O F F I C I A L P U B L I C AT I O N O F T H E 132 ,0 0 0 M E M B E R I L L I N O I S E D U C AT I O N A S S O C I AT I O N - N E A


FE B R UA RY 2 0 11

Illinois Teacher of the Year:

Apple of her students’ eyes
page 3

ESP saves school principal’s life
page 10

Movie making to solve problems
page 14

RA agenda and candidate statements
page 17-22

Ken’s C O M M E N TA R Y
Doing the right thing is not impossible


onvincing the Illinois General Assembly to do the right thing isn’t impossible. It just takes time. Lots of time. In January, lawmakers (all of them Democrats) finally acceded to a request IEA members had been making for decades; increase state revenue. Unfortunately, due to the dire condition of the state budget, the two-percentage-point tax increase will not, in the short-term, significantly enhance the resources for school districts. But the approval of the tax hike does begin the process of getting the state back on track financially; it will help protect public education at all levels, from pre-K through higher and continuing education, saving programs and thousands of jobs. The tax hike also helps ease pressure on other areas of the budget including the state retirement systems. Very significantly, the General Assembly failed to approve Performance Counts, an education reform proposal containing some ideas with merit but also including attacks on our collective bargaining rights. The attempt to fast-track Performance Counts failed because, to the surprise of proponents Stand for Children and Advance Illinois, education employee unions offered our own reform proposal, Accountability for All. Developed by IEA, the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), Accountability for All re-framed the “education reform” discussion by focusing on proposals to improve teaching and learning while preserving collective bargaining rights. Accountability for All was guided by the IEA legislative agenda and a new poll of certified K-12 teacher members to assess member opinion about the key issues of tenure, seniority, RIF, recall, and right to strike. The poll results confirmed IEA members support thoughtful reform.

For example:

4 Four of five teachers (80%) said student academic growth should be part of a teachers’ evaluation

4 Two-thirds of those surveyed (67%)
said “Reductions in Force,” should be based on teacher evaluations coupled with seniority, rather than only seniority.

4 Sixty-nine percent support revoking teaching certification for teachers who have “chronically been found unsatisfactory.” IEA worked with IFT and CTU to develop Accountability for All when it became clear that, without a viable alternative to Performance Counts, the legislature would pass that package. When education employees barraged legislators with phone calls and e-mails insisting that the voices of teachers be heard on education reform, the Performance Counts agenda, whose backers had sought and expected fast approval, was suddenly stopped in its tracks for the duration of the lame duck session. The fight for reform that improves teaching and learning will resume with the newlyseated legislature. Gone are the days when IEA could adopt a legislative platform and resolutions and expect those to form the guidelines for changes in education policy. To successfully advocate for our members in the future, IEA will have to be agile; we must develop procedures that give our organization flexibility to act while staying true to the values of the organization and to the aspirations of the members. We stopped bad legislation in January because our opponents didn’t anticipate the education employee unions would work together and offer a meaningful reform proposal. They never counted on thousands of education employees paying attention throughout the holiday break and making sure legislators knew

IEA members expected the voices of teachers to be heard on reform. Our actions showed everyone that we not only know what will improve teaching and learning but, far from being reform blockers, we support true reform. Our opponents want the public to believe that improving education can only be achieved by diminishing the rights of school employees. We intend to seize every opportunity to prove this is not so.

IEA Advocate, Volume 7, Issue 4, Feb. 2011. The Advocate is published five times annually by the Illinois Education Association-NEA. Send correspondence to: iealistens@ieanea.org or IEA Department of Communications, 100 East Edwards Street, Springfield, IL 627041999. The IEA-NEA Advocate (ISSN #1540-482X) is the official publication of the Illinois Education AssociationNEA as a benefit of membership. A non-member subscription is available at $10 per year. Periodicals postage paid at Springfield, IL.

The Illinois Education AssociationNEA’s mission is to effect excellence and equity in public education and to be THE advocacy organization for all public education employees. Ken Swanson
President Charles McBarron
Director of Communications

Bob Ray
Media Relations Director

Robert Blade
Vice President

Sarah Antonacci
Communications Specialist

Mark Ritterbusch
Graphic Designer

Cinda Klickna

Denise Ward
Administrative Assistant

Linda Rice

Audrey Soglin
Executive Director

Christina Williams

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Illinois Teacher of the Year believes investing in youth is investment in the future
Brave’s students prepare to video daily announcements complete with green screen technology and extensive audio and video production equipment. “Great thinkers have stated this sentiment more eloquently than I; my students may not remember the words I say to them, but they will remember how I made them feel. As their teacher, a tiny speck of me is forever incorporated into their DNA. When a teacher makes kids fall in love with learning, she has won the war.” And, it’s this attitude that has led Brave to take some of her most hardened students, mostly girls, out to a horse barn where she houses “Buddy,” a thoroughbred she found starving in a pasture, bought and nursed back to health. There, she encourages them to bond with the horse, to gain control of themselves and the 1,300-pound animal. And, when they’ve done so, Brave reminds them that “they are no longer allowed to tell her that they ‘couldn’t help myself,’ when they misbehave. Any girl who can mind her behavior and keep a thoroughbred calm has no excuses not to behave like a lady at school.” And, it’s this same attitude that encourages Brave to take a selected group of students to Chicago each year to stay, often for the first time ever, at a hotel, to eat at a restaurant with tablecloths, and visit Tiffany & Co. to try on jewelry so they can see that hard work can pay off. Brave will find out in May if she wins the national Teacher of the Year, but even without that award, she says teaching others has taught her much in the past 23 years. It has taught her that working with other teachers is inspiring and a key to doing great things. And, it’s taught her the importance of a successful education to the success of this country. “In our great society we need to be talking about what is right for all of our citizens and not just a select few,” she said. “There are answers to America’s failing schools, and it is as simple as recruiting and retaining high quality teachers.”

nnice Brave, an English and journalism teacher from 2000-plus student Alton High School in the Metro East area, may be petite, but she’s a powerhouse when it comes to the subjects of teaching and her students. Brave has been named the 2010 Teacher of the Year and she’s also one of four finalists for the national Teacher of the Year competition held by the Council of Chief State School Officers. You may also recognize her voice from a series of radio commercials that aired across the state in January touting the Illinois Education Association and its dedicated members. In addition, Brave testified on IEA’s behalf at Illinois House and Senate education reform committees in December and January. Brave has all the qualifications one might expect the Teacher of the Year would:


4 She was instrumental in abolishing
“testing in” to honors classes at her high school, relying instead on students promising to work hard enough to succeed and then doing so. Now, honors classes more accurately reflect the 33 percent minority population of the school.

4 She serves as a mentor for NBPTS candidates and beginner teachers.

4 She’s received a number of awards
both for her community and professional work, including being inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi academic honor society and the Kappa Delta Pi education honor society at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

4 She’s a former school board member. 4 And, she’s actively involved with
her local association and a former president of the Alton Education Association. But for Brave, teaching means more than being a part of professional organizations. “I believe that the relationships I build with students are what make my students better learners and certainly better citizens in our high school,” she said of Alton high, which is more than 50 percent poverty, but also home to kids driving the newest cars and carrying credit cards in their wallets.

4 She holds a Master of Science in Education degree.

4 She’s a National Board Certified

4 She’s a member of the Board of Examiners for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

4 She brought Instructional Practices Inventory to her school.

See a video of Brave at www.ieanea.org /video/a-visit-with-teacher-of-the-yearannice-brave/
www.ieanea.org | Advocate | 3|

Bloom High School students receive invention grant for oil regenerator Springfield teacher receives national educator award from Lions Clubs
A social worker and student support leader at Fairview Elementary School in Springfield received the first ever Lions Quest Educator Award for her work in and out of the classroom. Angela Troppa, who works with students in kindergarten through fifth grade to build children’s self-esteem, help them implement problem-solving skills and learn how to resist peer pressure. Troppa says using the Lions Quest curriculum has helped lower the school’s discipline reports significantly over the past year. It helps teach skills to resist drugs, peer pressure and violence while building self-esteem, peer relations, decision-making and problem solving. Lions Quest is a worldwide initiative of Lions Clubs International. Nearly 12 million youth in 60 countries have taken part in a Lions Quest classroom, and more than 500,000 educators and other adults have been trained to implement the program. For more information, visit www.lions-quest.org or www.lcif.org.

