June 2022 NCAE News Bulletin

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NCAE North Carolina Association of Educators

News Bulletin June 2022

Vol. 52, No. 10


NEA Joy, Justice & Excellence Tour Highlights the Great Work of North Carolina Educators NEA President Becky Pringle saved the best state for last – North Carolina – as the final stop of her year-long Joy, Justice & Excellence Tour. During her three-day visit to Raleigh, Durham, Kernersville and High Point (May 17-19), she met with NCAE state and local officers, attended the victory celebration of NCAE-endorsed U.S. Congressional candidate Cheri Beasley, and joined school and community leaders in a discussion on how communities and schools can better work together. She also met with Gov. Cooper, conversed with ESPs, learned more about the Teacher Cadet Program, talked with a group of elementary students, and participated in a board meeting of the N.C. Foundation for Public School Children. The Tour kicked off last July in California, with President Pringle visiting 12 states. It was an effort by President Pringle to build a movement to reclaim public education as the foundation of our democracy and a civil right for all students. She also deepened her connection to members, affiliates and our communities with her vision of the future of public schools. The goals of the tour were to: Promote the Possible; Celebrate the Heroism of Members; Promote Our Solutions to Key Audiences; Strengthen Connection to NEA Members, Students and Communities; and Strengthen the Union. Click here to see an education opinion piece by the News & Observer featuring President Pringle.

NCAE News Bulletin


What a Year … But We Made It! Every year around this time I always ask myself the question, “Where did the time go?” It seems like the first day of school was only yesterday, but here we are … days away from the end Tamika Walker Kelly of the 2021-22 year President as we welcome the summer break. Like the last two years of the pandemic, this one had its share of challenges, but for the most part, our students were able to have the stability of remaining in their classrooms. They were able to bond with you, learn and spend time with their friends, and return to some sense of normalcy. And you as educators were able to revel in seeing those smiling faces every day and the progress they made, collaborate with your colleagues, and teach those subjects in which you are the experts. Unfortunately, during a time when end-of-year celebrations and plans should be the focus, those thoughts have been overshadowed by two highly publicized events – the shooting at Robb Elementary in Texas and the introduction of the Parent’s Bill of Rights by the North Carolina General Assembly. First, with a heavy heart, let me speak on the tragic shooting of students and teachers at Robb Elementary. Too many times we have seen acts of violence like this play out in our schools, places meant for children to create dreams,

play and build towards their future. The days following this massacre, and each one occurring before May 24, have been difficult to process and have left us all asking ourselves, “Why have we continued to let this happen?” That question remains to be answered. You as educators should be able to focus on supporting our children’s educational growth, not how to survive a shooting. We as a community, including elected officials from the national to the local level, MUST come together and create solutions and policies to ensure our schools remain safe, protected places for our students and for you. Now to the Parent’s Bill of Rights legislation. We all know meaningful relationships between parents/caregivers and teachers are vital in setting students on a path to future success. No one sees this important connection more than educators, but our lawmakers are trying to cast schools as places of suspicion. This bill is an attempt to divide parents and teachers for political gain and distract from real issues, such as adequately funding our public schools. We must keep close tabs on this bill and make sure our students continue receiving inclusive learning that reflects who they are and the diversity of our state. I understand these are two emotionally charged topics of conversation to share during a time that usually has a lighter feel. But I saw the need to highlight them because these discussions will continue to inform our Association’s work over the summer. I would encourage all of you to join us at this year’s Summer Leaders Conference to build your skills. So, enjoy relaxing, spending time with family and friends, or traveling during the break, and prepare to return refreshed and ready to engage in this work that is so crucial for our students, ourselves, and the profession. Happy summer and stay safe!

Jasmine Barcelona, an educator for 22 years, said she chose to become a public school employee because she knew she could make a difference. “Parents trust us to have the best intentions and to hold high expectations for their children,” said Barcelona, who works at Wilburn Elementary School in Wake County and was named an NCAE Lovable Local Leader. “I am an advocate for my students and families and work to inspire acceptance and strengthen understanding.” What makes her a Lovable Local Leader, Barcelona shared, is she listens to staff and truly cares for them as people and professionals. “I take concerns to heart and do my best to seek solutions and advocate when we do not have the

control. Deep in my heart I know we can have the strong and healthy schools we envision, and I am unafraid of doing the work.” Barcelona, who is a literacy coach, said the best part of her job is having the honor of modeling and coteaching in classrooms and impacting instruction in a meaningful way. “I live for joyful moments when students recognize they are getting stronger, and when teachers share successes with me.”

