We Honor Ours!
by Dominic Rizzi
We Honor Ours (WHO) is an annual awards program at the CTA Service Center level. This program makes it possible to recognize and thank those members who have made significant contributions to the teaching profession at the local level. This year, OGEA Secretary, Shelley McCracken and Equity and Human Rights Chair, Kellee Humphrey were nominated and received these rewards.
Shelley has been a multi-term executive board member serving in the role of Secretary for OGEA. In addition to Shelley’s work on the executive board, she acts as Chair to the Communications Committee, is a member of the Membership Engagement Committee, and a member of the Equity and Human Rights Committee. Beyond Shelley’s leadership and committee roles, Shelley is kind, thoughtful, and outgoing in all union and district activities. Shelley is a member of the OGSD bowling league, attends membership engagement chill downs, campaigned for our endorsed school board candidates, is a tech mentor for Baldwin, attended CTA conferences, attends OGSD Board Meetings and provides STEAM curriculum to her students through the Tech Museum Grant. With these many engagements that Shelley participates in, she is connected and rooted in the culture and spirit of our district and union. It is a pleasure to honor Shelley with this CTA WHO Award. Shelley is a leader, organizer and advocate for public education, our school district, and our union!
Kellee joined our leadership council as Baldwin’s site representative. In addition to Kellee’s work representing members at Baldwin, she has been a Local and newly elected State delegate to the National Educator Association Representative Assembly. Kellee’s perspective on public education from the local to the state and national level is apparent in the work she does for OGEA as the Equity and Human Rights Committee chair. It was after Kellee’s attendance at the 2018 NEA RA that she returned to propose the creation of the EHR committee in OGEA. This committee would begin the important work of connecting with every member and student in Oak Grove to ensure their representation in our union’s work. Kellee engages with her students in ways to see that all students' have a voice. Kellee has helped to grow our leadership capacity by recruiting new leaders at her site and in our committees. Kellee’s collaborative nature is apparent with her circle tables in her classroom that allow for unique activities and conversations about citizenship, community, and being an active leader in society. Kellee has been consistent with speaking out for our students of color. Kellee has continued to grow her union leadership skills and education knowledge as a member of the CTA and NEA African American Caucus, and by attending CTA Conferences. OGEA’s roots have grown deeper and stronger as a result of Kellee’s attendance in these events. Kellee helped organize and create the new design of our OGEA t-shirt available in the Fall that will contribute to OGEA’s community engagement activities. Kellee is a newly appointed member to our bargaining team and has been an asset at the negotiations table because of her inclusive lens and knowledge of various issues that educators, especially educators of color, face today. It is a pleasure to honor Kellee with this CTA WHO Award. Kellee is a leader, organizer and advocate for public education, our school district, and our union!