Bloom High School in Chicago Heights was awarded a $10,000 grant to create a machine that will recycle waste cooking oil for re-use by the restaurant, or for use as fuel. The school was one of 14 high schools nationwide that was awarded a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam grant. InvenTeams are groups of high school students, teachers and mentors that receive grants up to $10,000 each to invent technical solutions to realworld problems.

Patti Hodges named to ISU education Hall of Fame

invention could take the “Our of the oil collection dumpplace ster behind your local restaurant. ”
BHS teacher Barry Latham started the application process last spring and attended training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in June to help prepare the final proposal. A panel of judges made up of educators and researches from MIT and Harvard University, representatives from the industry and former award winners chose the recipients. Latham and his students were featured in a January 2009 Advocate article for working with his students to build equipment that changed cooking oil into biodiesel that was then used in a bus for the school. “Our invention could take the place of the oil collection dumpster behind your local restaurant,” Latham said. “The oil, once properly filtered, will be reusable by the restaurant, reducing their bottom line. The cleaned oil could also be collected by individuals who use it in waste vegetable oil powered diesel vehicles, or as a feedstock for biodiesel production.” The school’s InvenTeam also will work with Apps Communications to develop their invention. The Lemelson-MIT program recognizes the outstanding inventors and innovators transforming our world, and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through innovation. More information is available at http://web.mit.edu/invent/. Patti Hodges, the former IEA director of field services, was named to the Illinois State University College of Education Hall of Fame for her work in both teaching and with the IEA. Hodges is a 1972 graduate of ISU with an education degree and started her career as a middle school math teacher. In 1979, she joined the IEA as an organizer and went on to serve as a UniServ director, field services coordinator and interim executive director. She is known for her dedicated work with the IEA, serving more than 132,000 teachers and support staff throughout the state. She has been responsible for the planning, coordination and execution of membership programs ranging from education quality and organizational and leadership development to advocacy and political action. Hodges was one of seven people inducted to the ISU Hall of Fame in October. ISU was founded in 1857 with the purpose of training teachers for Illinois schools and its teacher and administrator preparation programs remain top notch.

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ESP gets specialized leadership training
ONE ILLINOIS ESP from Markham District 144 is learning how to make a difference. India Jones was one of 20 ESPs nationwide who was chosen for the National Education Association’s Leaders for Tomorrow program and one of two from Illinois. The other was Janice Hoffman from Putnam County District #535. Jones said she’s using the opportunity to participate in the program which grooms future leaders to make a difference in her own local. “We’re learning about ESPs and how to help our locals. Actually, a lot about ourselves and how to be good leaders — self improvement, self awareness, being more aware of our peers,” she said. Jones was chosen for Leaders for Tomorrow after an intense application process, which involved handwritten statements and phone interviews, and then a lot of waiting for callbacks. She remained hopeful, but was still very surprised when she was selected. After her acceptance, the hard work began. The program included three meetings in July, November and another scheduled for Washington, D.C. before participants graduate and attend the NEA’s national ESP conference. Jones said the initial summer meeting involved a lot of self-reflection. “July was the toughest one because we were actually dealing with ourselves and there might be something about yourself that makes you realize, ‘Wow — I need to make improvements in this area.’ It’s good because you need to be able to see what’s wrong with you before you can actually help someone else efficiently.” She also says the meetings have helped

By Jenny Celander

her communicate better with her peers and her administrators. Though she recommends the program, she warns, “Be prepared to work!” The trainings have allowed Jones to meet ESPs from around the country and hear about their issues — some similar and some different than the problems she faces in her district. ESPs are given the time to brainstorm with each other to find solutions that might help back in their own districts. “So, kind of getting information and bringing it back home. It’s a great program,” she said.

Are you a Gleek? Do
you know every episode? Every character? Every plot twist?
THE SHOW GLEE, A FOX TELEVISION series about a high school show choir that debuted in 2009, has gripped young and old alike with its stories pitting awkward teens against popular ones, its sometimes outrageous humor, its ability to touch on serious subjects with a tender hand and its ultra-talented cast. In October, Parade magazine did a story on real-life high school show choirs and prominently featured Sound Check from Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora and its director Mark Myers, IEA member and director of choral music at the school. He kindly agreed to do a Q&A: I saw in the article that you were in show choir when you were in high school. Did you become a teacher with the intent of eventually leading a show choir yourself? “I absolutely loved show choir when I was in high school, so possibly providing that experience to my future students was definitely a consideration in planning my career path. I am passionate about many different styles and genres of music and choral singing, though. Show choir is a great opportunity to offer to kids as part of a balanced and comprehensive school choral program.” What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? “The most rewarding aspect of my job is the connections I make with my students and the positive impact I hopefully have on their lives, both musically and otherwise.” What are the biggest challenges? “I feel that my biggest challenges are balancing my professional and personal lives, and lately, navigating the complex financial difficulties that our school and our families are facing.”

How do you decide on the songs the choir will sing and the choreography that will accompany them? “I choose all the music the show choir performs, but a professional choreographer comes in and works with the students on the staging and choreography. I am mostly inspired to choose music based on the specific students in the ensemble. Each group is unique, and so are their skills and interests. I always try to pick the best music for the unique group of students I am working with each year.” How long have you had this position? It looks as if the program has had much success throughout the 2000s. How do you keep that success going? “This is my 10th year teaching choral music, and my eighth at Waubonsie Valley. I was lucky to inherit an already excellent program from John DeGroot. I try to keep the success of our choirs going by never being complacent. I think it is important to be constantly growing and evolving to meet the needs of my students.”

www.ieanea.org | Advocate | 5 |

Tragedy unites teachers, students, district to save lives
By Jenny Celander


ne of the most devastating tragedies a school community can face is the loss of a student — especially when that death comes at the student’s own hand. After St. Charles school district lost six students to suicide in a span of seven years, teachers, students, administrators and community members knew something had to be done. The district became proactive. In May 2009, a month after the sixth student suicide, St. Charles held a series of four “Summit on Suicide Prevention” meetings. “We really just kind of threw open the doors to the community and school staff to talk about this issue and what we could do about it in our community,” said John Knewitz, assistant superintendent for student services. “The thing that was most significant was that we had students come in and talk about their observations of what goes on in the mental life of an adolescent and what they experience themselves, or with their friends, in terms of stress, depression and thoughts about suicide and things of that nature.” Knewitz said those initial meetings began the conversation. St. Charles administrators and school employees took suggestions from students and community members and from there, the district developed a suicide prevention action plan. The plan consists of “25 items coordinated around things we could do for students; things we could do for, or with, parents; things that we could do with, or for, the community; and things we could do with, or for, staff members.” The first step was to make students aware of available resources. The goal was to have every student in District 303 know exactly where to go for support in their schools and the surrounding community. Help was already there, it was just a matter of making sure students knew where to access it. The schools began this process during the summer, after the summits were held, by sending information out to students at home. Resources were listed in the home mailing and that information was reiter-

ated when the year began by posting it on bulletin boards, and including it in daily announcements. Information was also shared through social worker and counselor classroom visits and was printed in student planners and on the back of each student’s identification card. Additionally, the resources were also posted on the school’s suicide prevention facebook page and website. And, the district took steps to revamp curriculum. At the high school level, students are now required to receive four days a year of instruction on the topics of suicide and depression. The district has made a lot of structural changes to provide support and information, but one of the main, emotionally charged, components of this program is getting teachers and students comfortable talking about these issues. Don Schloman, St. Charles school superintendent, said one of the most important steps was to pull teachers and school staff aside first and ease them into the conversation. “The amazing thing for me is that teachers, when they really get behind an issue,

own an issue,” he said. “And, our teachers here have really owned this issue … they’re the ones making the difference.” The teachers in the district realized that they had to be comfortable enough to say to a student, “Are you thinking about suicide?” They had to initiate the conversation. “Part of what it is with teen mental health issues is there’s a lot of stigma with it,” said Annette Boatright, a suicide prevention specialist at St. Charles East High School. “And, by going into the education classes and talking to them and bringing awareness to those issues, there’s an increased knowledge in that they know where to go. It’s not something they need to be ashamed or embarrassed about because those conversations have already been started with the parents and the students.” Boatright came to St. Charles, in December 2009, from a district in Oklahoma. Her position is funded through the end of the 2010-11 school year. She said the district took the important first step, before she got there, with the summits.