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Steven Gupton


teven Gupton is a middle school teacher who is finishing his second year as an educator in Durham. “I started out coaching track and teaching high school students in my hometown. I’ve also been a paramedic for the past 14 years and teach an emergency medical science course at a local community college. As a paramedic, I'm trained to help critically ill and injured people, which is one of the reasons why it was difficult to watch the news coverage of George Floyd being killed by a police officer. He was being injured and I couldn’t help. Emotions were already high around the time of George Floyd’s death because three of our high school students were involved in a motor vehicle accident and two students lost their lives. To watch an officer kneeling on someone's neck -- someone crying out for help -- on TV was beyond awful, because the killing of George Floyd should never have happened. It also bothered me that I could not be with my students because of the pandemic. My thoughts were with my students who had just gotten to a point where they were accepting one another and their differences. Prior to the murder of George Floyd, we had a restorative practice session where we discussed another case of a white officer and a Black victim. There was obvious tension in the classroom, but everyone worked together to get a better understanding of different perspectives. I joined a protest organized by one of my former students. The protest provided a space for everyone to grieve and it brought our community together. The protest provided me with a sense of hope. As educators, we must talk about the problems that harm our communities. Many people hide from it because they’re difficult conversations. This also means we must have conversations with community leaders, policymakers, faith groups, and parents. We must be able to articulate why we're having these conversations in our classrooms and continue to create safe spaces.”

The “Windy City” of Chicago will serve as the backdrop for the 2022 NEA Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly. If you are a delegate, check out all things RA by clicking here.

NCAE News Bulletin


Our schools have become a battleground for so much and it is easy for the loudest voices to dominate our media and distract from what truly matters. As a result, Progress North Carolina Action, in collaboration with NCAE; Every Child Coalition; and Red, Wine & Blue, highlighted the testimonies of students, parents and educators who understand the real, current challenges our public schools are facing. Six NCAE members participated in this Storybook Project, sharing their thoughts on current issues ranging from school funding to Critical Race Theory. To read their stories in their entirety, click here.

E. Jameel Williams, instructional assistant and local president, Vance County

“Our state has the money to ensure every student has a quality public education. The economy is strong, so there is no excuse for all schools not be to be on equal footing. North Carolina has billions of dollars in unused revenue, but Republican legislators refuse to prioritize our children. Poll after poll shows the citizens of this state support public education and it’s time we put money where our mouth is!”

Kenya Donaldson, teacher and local president, Guilford County

“I remember a time in education when students’ achievement outcomes outweighed fighting for limited resources. It has angered me to think an entire generation of North Carolina’s children have not received a fully funded public education. For nearly a decade, the target of state budget cuts has been on the backs of the state’s public school children.”

John deVille, teacher, Macon County

“As an historian, it pains me to see North Carolina abandon its commitment to public education – a commitment we codified into our constitution in the 1970s. For decades, our state was a leader in education innovation, and now we can’t even fund basic positions and programs our students need to get a sound education. I became a teacher to help students draw connections between important historical events and draw out their critical-thinking skills. It doesn’t take a lot of critical thinking to see the connection between our underfunded schools and the negative impacts it’s having on our students.”

Michelle Burton, media coordinator and local president, Durham County

“As a school library media coordinator, intellectual freedom is one of the core values myself and many other school librarians live by to educate and to affirm our students’ lived experiences. Libraries are democratic spaces where our students can learn and explore different viewpoints, so they can be better informed citizens, to be able to analyze issues that affect their daily lives, and to help them better understand the world they live in. That is why it is so concerning and disheartening that Republicans and their allies are focusing so much of their energy on the non-issue of ‘CRT’ and censoring books that discuss the true history of our country and the demonization of LGBTQ students. Our legislators in Raleigh should be making sure our public school students have the resources and educators in their buildings for them to thrive. Our legislators should fund the Leandro plan.”

