 14th 17th 20th 21st
National Giving Hearts Day International Day of Women and Girls in Science National Donor Day Race Relations Day Valentine’s Day World Human Spirit Day World Day for Social Justice Presidents Day (NCAE Offices Closed)
African-American Cultural Heritage Month American Heart Month Declutter for a Cause Month International Boost Self-Esteem Month Library Lovers’ Month National Time Management Month Plant the Seeds of Greatness Month Youth Leadership Month
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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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