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Tragedy unites teachers, students, district to save lives
“When there are suicides, emotions are so raw initially. And, I think a large part of those summits was getting out those feelings and emotions.” Boatright’s position involves gauging the needs at her school and then matching them. This was an exceptional challenge at St. Charles East because the last four suicides in the district were students who were either at the school or who had attended the school. She said her previous experience helped prepare her for the situation at East. “I do feel like through my experience in Oklahoma I was given several tools to know what students do respond to and what typically works in prevention across the board,” she said. One thing she identifies as working in St. Charles is the role of students as “gatekeepers.” The term means that students are able to identify warning signs in their friends. “It’s common among suicide prevention work to have a Gatekeeper Model where you educate students on looking for red flags among their peers and making referrals. And so for a couple of years now they have been going into health classes in the middle schools and high schools educating students on those risk factors and how to seek out help for your friends,” she explained. Student participation is a huge component in the St. Charles action plan. After the summits, students organized suicide prevention clubs in order to continue to have a voice in the implementation of the district’s action plan. Through that participation the district can hear straight from the source what is working and what is not. “Across the board in prevention work you see a lot of youth advisory councils,” Boatright said. “One way or another they are either directly involved with a club or they serve on an advisory council. And, what I’ve seen in District 303 is both. They’ve included the youth voice to get the ideas.” So is this plan successful? “To me, the self-referrals speak volumes,” Boatright said. “I am seeing more peers referring friends to get them connected to the student service department, but I’m also seeing an increase in self-referrals. Which allows us to intervene much, much sooner before a crisis level hits.” Knewitz is in agreement. The exact success is hard to measure but he said, “Students have been receptive and they have come forward and staff have been able to intervene on a number of those occasions.” He said he knows the district has had some success and is doing some good things but he also recognizes that there is always room for improvement. St. Charles continues to keep an eye out for things that can be added to their plan or suggestions that can be made. Boatright said St. Charles is pushing in the right direction though, because the district understands that “with suicide prevention the stakes are so high.”

E-WU adjuncts win round in fight to organize
djunct faculty organizers at East-West University in Chicago won a significant victory in December when the university agreed to settle an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge on the terms of union supporters. In the settlement, the university agreed to provide back pay and new job protections to five adjunct faculty members who had been unfairly denied classes because of their union organizing activities. The university also must post legal notices assuring other employees that they will not be subject to dismissal or reprisals if they support the adjunct faculty’s continuing union organizing effort. The settlement was achieved after a judge from the National Labor Relations Board strongly advised university officials to settle in lieu of having the ULP decision go against them. For Curtis Keyes, Jr., and the other adjunct faculty organizers for the United Adjunct Faculty Association (IEA-NEA), the settlement comes as relief and vindication of their efforts. Five adjunct faculty organizers at East-West University received back pay and job protections in the settlement of an Unfair Labor Practice charge. Left to right, they are: Pamela Morgan, Erma Faire-Doeing, Elvert Howard, Ken Peterson and Curtis Keyes, Jr. “This is a major victory,” said Keyes, “and there is still much to do. We are continuing to circulate authorization cards in order to get an election this winter quarter. Our faculty members deserve fair representation and we’re going to do all we can to make it happen.” Keyes and other faculty members started the organizing drive last year based on the adjunct faculty’s lack of job security, poor working conditions and inadequate pay. IEA has assisted the effort since its inception.

www.ieanea.org | Advocate | 7|

Schiller Park boosts technology, test scores follow
By Jenny Celander
“Then the district said, ‘You’re right, this is important. We’re going to go ahead and get this,’” Risolvo continues. Since then, the district has equipped every classroom with a Promethean Board; with the help of a National Education Association grant, 15 iPod Touches were purchased; each classroom was given five laptop computers; and with what money was left, each teacher received an iPad. “The engagement level is huge. Look, we could walk out of here right now and no one would even notice,” Risolvo laughs as she stands in a classroom full of students. A number of her students are paired off, crouched over iPads playing a spelling game. A small group of students work together on identifying synonyms and antonyms at the Promethean Board. “The engagement level has really improved. The other thing we’ve found is that you can do a better job of individualized instruction.”

alking through the halls of elementary schools in the Schiller Park School district, you wouldn’t notice right away what’s so different at these buildings than many others in Illinois. Student artwork lines the halls. Classrooms are filled with colorfully decorated bulletin boards and miniature chairs. And, at Washington and Kennedy Elementary Schools students learn common elementary level curriculum. Fourth graders work on reading comprehension and vocabulary. Third graders are quizzed on books they have just finished reading. In kindergarten classrooms, students practice reciting the months of the year and days of the week. What sets this district apart is not what the students are learning it is how they are being taught. They are being taught in new and innovative ways, thanks, the school superintendent says, to the hard work of the schools’ teachers. Each teacher is armed with technology. Students learn reading and vocabulary


with the assistance of iPods. They practice spelling on iPads. They learn about the calendar through interactive lessons on their classroom Promethean Board. These Schiller Park students are given an opportunity not every district gets — they are immersed in technology and the lessons that come with it. The push for technological resources came to Schiller Park about five years ago when a number of teachers applied for a grant for tablet computers, classroom projectors, printers and digital cameras. Once the grant was awarded, things took off from there. “That first year the equipment was used constantly,” explains Kathleen Risolvo, one of the teachers who helped write the original grant. “The projectors were used at assemblies, they were put on carts and wheeled around and we realized what a need it was for everyone to have a computer and everyone to have a projector.” Teachers worked together to write a second grant, which lead to a Promethean Board for all fourth grade classrooms.

Electronic quizzes with the push of a button
In Elizabeth Albandia’s room, each student has chosen a book to read and they are then grouped according to the difficulty level of that book and their reading abilities. Albandia reveals her students’ latest book club projects through the help of the Promethean Board and devices called Activotes. Each student uses a controller to register their answer with the press of a button when prompted by their teacher. “We need to gather some information before we talk about our projects,” Albandia explains. “We need some fast information, folks, about whether you liked doing ‘Book Talk.’ Did you like it so far?” A colorful display pops up onto the board with three choices. “If we choose A, we say, ‘Yes we did like it.’ B, I need to wait and see. I’m not quite sure if I like it. Or C, I don’t think I’m going to like it.” Students tap their controllers and the Promethean Board reveals when each student has responded. “Alright, thank you. I can see that you

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Schiller Park boosts technology, test scores follow
ment at home. When they come to school everyone has the same tools. Taylor also says the technological integration was so smooth because the teachers led the charge. “It is teacher led. It truly is. It can’t be top down. I couldn’t have said to these teachers next year you will have a Promethean Board. It would not have been the same implementation as coming from the teachers. And, it was a huge expenditure so we had to know they were prepared and ready to use it.” Taylor says the district provided staff development for teachers through a train the trainer model. Lead teachers attend training sessions and then return to instruct the rest of their team on what they have learned. “It was all developed by teacher leaders,” Taylor said. “They had a plan. They knew what they were doing. It’s amazing what teachers — when you give them the opportunity to be in leadership positions — will do, where they’ll go, and where they’ll motivate their peers to follow them.” Although making important leaps with the use of technology, teachers at Schiller Park schools are not reinventing the wheel. They say much of the technology they use comes with ideas for lesson plans. Because Promethean Boards are web-based, they come with a library of resources that can be tweaked to fit a teacher’s needs. And, technology doesn’t stop with the elementary schools. At Lincoln Middle School, which opened this year in a brand new state-of-the-art building, students learn piano and guitar through the help of technological tools. In half of the room, chords and finger positioning flash across the Promethean Board while Erin Mullarney, Schiller Park Education Association president and music teacher, plays “I Got a Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas from her iTunes account. Students strum along in unison. In the other half of the room, students learn piano on keyboards hooked up to Apple computers. They are given an opportunity to compose their own music through Apple’s Garage Band program. “It has really changed how we teach,” Mullarney explains. “Technology is not a separate — it’s definitely integrated into our classrooms.”

have all voted. We’re going to stop and see what happens. What do you think? What do you think?” Albandia clicks into a spot on the board and the result pops up in the form of a bar graph. “Oh! Wow! Many of us chose A. ‘Yes! We liked it!’ B, some of us are waiting … and then a few of us said we don’t really like it … and that’s okay. Alright, well that’s very interesting for me to know. Thank you for sharing that.” Each child in Albandia’s class is assigned a number. If she wants to see which students choose which response, she is able to do so by tracing the number back to the student’s name. “I need to ask you another question,” Albandia continues.