Lauren Piner, teacher and local president, Pitt County

“I want my niece, who is in a public school Spanish immersion program, to be able to go to school in a building built for the 21st century and beyond. Her classmates and all students in North Carolina deserve to have qualified teachers who are invested in the profession, the school, and the community. Too often, I am told I am too smart to be a teacher. If we don’t want our best and brightest in our classrooms, what does that say about our priorities?”

Brandon Lee, teacher, Wake County

“I am in education for the long haul, but when teachers are devalued by low pay, excessive duties outside of the classroom, and partisan fear mongering, then the schools suffer, student learning suffers.”

NCAE News Bulletin


NCAE Summer Leaders Conference July 25-30, 2022

Four Tracks Offered • Transformative Professional Practices • Workplace Strength, Rights and Back-to-School Organizing and Engagement (virtual) • Building Local Strength to Transform Our Schools • Training for Local Presidents and Treasurers This year’s conference will be held at the Hilton Raleigh North Hills, 3415 Wake Forest Road. Click Here to register and for more details.

NCAE News Bulletin


NCAE Awards MLK Scholarships to Four High School Seniors Four high school seniors are recipients of 2022 NCAE Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarships. Presented by the Human and Civil Rights Commission, each student will receive $2,000 to help further their education beyond high school. Money for the scholarships was donated by NCAE members, staff and public education supporters. Following are brief descriptions on how the students’ lives have been influenced by the ideals of Dr. King. Janae Artis-Bass, Wayne Early Middle College High School, Wayne County – Bass has been accepted at Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY, where she will study vocal performance. She is president of the Student Council Association, is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and is a member of the school’s Performing Arts Club. “Dr. King’s philosophy of non-violence inspired me to harbor an emotional intelligence unlike any other. I admire the amount of eloquence and power encompassing his speeches; the master visionary he was motivates me to acknowledge the vital role I play whenever I speak in front of an audience. How I carry myself and handle difficult situations are all channeled through his principle of nonviolence.” Bass also has a newfound interest in politics and social movements, prompting her to register a non-profit organization titled “Gem Droppin’ News.” She aspires to continue advocating for underrepresented and marginalized communities. Arianna Janae Young, Hillside High School, Durham County – Described as a natural leader and someone who has a willingness to support and serve, Young’s

ability to balance personal, extracurricular and academic responsibilities will prepare her for college life, where she hopes to study psychology and dance at either UNCGreensboro, NC A&T State University, or UNC-Charlotte. Ranked ninth in her class, Young said Dr. King’s ideals encouraged her to acquire attributes such as good citizenship, helping those who are less fortunate, belief in a higher power, educational interests, and treating others the way she wants to be treated. “My desire is to use my intelligence as Dr. King did by listening to each side of an issue before plotting a course of action. In the future, as a university student, I want to use some of Dr. King’s philosophies – values and belief of studying hard, speaking positively, expressing non-biased views, being transparent, exhibiting good behavior, and serving God and my community.” Jasmine Woodard, E.E. Smith High School, Cumberland County – Woodard hopes to study music theater at either UNC-Greensboro or East Carolina University. In addition to being an exceptional student and her work in the community, she loves to perform, serving as a member of the Yvette Dance Academy of Hip-

Hop, serving as one of the school’s National Anthem soloists, and being a member of the E.E. Smith Gospel Choir and Golden Singers. Succeeding in college, for her, would be a way of showing appreciation to her parents for all they have done. Woodard said she has been fascinated with the life of Dr. King since she was a child and identifies with his quote, “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.” “All of my life I have been taught to serve and be a positive light to others. Dr King gave himself tirelessly to people, fighting for their rights to be treated equally. I am encouraged by him to use my gifts to make a difference for the better and to stand for good even if the odds are against me.” Austin Hunt, Freedom High School, Burke County – Hunt, who hopes to study economics and law, has been accepted at UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State University and Campbell University. As president of the school’s National Honor Society, Hunt has been enrolled in college-prep courses since his freshman year. In addition to being studious, he is active in extracurricular activities such as the Student Government Association, the marching band and the swim team. He also volunteers and participates in community service, serving as a youth leader, a youth organized philanthropist, and advisory board member for the Morganton Public Library. Hunt said Dr. King’s ideals have resonated with him time and time again. “Like Dr. King, I want to contribute to the decrease of racial issues; it’s one of the reasons I want to be a lawyer. The courtroom is a good place to set precedents that apply for years to come. As a lawyer, I would have the power to set those precedents and make real change in a non-violent way.”

