Our association has grown to be so involved and informed over the past few years. Given the turbulent negotiations, politics, and changes in our profession over time, your ability to stay the course and maintain your resilience impresses and inspires me. We are there for our students and each and everyday despite new mandates, lack of funding, and overwhelm. We continue to rely on one another for support to see that our students get the best experience at school. Our union stands to this purpose, to see that our members are able to support those who matter most, our students. The perspective I have gained from being able to serve as your President has brought new purpose for me as I begin to raise a family of my own. I see how the individual actions of a few can make a difference for the many. I feel the warmth of the many coming together in support of the one in need. While our strength exists in the unity of our voice and the coming together of our members in a common cause, I see great change and hope for us in the future. By supporting Measure S, rallying signatures for Schools and Communities First, and supporting our district in the use of our properties, the financial stress on our budgets and programs will be eased. This will open up many opportunities for us at the bargaining table, enhance programs for our students, and professional development for our staff. The resources we have needed for so long in the form of curricula, materials, and supplemental programs for students may be available in our near future. We can get there together by giving the time and energy we have in the Winter to the parcel tax campaign. By communicating with a few parents, posting a social media blast, we can help to get the word out. What will really make a difference is seeing our teachers and members face to face with our community. I have hope that the district I call my own will thrive if we take this opportune moment to unite and do what is best for our students. Passing the parcel tax and schools and communities first initiative will not be easy, but it will be worth it.
I have been reflecting on my time as President and think on my upcoming paternity leave. I have confidence in our new leadership that have taken on the charge to represent OGEA in Equity and Human Rights, Communications, Organizing, Political Action, Bargaining, Membership Engagement, Safety, and more. We as OGEA are swelling with new leaders and strength. Now is a great time to get involved and contribute to what may be a very historical moment for OGEA and OGSD. I am proud to have served you in my role and to have contributed to successful school board races, passage of meaningful state measures, and seen us through challenging times. When I sit 1:1 with members or visit school sites, I see how the work we do as OGEA matters to the one and to the many, and ultimately our students. OGEA is in good hands with so many caring and giving individuals. I anticipate my return in the Spring and will be ready to continue leading us into a bright future.
I wish you a happy holiday to your family and hope that your new year in 2020 brings you the comfort and happiness we deserve in our profession. Our students do better when we are at our best, and I wish you the very best in the months to come,