They each take their turn and when one student takes an extra turn to explain how the board works, they decide to even things out by each going twice in a row.

Teacher leaders make a difference
The district’s superintendent, Roberta J. Taylor, says the use of technology is “just another tool in our tool box.” And, the tools seem to be working. The district’s reading and math scores are up more than 20 percent from 2004. “I think the most dramatic thing for me is that we’ve closed the gap,” Taylor explains. “There isn’t a significant difference between economically disadvantaged and all white, or second language and all white. That’s harder to do.” She says the technology puts students on a level playing field because some kids may not have access to this kind of equip-

A person, place or thing
In Michelle Erickson’s classroom students take turns identifying nouns, verbs, and adjectives using the Promethean Board’s interactive pen to drag words into the correct category. When one student gets hung up on “brother,” another gently reminds him that a noun is a “person, place, or thing.” “Sometimes we share by going in a line,” one student explains. “But today we’re doing it this way.”

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ESP saves school principal’s
life after hunting accident

Jeff Rabida, president of the Mt. Olive Education Support Professional Association, right, with Principal Doug Smith.


he president of the Mt. Olive Education Support Personnel Association, Jeff Rabida, doesn’t consider himself a hero. To his thinking, he just did what anybody else would have done if they’d faced the same situation. Doug Smith, his school principal and hunting friend, sees things quite a bit differently. “He’s a hero,” said Smith. “I don’t know what else to say about him. He stepped up and did things that were extremely hard to do. He was right there on the spot and saved my life.” Smith’s recognition of Rabida as a hero began the morning of Nov. 19, the first day of firearm deer hunting season. An accidental blast from Smith’s 12-gauge shotgun had left the principal critically injured, bleeding and fighting for his life. Were it

not for Rabida’s quick response, calm focus and willingness “to hurt” his wounded friend, Smith most surely would have died. Rabida has been a custodian for Mt. Olive public schools for 30 years, currently serving as administrator of building and grounds. As local union president, he represents some 27 custodians, secretaries and teaching assistants. He describes Mt. Olive as: “A small town. Good schools. Everybody knows everybody. A very nice place to live.” Smith is the K-8 principal at the single building K-12 school district, with supervisory responsibilities for support professionals as well as 30 of the district’s 50 teachers. He’s been there for seven years. The men are good friends and avid hunters. For months they had planned the hunt, scouted the woods, built several

camouflaged deer stands on prime turf in the heavy timber, and awaited the season’s opening. They talked about it in passing as their paths crossed at school. “Lots of guys deer hunt,” said Rabida. “The custodians and teachers — some of the women do too. It’s a big deal. We all look forward to the start of the season.” The hunt on Nov. 19 started early. By 5:30 a.m., Rabida, his adult son, and Smith had each arrived at their chosen sites on a friend’s land in the deep forest (Shoal Creek trail) near Walshville. They spaced themselves about 200 yards apart in separate deer stands and waited. The first shots were fired sometime between 8:30 and 9 a.m. Principal Smith text-messaged the two others, notifying them that he was confident he’d shot a deer. Through text

|10 | Advocate | FEBRUARY 2011

ESP saves school principal’s life after hunting accident
communications, the three agreed to wait for half an hour or so before starting the search for the animal. After about 15 minutes, Rabida decided to start the trek out of the heavy woods toward the all-terrain “Bad Boy Buggy” he’d parked near the trail, a 10-minute walk just to get to the vehicle. He knew the trail would take him in the general direction of Smith and the deer, and the men would need the vehicle to transport the animal. Around 9:30, Rabida received another text message from Smith notifying him that he had located his fallen deer. “When I got there, he was lying on the ground in a pool of blood with his arm stuck under him,” said Rabida. “He was calm and that kept me calm — exactly the kind of person you’d want running a school if there was an emergency. He said call 911. My phone wouldn’t connect with 911 emergency so I called someone else and told him to call an ambulance, maybe even a helicopter.” flew him to Memorial Medical Center in Springfield. He was in critical condition, having lost massive amounts of blood. He arrived at the hospital about 11 a.m. According to Smith, the last thing he remembers before surgery was a doctor reaching into his wound, pinching off an artery, and stating, “I got it. Let’s go.” The principal passed out quickly thereafter. He spent the next eight hours on the operating table, the first of some 20 hours in surgery over the next two days.

Applying a tourniquet
By that time, Smith, who had learned a good deal about first aid procedures through scouts and the military, had managed to remove his belt. He told Rabida he had to get a tourniquet on the arm quickly. “You’ve got to help me get a tourniquet on this arm,” Smith told Rabida. “If I scream with the pain, you just have to do it, no matter what.” “I knew we had to lift his arm and that it was going to hurt very badly,” said Rabida. “He said, ‘I don’t care. You’ve got to do it.’ He was as calm as could be. The way he handled the situation was really something as far as I’m concerned.” Knowing the intense pain the procedure would cause, Rabida pulled Smith’s damaged arm from under him, wrapped the belt around and shoved his shoulder hard in order to tighten the tourniquet and reduce blood flow. The principal screamed and told him it wasn’t tight enough. He did it again, harder, tightened it up and tied it off. Fighting dizziness, and with Rabida assisting and holding him steady, Smith struggled to his feet and into the buggy. With his right hand, Rabida held Smith’s shoulder to keep him in the vehicle as he drove over rough trail about a quarter mile to the trailhead. An ambulance, game warden and emergency medical technician (EMT) arrived within minutes. As soon as the EMT saw the injury, he radioed for an emergency medical helicopter. The emergency airlift arrived minutes later, loaded Smith into the helicopter, and

A frantic cell phone call
All seemed fine at that point, but just as Rabida was arriving at the buggy, he received an urgent cell phone call from Smith. There had been a terrible accident. Smith’s shotgun had accidentally discharged. He’d been shot point blank with a 12-guage slug that entered near his left wrist then ripped through his forearm and upper arm, shattering the bone above his elbow. An artery had been severed. “I knew I’d done a massive amount of damage,” Smith said. “I screamed. I grabbed my cell phone, called Jeff and told him to get here as fast as he could. I started thinking about my first aid training and what I had to tell Jeff when he got there.” “I could tell from the sound of his voice that something was terribly wrong,” said Rabida. “He told me he was shot. My heart just dropped. Fortunately, I was already right at the buggy.” The accident had occurred in heavy woods. While the critically injured Smith made his way through the timber some 25 yards to the trail, where he knew he’d be found, Rabida jumped in the all-terrain vehicle and sped over the rough trail in the direction of his friend. In a minute Rabida arrived at the spot where his friend lay bleeding, his arm almost completely severed and wrenched under him. Both men knew that Smith was in real trouble.

Quick response and calmness under pressure
Doctors confirmed after the fact that every second counted in the fight to save Smith’s life. The principal’s knowledge of first aid was essential. Equally so was Rabida’s quick response, calmness under pressure, and willingness to do what was necessary to aid his friend during the emergency in order to stop the bleeding — even if it meant putting his friend through excruciating pain. “It wasn’t easy for him to do that,” Smith said of Rabida. “He knew he had to hurt me to tighten down the tourniquet. It was very difficult, given the mass of the situation and the massive amount of blood that I’d lost. I’d be hard pressed to do that to someone I know, put them in that much pain.” Smith has since endured several additional corrective surgeries. His arm, now about an inch shorter than before the accident, is slowly getting better. He still must keep it elevated so it doesn’t swell with blood. The physical therapy is painful, but coming along. His return to his principal duties depends on his medical progress, but it could be as early as February. In perspective, that’s all good news. “If he (Rabida) hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t be here,” said Smith. “I know that for a fact. He’s a great guy. He did what he had to do, and that’s what heroes do.”

www.ieanea.org | Advocate | 11|

From the chair

By Jack Tucker

I’M SURE THAT BY THIS TIME, Illinois legislators are overtaken by a sense of satisfaction that against all odds they have done the “right thing” and modernized the pension system. I’m sure they anticipate a flood gate of changes in other retirement systems based on the stand they took. I am also certain that lawmakers have the expectation that over time, teachers and other public employees will come to understand their actions. However, after some study, I would like to ask the legislature a few questions regarding the new, modernized two-tier pension system.

Wind farm trip whips up interest

Topic 1
What response is there for those entering the profession under Tier II benefits who are asking:

4 Is it true we have the worst funded teacher pension system in the country? If so, who is responsible for the underfunding?

