East Windsor Education Association

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President’s Message

Dear Colleagues,

June? Really?

Sometimes I say, “Wow…how did that happen?” and sometimes I say, “Thank GOODNESS it has happened”. I’m sure you both feel both ways as well.

This has been an extremely stressful year with the implementation of the new Stronge evaluation tool, MANY more observations, new supervisors at every turn, and, of course, the moron in the state house. And HE is not done yet…by any means :(

We have stood firm and worked side by side to continue to be the professionals we are. And we did it with integrity and with keeping children and public education FIRST! We all deserve a “pat on the back” for that…and congratulations for keeping ourselves afloat in this sea of change and madness.

As a local, we have taken care of your issues and solved problems thanks to the dedication of your Building Reps and Committee Chairs. As long as YOU keep talking, we will keep talking and helping to make this a good place to be. We will focus even MORE on Stronge next year to ensure you are evaluated in a fair, respectful way. We are forming teams in each building…so be ready!

We have received and USED over $30,000 in both PRIDE and FAST grants. We even made the NJEA Reporter! Our community counts on us and recognizes us at events. Community support is especially invaluable now.

We’ve had MANY well attended workshops right here for you…and reimbursed each member up to $50 for workshops taken outside of EW.

We had two successful socials… great food, great company, and prizes!.

This webpage…and our Facebook page…are kept current and full of important and fun “stuff”.

We took over 600 of your letters to the State Board of Ed and made QUITE an impact. With our colleagues across the state we have pushed our legislators to propose legislation to stop this “runaway train” called common Core, PARCC and the rest. They ARE listening. Our Legislative Action Team was in your face with news, views and pleas…just like they HAD to be.

I had the privilege of being asked to give the opening “inspirational message” at the May 17th NJEA Delegate Assembly. Please read/or listen to the speech when you can. I spoke FOR ALL of you. You will find this under “Recent posts”.

June is the time for goodbyes and thank you to many beloved colleagues. Thanks for your years of service and support to outgoing  HHS Building Rep Sean Meloney and MHK Building Rep Mary Ann Ragany.

Thank you Pat Laudati. Once YOU became our grievance chair, the grievances pretty much stopped! Were they afraid of you? Pat was also a wonderful leader in her building, my editor and sounding board, and a huge supporter…through thick, thicker and thin.

Thanks, goodbye, and happy retirement to our secretary and leader Debbie Townsend. She was always able to take minutes of our meetings without putting in my expletives.

Thanks, goodbye, and happy retirement to our EMK Building Rep and PRIDE chair Linda Katz. Linda might have cringed at some of my ideas, but she never said “No.” I can’t think of a better “partner in crime”…

We have other colleagues retiring and wish them ALL well. Find that list on recent posts as well.

We would like to welcome some new folks to the EWEA Executive Board. Elissa Graga, from MHK, will now be our secretary. Teresa Sullivan is the new Building Rep at HHS and Robert Cook will wear that hat at MHK. Kathy Borden is our new grievance chair. Esmeralda Garcia will take the reins for PRIDE/FAST. More inmates for the asylum…woo hoo!

In closing, being your president is a job I take very seriously. I appreciate your support and willingness to allow me to serve you again for the next two years. I promise to listen, write too many emails, and use expletives.

So, off we go to new adventures this summer. Chris Carpenter, Kathleen Carvalho, Casey Fox, Nicole Francis, Jerry Simonelli and I will converge on Denver at the end of June for the NEA Representative Assembly. Yes us…and 10,000 other educators speaking out, speaking up, and not sleeping for a week.

Enjoy your adventures. Be safe…and be ready when we need you. We are always ready for you.

With pride…

Ellen Ogintz

President

EWEA

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