NCAE News Bulletin


End-of-School-Year Teacher Tips

Fast approaching is the time all teachers both love and dread -- the end of another school year. With the last day officially on the horizon, you can feel the excitement (and restlessness) radiating from your students. However, there is still work to be done before final grades are submitted! With papers piling up and patience running low, how do teachers make it through this time of year to summer break? Here are some end-of-the-year strategies and tips:

1. Count it down

Give students something to look forward to each day when they come to school by doing an activity that lets them count down the days until summer break. Need some countdown ideas that will keep your students engaged and motivated up until the very last day? Check these out!

2. Try something new!

You know that one lesson plan or activity you’ve wanted to try, but just never had the time to do? The end of the year can and should still be for useful learning! If you have gaps in your lesson plans, it’s the perfect time to test new strategies you’ve had in mind and would like to incorporate into your classroom plans for next year.

3. Stay in your routine as long as possible

Any experienced teacher will tell you maintaining your routine is one of the best ways to navigate all the end-of-year craziness. That said, it doesn’t hurt to add some fun games to your classroom routine!

4. Get organized

Among all the finals, overdue homework, grading, and lessons you’re still completing, your desk can pile up pretty quickly at the end of the year. Staying organized and tracking progress on work

tasks are key to finishing the year strong and getting final grades in on time.

5. Carve out some time for yourself

Although you want to stay on top of your work, try not to spend every night hunkered down in your classroom attempting to get everything done all at once. Finding some time for self-care is important, especially during the end of the year when you feel like your to-do list is a mile long. Allow time to go home and relax, take a walk outside, play with your children, read, take a bath, etc. This may seem counterintuitive, but you will be able to release your stress and have more energy for the final push as the last day of school gets closer.

6. Reflect on the successes of your year

Take some time, with or without your students, to reflect on the past school year-what they’ve learned, what their favorite lessons were, the friendships that were built, and the strong bond you all have formed as a class. Celebrate student successes, laugh at funny moments, and don’t forget to give yourself credit for all you have accomplished as an educator, as well. Lastly, accept your last few days of school are going to be filled with emotion and require your full attention. But the end is near. It may get a little rocky and you may become overwhelmed, but soon you’ll be packing up your classroom and all of your memories from this past school year with it. Remember to enjoy your last days and moments with your students. Hang in there -- you’ve got this!

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NCAE News Bulletin


New NCAE Staff

Members Comment on How Help from Colleagues Made a Difference for Them This Year NCAE welcomes Virginia Spencer, the new membership processing technician in the Business and Membership Department. She replaces Janice Wedel, who retired. A 2021 graduate of William Peace University with a degree in cultural anthropology, Spencer worked in sales for the Prometheus Group in Raleigh before joining the NCAE family. She said she wanted to work for NCAE because “it was my passion to return to work for a non-profit, which aligns with my values. I also support public education and wanted to involve myself in the movement.” Spencer has family members who are educators – an aunt who teaches pre-school in Wilmington and the wife of a cousin who is a high school teacher. One thing Spencer would like members to know about her is she enjoys talking to others. “I am always open to chatting, so if anyone has questions, please feel free to reach out to me.” When not working, she likes traveling, gardening and spending time with her husband, friends and dog Salt.