4 Is it true, contrary to media reports and editorials, that Tier I benefits are
comparable to other state teacher retirement systems and that Tier II are significantly lower than other states?

Topic 2
What considerations were given when teachers were lumped into the same new retirement age under Tier II benefits, including issues like: ave you ever driven through Illinois and noticed the large white windmills spotting the highway and wonder what work they are doing and what’s being done with the energy they’re creating? The IEA-Retired Lincoln Chapter got an up close and personal look at the Horizon Rail Splitter Wind Farm in Hopedale in September. And, they’re sharing their experience with you. Click on http://gallery.me.com/chuson#100133 and watch as Dave Sinn, a farmer with two windmills on his property, teaches retirees about what happens on wind farms. Some of the tidbits? Wind is a form of solar energy that leaves no harmful emissions or pollutants in the environment.

4 Is it reasonable and good education policy to require all teachers to remain in the classroom up to age 67? Is there a difference between what a state employee working a desk job is required to do on a daily basis versus a teacher in a classroom? Was any thought given to the impact on the quality of instruction in all classrooms at all age levels when everyone will be required to stay until 67?


4 Is it true those entering under Tier II will be teaching their last decade or
so with no significant increase in their retirement benefit? If so, is that an intended or unintended consequence?

Topic 3
The unfunded liability is a huge concern to all annuitants, participants, and future participants. What are the long term actuarial impacts of contributions under Tier II being maintained at 9.4 percent while paying out a lower schedule of benefits? Does this have an impact on the unfunded liability? If so, how much of an impact and when it is realized?

Topic 4
There are reports in the media that the Tier II benefits may be so much lower than Tier I that at some point in the future they will not meet the standard required to maintain Social Security exemption.

The ups and downs of teaching
LOOKING FOR INSPIRATION in your career? A 34-year-veteran teacher from Monmouth High School is serving up a healthy dose by retelling stories from her career in “The Education of a Teacher: Including dirty books and pointed looks.” Told as creative stories based on real events, you’ll read about author Susan Van Kirk’s early fears as a rookie teacher, student plots to overthrow her and other tales that tell the sad and funny story of the school, the town and the students who Van Kirk say taught her as much as she taught them. Go to www.susanvankirk.com to learn more.

4 Is this true? Do projections show that at some future point the benefits
will not meet the threshold for exemption from Social Security?

4 If this is true, what is the impact on both employees and employers? Will
it not INCREASE retirement costs significantly for EMPLOYERS if they have to begin mandated contributions to Social Security in addition to the TRS benefits? Even voices demanding pension reform have stated it is in the state’s interests to maintain a TRS system that is exempt from Social Security inclusion, so why would anyone want to put the system at risk for not meeting the minimum benefit standards? The need for teachers to stay politically involved is more desperate today than ever. It’s time for the legislature to get educated and realize that legislation is not something that you do to someone; it’s something that you do with someone. There has to be a place for us at the table of legislative change.

|12 | Advocate | FEBRUARY 2011

Capitol Report
Upcoming General Assembly to address many education-related issues
DECEMBER AND EARLY JANUARY proved to be busier than normal months for Illinois legislators and the next few months should be no different, especially for those involved in education. Many of the issues that were addressed in the lame duck session of the 96th General Assembly In testimony to the education reform comwill be reintroduced in the mittee of the house and senate from left to right: IEA President Ken Swanson, ISBE 97th General Assembly. Some of the more Teacher of the Year, Annice Brave, and IEA Executive Director, Audrey Soglin. prominent issues will be education reform, pension modernization for current employees, limits on campaign contribution, efforts to curtail collective bargaining rights and even proposals to repeal the recently imposed income tax. And those issues are just bills that have been introduced in the first two weeks. We anticipate that we will need your help in responding to all sorts of issues that impact our members and the students you serve. So, as we prepare for what will certainly be a session that will stretch the organization in many ways we want to offer some suggestions on how to make sure you stay informed: 1. Check the IEA website (www.ieanea.org) on a regular basis. Not only will you find timely information about what is going on at the Capitol, it will also be a resource for fact sheets, calls to action and the weekly Capitol Report. 2. Read the Capitol Report (CR). The CR is compiled weekly and provides a thorough summary on what has happened legislatively. We report on committee action, floor action and issues that may be on the move. 3. Start thinking about what kind of a network you have established to reach out to your local legislator. As we often say, our job in Springfield is significantly enhanced if state lawmakers hear from their constituents. 4. Prepare to make your voice heard on Lobby Day. This year, Lobby Day will be held on Wed., May 4. More information surrounding the details of Lobby Day will be coming forth over the next month. If you have questions about legislation or the General Assembly, do not hesitate to contact someone in the Government Relations Department. We can be reached at 217-544-0706.

Help available to understand state’s new two-tier pension system
By Cinda Klickna
WONDERING ABOUT THE STATE’S new two-tier pension system and who it may affect? There is information available on the Teachers’ Retirement System website to help you understand who qualifies and what it means. The new pension benefit law went into effect Jan. 1 for those in all systems affecting our members — Teachers’ Retirement System, State Universities Retirement System and the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, even though IMRF is not a state-funded plan. The pension law creates two tiers of benefits. A comparison chart explaining Tier I and Tier II can be accessed on the TRS website http://trs.illinois.gov. Click on Legislative Information on the left panel and the first item Pension Legislation Enacted will take you to the chart.

Q and A
1. Who is in Tier I?
Teachers and administrators who first contributed to TRS prior to Jan. 1, or teachers and administrators who had any previous service credit with TRS, or a reciprocal pension system prior to 2011, even if they left TRS or a reciprocal pension system at any time and then returned to a TRS-covered position.

2. Is everyone hired after Jan. 1 in Tier II?
Absolutely NOT. It is important to check whether a person had any prior service, reciprocal service with any other pension system — see question 1. A student teacher who subbed (even one day) after finishing student teaching in 2010, an aide who became a teacher, a person who worked in another job in another system any time prior to Jan 2011 would all be covered under Tier I.

www.ieanea.org | Advocate | 13 |

hen there is a problem to solve in the classroom, teachers know that the best way to solve it is with student participation. When students help create the solutions they are more likely to embrace them. After years of lecturing to my K5 Dryden Elementary art students to stop ruining their paint brushes, to put their art supplies away correctly, and to conserve resources during clean up, I found that I was the only one who cared about these issues and student compliance was mainly based on my directives. I thought to myself, these are issues I’m going to have to deal with as long as I’m an art teacher. There must be a better way to communicate the importance of caring for the art room so that students will internalize the solution and act based on their own initiative. This is how Fugleflicks began. I had video editing software on my school computer (iMovie) and had dabbled with movie-making for the school musicals in the past. So, I began to offer special opportunities to my students to make videos during lunch recesses that would create solutions to common art room dilemmas. I used a problem-based learning approach where I proposed one problem to a group of movie-makers and asked them to work together to produce a movie that clearly demonstrated the solution to the problem with our entire K-5 population as the target audience. I took on the role as facilitator, showing the students how to create a storyboard, write a script, create an original song, record it on the computer (using Garageband), film the movie and edit it. Young Sloppy Brush, 2007, the tragic musical story of a once handsome brush who succumbed to the evils of sloppiness in the hands of a careless artist, was our first Fugleflick. This googly-eyed crustyhaired brush won the hearts of my students and gave a “face” to the horrors of carelessness. The rich learning that took place during the movie-making experience for my filmmakers, coupled with the rest of my

Teacher uses movie making to solve classroom problem W

By Tricia Fuglestad

students’ positive response, convinced me that the time and effort of movie-making was well worth it. After the premiere of Young Sloppy Brush, students had a way to visualize the consequences of mismanagement and vocabulary to express why it was important. Best of all, I wasn’t alone in my desire to maintain clean and useful paintbrushes in the art room. I soon heard students encouraging classmates to paint neatly and warning each other against damaging the brushes. With this success there began a culture of creative problem-solving through movie making in my classroom.

4 Swept Away, 2008, the story of what
happens when art supplies are left on the floor at the end of the day, was produced the following year.

Fugleflicks are not just about classroom management. My students have also produced movies to answer questions such as “What is art?”(see I AM ART), “What if colors fell in love?” (see Complementary in Every Way), “What happens when you draw past the edge of your paper?” (see La La Land), and “How do glue bottles feel when they get clogged?” (see The Glue Blues). Each movie is a tribute to the creative minds of students who when given opportunity and guidance have so many wonderful ideas to share. Many of my students’ movies have won national awards, been screened in local and international film festivals, been the subject of articles and blog posts across the world, featured in a college art education textbook, and have recently been distinguished with a second runner up Edublog Award. All of our Fugleflicks are posted online on vimeo and indexed on my fugleflicks.wikispaces.com site to give access to students and teachers anywhere. Sadly, I have more students begging to make movies than I can accommodate during a school year. But, as more teachers embrace digital storytelling and the use of dynamic media in the classroom, the more opportunities there will be to give students a voice, exercise their 21st century learning skills, and expand their multiple intelligences.

4 Let’s be Green When We Clean
made in 2009 tackled the problems of wasting paper towel, water, and recycling paper scraps during clean up. Each movie-making experience was offered to new groups of students giving more and more opportunities to my Dryden School population to use their higherlevel thinking skills as they worked collaboratively to problem-solve. (See Create: The Highest Level of Thinking). Filmmaking began evolving into an extension of my art program since it combines the use of dynamic media, creative storytelling, with visual literacy skills.

Tricia Fuglestad, NBCT, 2010 PBS Teachers Innovation Awards Winner, is a K-5 elementary art teacher at Dryden Elementary School, Arlington Heights, Illinois who is always looking for creative ways to teach her students to draw from life. PBS Teacherline course: Dynamic Media and Digital Storytelling Dryden Art Program Site: www.sd25.org/~tfuglestad/art/Drydenart.html Why make Fugleflicks: CREATE: The highest level of thinking Fugleflicks Index and Tutorials: http://fugleflicks.wikispaces.com/Fugleflick_Index Fugleflicks Channel on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/channels/fuglefun Problem-Based Learning: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem-based_learning Follow Tricia on Twitter: http://twitter.com/fuglefun

|14 | Advocate | FEBRUARY 2011

IEA Presents

by Mark Michaels, SOS/IIE Project Organizer
hat will it take to fix Illinois’ economy? That was the question asked of five distinguished economists at IEA’s economic summit, “Moving Illinois Forward: Real solutions for a broken economy,” and their answers surprised many in attendance. The summit was held Oct. 8 at Chicago’s Union League. About 200 attended. The economists, Fred Giertz, creator of the Illinois Flash Index of economic activity; Jon Shure, from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, Richard Longworth, author of “Caught in the Middle: America’s Heartland in the Age of Globalism;” former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich; and Ralph Martire of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, presented their findings. IEA President Ken Swanson summed up their comments, recognizing that there is no simple answer to our current financial crises. So what will it take to fix the economy?


4 Taking actions which energize
consumer spending. As Reich stated, businesses grow when people buy things, not when taxes are reduced. Reich further explained that it is easy to increase employment by paying people less money, but such actions do not increase consumer spending.

4 Being careful not to reduce state
expenditures which would reduce consumer spending. Main Street is hurt every time a teacher, firefighter, police officer or other public sector employee is laid off.

4 States throughout the Midwest
must work collectively to rebuild a Midwest economy, explained Longworth. Competing for companies that stay around only as long as incentives continue does not provide for long-term economic stability.

organization has fought for years to improve education and will continue to do so. But, IEA cannot succeed at this in the current economic climate. To achieve this solution, the conversation cannot just be about “cut, cut, cut.” It has to be much more. IEA is committed to fostering this conversation, to develop real world solutions to fixing Illinois’ very broken economy. And, to make these efforts succeed, we must all take part. As Swanson extended an invitation to the audience to participate, I do to you. Tell us what you think it will take for Illinois to dig its way out of this mess. We’re listening. E-mail at iealistens@ieanea.org. The summit was funded with a grant from the NEA.




AT :

4 When corporate incentives are
used, they must be strategic. Reducing corporate incentives is one way to reduce expenditures.

PART ONE: “Good Jobs v. Low Wages…” www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlbiZZXMXD0 PART TWO: “Invest in Education…” www.youtube.com/watch?v=64QDW-dxcH8 PART THREE: “Education Critical in Global Economy…” www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7x_sKNmIF8 PART FOUR: “Questions & Answers” www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YogWNPCWb4

4 Everyone must participate in
bringing about a recovery.

4 Ultimately, the state needs to convert to a more progressive tax structure. As IEA President Ken Swanson told those gathered at the summit, the

4 According to Martire, a balanced
approach to resolving the state’s budget crises that includes strategic cuts and increased revenues.

www.ieanea.org | Advocate | 15 |

Kirby para educators create cookie jar project, help struggling students, families
It wasn’t lost on leaders of the Kirby Para Educators Association (KPEA) when more and more students this year began coming to school seemingly in need of new clothing, warm coats, a winter hat, gloves or maybe even a square meal. So when the KPEA council got together for an association meeting, they decided as a union to do what they could to help. They created the “Cookie Jar Project.” And what began in September as one simple good idea has now become a program of great pride and accomplishment for the 112 members of the local and within Kirby School District #140 in southwest suburban Cook County. The cookie jar project is a fundraiser created and administered through the KPEA that’s designed to provide monetary assistance to district students and families in need. About once a month at each of the seven schools in the K-8 district, para educators organize a “cookie jar day.” Local association members, as well as some teachers and administrators, bake and provide cookies, muffins, pastries and other treats in the employee lunch and break areas. A cookie jar is placed on the table. Those who enjoy the treats are asked to make small donations which are then collected and distributed to students and/or families that are identified as having a specific need. The cookie jar fundraising effort was expanded over the holidays. KPEA volunteers wrapped gifts for patrons at a local Borders Book Shop in Matteson. Gift-wrap donations were then added to the cookie jar. So far, the cookie jar project has raised more than $2,000 (with most already dispersed) for the purpose of providing clothing, groceries and other necessities for District #140 students and families that are challenged by the current economy. Local association organizers say the program has been energizing and has contributed a great deal to the local’s goal of making a positive difference in the lives of students.
at each school. KPEA members at each work site are in charge of the program. They organize the cookie jar dates, sign up volunteers to provide the treats, and collect the donations. If any staff member at a school becomes aware of a student who may be in need of clothing or have another specific need, she/he will contact the school principal or social worker. The principal and/or social worker looks into the matter. If the need is confirmed, with concurrence of the family, KPEA then makes a contribution to the family. The association and school district take great care in maintaining privacy around the program. “Every school except one has requested funds for someone,” said Lesniak. “We’ve capped the donation level at $100 for families with more than one student and $50 for single student families. If we have funds remaining after Christmas, we may decide to re-gift some families. That’s a hard time for many because that’s when the bills come due.” Both Dwyer and Lesniak note that KPEA members have been overwhelmingly supportive and energized in making the idea come to life. Association leadership meetings have become exciting events as building organizers share successful cookie jar fundraising stories. KPEA members are not the only ones who support the program. Michael Byrne, District #140 superintendent, shares the local’s enthusiasm for the cookie jar project and offers a great deal of support. “We’re extremely proud as a school district about what the KPEA is doing,” said Byrne. “The whole spirit of giving and meeting the needs of students adds to the positive climate and morale here. These folks are not paid as much as others. But they’ve taken it upon themselves to go above and beyond the call of duty, to really meet the needs of students. It’s the kind of thing that creates the kind of atmosphere we’re looking for — one of cooperation and the empathy that goes along with it.”

Katie Jamraz and Audeen Gloede, both KPEA members and volunteers for gift wrapping at Borders.
Carol Dwyer, KPEA vice president, came up with the original idea. “The teachers’ association already provides a scholarship for some graduating seniors in our community,” Dwyer said.“We thought about doing that too. But we wanted to do something for current students and families who are having a tough time now rather than wait for high school.” Dwyer said the need for the program is evident. “Our community is a fairly affluent or middle class community,” Dwyer said . “But we still see kids coming to school with shoes that don’t fit, no hats, no gloves, and it’s not because they left them at home. It’s because they don’t have them. We wanted to do something about that.” The cookie jar project, she said, is aptly named because of its reliance on small donations and gifts. “That’s what you get from a cookie jar,” she said, “small treats.” Elaine Lesniak, KPEA president, noted that the program operates a little differently

|16 | Advocate | FEBRUARY 2011

See the accompanying video at:


157th IEA-NEA Representative Assembly
ome 1,250 delegates representing IEA K-12 teachers, higher education personnel, educational support professionals, retirees and student members will attend the 157th meeting of the IEA Representative Assembly (IEA RA) this March at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. The RA, the highest policymaking body of the association, will bring together representatives from your IEA regions and local associations to act on resolutions, reports and recommendations of the IEA Board of Directors and motions by fellow delegates. The meeting is the culmination of a yearlong effort to ensure that members’ needs and interests are integrated into the daily workings of the organization. The days are spent conducting crucial association business and making policy, including the all-important discussions on how your dues dollars will be spent. The IEA Representative Assembly is your assembly. Contact your leaders now and make sure they carry your concerns to this policymaking body. Your involvement gives life to our democratic traditions.