NEA ESP Learning Network Webinar Series CLICK HERE

It’s almost time to say goodbye to students and colleagues as the school year comes to an end. Although better than 2020-21, this year still had its challenges, and yet, you overcame, doing all you could to ensure the boys and girls in your care received the best education possible. Assistance came in many forms, especially from coworkers. Members were asked to reflect on a colleague who helped make a difference for them this year and what they appreciated most. Here is what three members shared: “Moving to a new position as a first-time data manager could be daunting enough, but when it’s to a new virtual K-12 school, that takes poise. My colleague, Erica Johnson, has been professional, patient and courteous with new fellow members of our staff while managing the nuances that come with scheduling elementary, middle and high school courses. She networks with fellow data managers and district support to grow herself professionally. She always has time for others. Erica Johnson of the Alamance Virtual School is a marble!” -Patrick Vernon, Alamance County “I found that a fellow colleague was under physical stress but she kept her children’s interests first. She made sure she put the the best substitute in her classroom who would also have their interests at heart. That colleague is Kamica Morris, a kindergarten teacher at Rachel Freeman School of Engineering. She lost her father but never let her children lose her!” — Sarah Bailey, New Hanover County “I retired in 2020, however, I have maintained my work with student councils through the North Carolina Association of Student Councils (NCASC). Advisors spent time on nights, weekends and during the summer planning and working to make their schools better for no extra pay and with very little recognition. I want to ensure they are recognized and show my appreciation.” — Henry Faust, Chatham County

NCAE News Bulletin


Among States to Teach, North Carolina Ranks 35th According to a recent study by Scholaroo, North Carolina ranked 35th in the nation for States for Teachers in 2022. Within the categories, this is the state's position: · · · · ·

Career Accessibility: 28th Salary & Compensation: 42nd Work Benefits: 3rd Work Environment: 45th Student Performance: 34th

Other important highlights in individual metrics: - Job Availability: 15th - Average Salaries: 46th - Pay Gap: 45th

- Retirement Ratings: 13th - Teacher's Pension: 40th - Teacher/Student Ratio: 31st - Teachers with 3+ years of Experience: 1st - Annual Per-Pupil Spending: 38th - High School Graduation Rate: 26th - High School Dropout Rate: 32nd For the complete 2022 rankings and methodology, visit: https://scholaroo.com/best-states-for-teachers/. Scholaroo is an organization consisting of scholarship professionals working around the clock and the globe to help individuals pay for college.

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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 over 3,500 top retailers and online stores. Check out the following member-exclusive deals in June 2022 at neamb.com/ marketplace: • 1800Flowers -- Father’s Day, weddings, graduations… Delight family and friends on special occasions with a lovely flower arrangement, tropical plant, or gourmet gift from 1-800-Flowers! • Shiseido -- Watch out sun—here I come! Get ready for summer fun with protective and restorative skincare products available for both women and men. Get free shipping on all orders, too! • Petsmart -- Find everything you need to pamper your pet: food, furnishings, toys, treats, and more. Orders of $49 or more ship free! • Ace Hardware -- Get the party started with quality products for home and garden that make your place an entertainment paradise! Find grills and smokers, patio furniture and firepits, outdoor lighting and more. • Groupon -- Save on all manner of goods & services including food & drink, health & fitness, beauty & spas, and things to do. Groupon coupons make great gifts, too! NEA Easy Pay Shop thousands of products such as jewelry, cosmetics, home goods, electronics and much more with up to a $2,500 credit limit. Make low, automatic payments conveniently timed to your paydays. There are no credit checks, interest charges or annual membership fees for NEA members. Visit www.neamb.com/easypay.


Dates to Remember June 3rd 5th 12th 19th 21st

National Gun Violence Awareness Day World Environment Day Multicultural American Child Day Father's Day Juneteenth (NCAE Observing on June 20) Summer Solstice

Children's Awareness Month Great Outdoors Month Student Safety Month

July 2nd 3rd-6th 4th 4th-8th 29th 30th

Made In The USA Day NEA Representative Assembly, Chicago, IL Independence Day NCAE Summer Break (Offices Closed) National Chicken Wing Day: Link Paperback Book Day

Get Ready for Kindergarten Month National Ice Cream Month National Parks & Recreation Month Social Wellness Month

“I have witnessed how education opens doors, and I know when sound instruction takes place, students experience the joys of new-found knowledge and the ability to excel.” — Daniel Akaka 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, 3700 Glenwood Ave., Suite 510, Raleigh, NC 27612, 1-800-662-7924. Linda Powell, Editor/Designer

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