Saturday, March 12, 2011
7:00 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.....................................................................Voting 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. ..................................Registration and Information 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. ....................Parliamentary Assistance Committee 9:00 a.m. -................................................................................Vote Tally FOURTH BUSINESS SESSION............................................ 9:00 a.m. - Noon President Ken Swanson Presiding • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Recognition of Committee Chairpersons Action on Resolutions Action on Bylaws (as time permits) Action on Budget Action and Adoption of Legislative Platform Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) Report Teachers’ Retirement System Report State Universities Retirement System (SURS) Report NEA Directors’ Report Action on New Business Items (as time permits) Presentation of IEA-R Mary Lou and Keith Hauge Award Presentation of Human Services and Civil Rights Award Presentation of Illinois’ NEA Foundation Award For Teaching Excellence Presentation of IEA Friend of Education Award Presentation of Bob Haisman Student of the Year Award Presentation of Bob Haisman Teacher of the Year Award Presentation of ESP of the Year Award Presentation of Illinois Teacher of the Year Award

Thursday, March 10, 2011
6:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. .............................. Registration and Information 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. ..............................................Candidates’ Meeting 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.......................................Board of Directors’ Dinner 9:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. ................................Board of Directors’ Meeting

Friday, March 11, 2011
8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. ................................ Registration and Information (Registration closes at 8:00 p.m. for delegates and successors. Non-delegates may register through Saturday.) 8:30 a.m. - 7:15 p.m. .................... Parliamentary Assistance Committee FIRST BUSINESS SESSION .............................................. 9:00 a.m. - Noon President Ken Swanson Presiding • • • • • • • • • • • Welcome Call to Order Invocation Flag Salute National Anthem First Report on Credentials Adoption of Standing Rules Adoption of Agenda National Landscape Overview Nomination of Candidates Candidates’ Forum

FIFTH BUSINESS SESSION ........................................1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. President Ken Swanson Presiding • • • • • • • • • • • • IEA-NEA Scholarship Awards Presentation Action on New Business Items (as time permits) Membership Awards Legislative Update NEA Representative Assembly Chicago Advance Organizer IEA Student Program Report Illinois Association of School Nurses Report Report of State Teacher Certification Board Retired Program Report Final Report on Credentials Introduction of Newly Elected Officers Closing Remarks

ADJOURNMENT The program will be interrupted to recognize special guests and to announce election results.

SECOND BUSINESS SESSION.................................... 3:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. President Ken Swanson Presiding • • • • • • • • • • Introduction of Podium Introduction of Executive Committee Presentation of Proposed Budget Presentation of 2011-2012 Legislative Platform Presentation of Proposed Resolutions Presentation of Proposed Bylaws Action on Resolutions (as time permits) Action on Bylaws (as time permits) Executive Director’s Report Action on New Business Items (as time permits)

How your delegates are chosen
Each IEA-NEA region is allotted delegates on a formula of one delegate per 100 members. In addition to regional delegates, each region will be allotted an additional delegate position, which has been designated a regional ethnic-minority representative who is pledged to represent ethnic-minority members within the regions and will be elected regionwide. The number of retired delegates attending the IEA RA is based on the number of retired members as of July 31 preceding the annual RA meeting. One delegate represents 500 retired members. The number of student delegates attending the IEA RA is based on the student program membership population as of the October preceding the RA. One delegate represents 100 student members. To further understand the RA, visit www.ieanea.org for a short video presentation of RA activities, as well as an overview of delegate responsibilities.

THIRD BUSINESS SESSION ........................................5:45 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. President Ken Swanson Presiding • • • • Secretary-Treasurer’s Report Action on Budget Action on New Business Items (as time permits) President’s Address

www.ieanea.org | Advocate | 17|

M E E T T H E C A N D I D AT E S • P R E S I D E N T

Bob Blade
A couple of years ago in a technology workshop, the presenter said, “We are moving from an era of rapid change to one of rabid change.” I think that education is entering that same era. Like it or not, change is coming. IEA has options in the face of change. IEA can just say no, let change occur, and play victim. Alternately, IEA can be a player in the game helping shape the changes that otherwise will be thrust upon education and IEA members. I prefer the second alternative. Frankly, that’s why I got involved in IEA to begin with. Early in my career I grew tired of having my work life controlled by inept principals and bean counter superintendents who did not really appear that interested in education. I wanted more control over my professional destiny. Knowledge and skills acquired attending Regional and state IEA trainings empowered me to have that professional control I craved. As local president I helped bargain my local’s first signed contract and all subsequent ones until I became vicepresident. It was through my involvement with IEA and NEA that I learned about NBPTS and chose to pursue National Board Certification; I sought opportunities to improve my teaching and professional skills. I believe in the power of collective action. While bargaining salaries and working conditions and member protection must remain the touchstone of IEA work, there is so much more IEA can do to evolve into true leaders in the field of education.

Cinda Klickna
Building support for public education, educators, and our association, protecting our pensions, mobilizing members, strengthening our political clout, reaching out to communities, expanding our work in teaching and learning, accomplishing school funding. These issues must be our focus for the next few years. I believe in you, the members of IEA, and in our cause, public education. I refuse to be defeated by the groups trying to stop us. Continuing to fight, advocate, speak up and speak out for all of you are reasons I am running for IEA president. It has been my honor to serve as IEA secretary-treasurer. Thank you for the work you do every day — for students, for public education, and for the union. From the cafeteria to the classroom, the bus barn to the business office, from pre-k to higher ed, I have visited with many of you and know how hard you are working. As a TRS trustee, I know we must help our members understand their pensions and then mobilize everyone to be politically active in protecting what the state has promised. As an IEA officer, I know we must also inform members about the groups mobilizing resources to take away our hardearned collective bargaining rights as well as the very existence of public education. Building our internal strength and reaching out effectively to our communities will be essential if we want to change the public perception of education and accomplish more in the legislature. Together, we can be successful.

|18 | Advocate | FEBRUARY 2011

M E E T T H E C A N D I D AT E S • V I C E P R E S I D E N T

Kathi Griffin
I am Kathi Griffin, candidate for IEA vice president.When I became an educator, I knew that teaching and being an advocate for my profession would go hand in hand. I am currently an elementary teacher in Schaumburg, serving as NEA director, a member of the IEA Board of Directors, IPACE executive committee, GPA sub-committee, NEA Friend of Education committee and NEA Member Benefits board. I also serve as a member of our region council and my local’s executive board. There are many areas that IEA needs to focus on during the years ahead of us. We need to make sure that IEA members’ voices are heard, our retirement systems are funded, the IEA budget is prepared and spent wisely, our expertise in education is considered in any legislation that impacts education, and our concern for the funding of education — so all students are able to receive a quality education no matter their age or where they live — is addressed. Your IEA vice president has the opportunity to be your voice and to advocate on your behalf, the responsibility to communicate with the members of IEA, the ability to work with many people and maintain a budget that focuses on members’ needs. I would be honored to bring who I am and what I’ve done to this esteemed position and to be able to represent you as IEA’s vice president.

Jim Grimes
The vice president chairs the budget committee and deals with financial issues facing IEA. The budget sets the foundation for protecting members’ rights and fighting for great public schools and colleges for all students. As a budget committee member, I saw the impact of dues on certified and ESP members across the association. Having been a local president and negotiator — I know how critical IEA services are. I served on IEA’s contract team, bargaining with our staff union, addressing many issues that concern our employees. And, as an NEA director, I have also seen the impact of our national association budget. There is a wide disparity in pay, taxes and cost of living across the state. This makes funding education difficult, and makes the development of our budget and dues a challenge. Our transparent budget process should be maintained. IEA should continue to adopt best practices. A line-byline review of our budget should be part of those procedures. A significant effort should be made to achieve the recommendations of the Committee to Enhance Organizational Effectiveness and find economies in providing services. The vice president can also be an important voice for association members. As a broadcaster and media educator, I have worked with media across Illinois for decades. The IEA needs to be recognized as the leader in school reform and innovation. Our members know what works and should be heard. Together, we’ll prevail in these challenges. Thank you for the honor to be considered for vice president.

www.ieanea.org | Advocate | 19 |

M E E T T H E C A N D I D AT E S • V I C E P R E S I D E N T

Fredricka Hatfill
I am a seventh grade reading teacher from Jersey Community Unit District #100, in the St. Louis Metro East area. I have been a member of IEA for 22 years and have served the local and region in a variety of positions, such as treasurer and membership chair and I currently serve on the board of directors as well as the executive committee. I have also served on several state committees including the budget committee and, therefore, have experience preparing budgets. The attacks on public education, labor unions in general, and public employee unions in particular are unprecedented and increasing. The only way IEA can effectively protect its membership is with the members and leaders fully informed and mobilized to fight on their own behalf in a coordinated and focused effort in which the members, leaders and staff of IEA are all delivering the same message across the state to the public and politicians alike. Defending public education and ourselves is not a spectator sport. Everyone must get involved. We have to be able to instantly contact thousands of members and mobilize rapid responses in a matter of minutes and hours, not days and weeks. We must continue the IEA image building media campaign we began this year. We either define ourselves or we will continue to be the victims of enemies who define us. By working together we can regain that spirit of how we evolved more than 150 years ago. As a family we will be working together for our students.

Mike Orr
I am Mike Orr, an IEA active member and full-time classroom teacher for 27 years, 19 of which were in special education and the last eight as a driver education instructor. My mother and sister both retired from bus driving responsibilities. My brother retired from a career as an administrator and his wife a retired special education teacher. My daughter is head cook in my district. My five children all attended public school, as do my 15 grandchildren. We have many challenges ahead of us, none more important than the current budget crisis. The Illinois State Board of Education has reduced its budget by $311 million this year. Grant programs have been cut from 10 percent to 100 percent. Our hope and challenge will be to work with the Governor and General Assembly to make positive changes for fiscal year 2011. This will take experienced leadership. I currently serve you as an NEA director. I have been active in IEA through the terms of four IEA presidents. I have had the opportunity to learn positive qualities from each of those leaders. I have been a part of many IEA crises and remember how those challenges were remedied. The state’s fiscal challenges will affect the IEA’s budget and a positive team effort will be needed to adjust the IEA budget to maintain the services to our members the IEA takes pride in. I look forward to continue to serve you. My guiding principle is to support you as best I can with a commitment of advocacy.

| 20 | Advocate | FEBRUARY 2011

M E E T T H E C A N D I D AT E S • S E C R E TA RY - T R E A S U R E R

Rainy Kaplan
Public school employees have come under attack on several fronts by different interest groups. IEA faces challenging issues at the local, state and federal levels. Our association leadership must be proactive in fighting these attacks. In order to be the advocate for public school children we must defend what we know is best for every public school in Illinois, while protecting our hard-earned rights as a union. In order to accomplish this, IEA must be relevant to every member, in every local in the state. We must be able to activate our entire membership to show legislators, special interest groups and our other opponents that we are a strong force to be reckoned with. When IEA has a call to action on any issue, whether it is protecting our pensions, fighting for our tenure rights, or ensuring that all schools are funded fairly, our legislators should hear our mighty roar as an organized group. I believe that IEA leadership must make a concerted effort to visit locals and regions around the state regularly in order to hear and understand concerns and to establish a strong connection and trust with the grassroots membership. For 20 years I have served my local and IEA. I have been a local president, negotiated numerous contracts, chaired state committees and have been a member of the IEA board and executive committee. I believe that a strong team of grassroots members can accomplish any goal when we work together as a united group.

Al Llorens
Our organizational goals must reflect: Community accountability: Everyone is accountable for student and school district success, not only educational personnel, but also the business and political communities, state and federal government, and parents. We are all responsible for helping students achieve success. All learners matter: Our vision must be inclusive of all learners and embrace their diversity. There must be flexibility in program and curricula which would address a variety of student needs. Our goal is to have a great public school for all students. Restoration of dignity and respect to the education profession: We must consistently and persistently advocate for students, association members, and our profession. Enhancement of educator resources: Educators must be given the appropriate tools and resources to do their jobs. We must have support from stakeholders to further educators’ and ESPs’ professional growth. Saving our jobs and pensions: We have no choice but to fight RIFs when they affect educational excellence and to defend positions that are earned and deserved. We have to unite at both the state and the national level against these attacks before it’s too late.

www.ieanea.org | Advocate | 21|


Joyce Bailey
My name is Joyce Bailey and I am running for NEA director. I have been married to my educator husband Mark for 24 years and have two grown children. My children have chosen career paths that reflect a well-rounded public education. I have been a music educator for more than 30 years and have been involved in union work for the last 10 years. I currently teach k-5 general/vocal music at Elmwood Elementary School in Naperville. Education is facing many challenges and as union education personnel, we continue to face growing public criticism and an outcry for reform. Communication is crucial, as is the need to promote positive accomplishments in public education. It’s time to show how public education produces self-reliant, contributing members of society. Educators must participate in shaping 21st century education. We must show active support to one another and demonstrate that as professionals we are continuously working to improve ourselves in order to best serve the needs of our students. Inadequate and unbalanced funding for education has caused negative impact on our students. Politicians should know that as educators we cannot provide the services our students require without proper resources and support. Education should be seen as our future and not a budget item. We are all responsible for helping the children of this nation reach their potential and become contributing citizens able to carry our nation forward. Education is a noble profession that deserves respect and needs to remain focused on educating the whole child.

Tom Tully
My name is Tom Tully, and I am running for one of the three NEA director openings. I currently teach drivers’ education at Glenbard East High School in Lombard and have been president of the Glenbard Education Association for the last six years. During this time, I have worked in a variety of leadership roles. To outline a few, I have chaired the Race to the Top committee and the Professional Learning Community committee, bargained local contracts, and served as a member of the Minority Student Achievement Committee. I have been excited to work on your behalf and to push to see that public education is what it is supposed to be: “A Free and Great Public Education for Every Child.” I have been involved with lobbying our state representatives regarding our local issues and have had the opportunity to build relationships with elected officials to assist my school district. Your NEA directors use such advocacy and relationship-building at the national level to help address larger issues, such as the ESEA reauthorization, social security offsets, and funding for public education and pensions. We must advocate on behalf of all IEA members and push for NEA priorities to be relevant and meaningful to every member. There is an incredible amount of support for teachers and ESPs in our communities, and we need to improve our image as a union with the public. Thank you and it would be an honor to serve you.

Alex Wallace Jr.
I am Alex Wallace, a bus driver from Oswego, and I am running for Illinois NEA director. The members of IEA-NEA who support public education — those who teach students pre-k through college, serve their meals, provide intervention, help them across streets, transport them to school and maintain their facilities — these members inspire me to serve on the NEA Board of Directors. As we face the re-authorization of ESEA, the continued efforts of your NEA Directors to repeal the WEP-GPO, and the challenging economy, I would be honored to represent all of you and be part of the team which is a strong voice, focusing and communicating our message to the NEA and governmental leadership in Washington, DC. I've been a local president and chief negotiator. I am Region 65 vice-chair. I serve on various association committees including NEA resolutions, IEA-NEA subcontracting/outsourcing task force, of which I am presently chair, and the IEA-NEA ESP Council. I have a law enforcement background. I would be privileged to serve and use my experience as one of your NEA directors.

| 22 | Advocate | FEBRUARY 2011

he following bylaw changes have been presented to the IEA-NEA Executive Committee. The IEA-NEA Bylaws provide that all proposals which have been presented to the Executive Committee and published 30 days prior to the Representative Assembly need approval by a twothirds vote of RA delegates. Additional proposals may be made to the RA at least one business meeting prior to the meeting at which the final vote is taken; however, proposals made in this fashion must be approved by at least three-fourths of the delegates. Below, present bylaws are printed in the left-hand column. New bylaws or additions to present bylaws are printed in underlined type in the right-hand column. A blank space to the left of a proposed bylaw indicates no current bylaw addressing that subject.










www.ieanea.org | Advocate | 23 |

Illinois Education Association-NEA 100 East Edwards Street Springfield, Illinois 62704-1999


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