“May you live in interesting times.” While there is debate over whether this is an ancient Chinese curse or a 20th century sentiment popularized by Robert Kennedy, there is no doubt about its application to public education in Alberta. Over the course of my career I have witnessed the five per cent rollback by the brand new Klein administration, the historical rally for public education at the Alberta legislature, the massive job action in 2002 and the resolution of the unfunded liability of the Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund in 2007.
In each of these historical times I was active as an Economic Planning Committee (EPC) member, EPC chair, local president and as a member of Provincial Executive Council, respectively. As we move into the next provincial budget cycle, events promise to be no less interesting. Our Association must have leadership that is passionate, experienced and committed in order that our goals be realized. I believe that my track record is exemplary in regard to these traits, and I ask for your vote so that I can help move us all forward.
Greg is a junior high teacher in Fort Saskatchewan, teaching math and band. He is a proud member of Elk Island Local No. 28 and is presently ATA vice-president. Greg represented Edmonton District as district representative on Provincial Executive Council for 10 years. Previous to that he was local president for four years, EPC chair for three years and local secretary for eight. Greg chairs or has chaired many provincial committees, including Resolutions, Public Education, Political Engagement, Host Committee for the CTF AGM, Committee for the Renovation of Seymour Tower and Election Readiness. He has been involved in Association governance since the first year of his career. Greg is married to Joan, an elementary music teacher, and has two children and one amazing grandson.
Watch Greg Jeffery's campaign video.
“Protect Public Education: We Are Worth the Investment!”
Myrna McLean is an advocate for public education so that dedicated Alberta teachers can continue to deliver a world-class education to their students. Public education matters!
As a teacher with more than three decades in the classroom, I have concerns about the future of Alberta’s education system during these turbulent economic times.
A Russian proverb states, “When the trough is empty, the horses will bite each other.” In light of recent economic events, it will be challenging to build a strong future for our students if productive relationships are not forged between teachers, school boards and the provincial government. Alberta’s budgetary restraints will be the impetus to force all stakeholders to seriously consider the future of public education.
Visionary leaders need wisdom to understand the value of collaborating to protect our classrooms. We need to fight against the pressure to erode or dismantle a world-class educational system. Open, honest and frank discussions are necessary to protect public education. Democracy demands a strong public education system. In Alberta, quality education is a right and not a privilege.
Advocating for public education will require a dedicated ATA team. My work with the ATA gives me the skills, knowledge and expertise to be part of this team. A master’s degree in leadership from the University of Victoria will help.
The Alberta Advantage is our world-class public education system. We must protect public education for future generations!
As president of Fort Vermilion Local 77 and program chair for the North East Teachers’ Convention Association, I am well connected to the ATA.
Both of my parents were teachers in central Alberta, where I attended Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School and then Red Deer College. The legacy of the teaching profession carries personal meaning for me as my daughter is a fifth-generation teacher.
Watch Myrna McLean's campaign video.
The Alberta Teachers’ Association has a long history of advancing the teaching profession in Alberta. We have enjoyed some great successes and growth, but we still face numerous and complex challenges. Overcrowded classrooms, crumbling infrastructure, dated technology, increased poverty rates, declining rural enrolment, funding tied to a boom-and-bust economy, excessive testing, workload issues, and initiatives of varying value to student success — I live these realities with you.
In order to face these challenges, the ATA must remain the voice of teachers, and all teachers must feel that they belong to our Association. We have work to do engaging our own members, making the ATA relevant to our new teachers and to those who have become distanced from Barnett House. My wish is for all of us to be proud to say that we are Alberta teachers.
The strength of the ATA comes from its solidarity and also from its diversity. Whether we reside in the north or the south, are anglophone or francophone, work in Catholic or public systems, rural or urban settings, we all need to be involved and represented. I am passionate about education and making sure the voice of all our teachers is heard. I will be your voice should you honour me with your vote.
I have been honoured to serve as local president for Palliser Local No. 19 for the last six years, previously serving on the executive as local treasurer. I am a high school mathematics and French teacher, currently teaching at Kate Andrews High School in Coaldale, where I also serve as vice-principal. My husband Bryan is an elementary teacher in Lethbridge. Our two children are both graduates of the public system and are now attending university. For more information and la version française, please visit www.votepritchard.ca.
Watch Katherine Pritchard's campaign video.
I seek your support for re-election as vice-president.
As Albertans we have come to know that when oil prices drop, there is a clear and visible threat in front of us. Teachers received a legislated settlement of zero-per cent salary increases for three years, followed by a two-per cent increase this fall — made palatable with what were to be reductions in our workload. My workload has not decreased!
“What will teachers do to help our economy?” This is a question I can hear coming, and our answer must be a resounding, “We have already done our part.” I will be leading our strong and united voice.
Our Association must continue to pursue opportunities for advocacy on behalf of public education, the teaching profession and our Association. I always emphasize the “public” in public education.
Through our research and our relationships with educational stakeholders we must continue to make the voice of teachers understood and heard. Support for teachers and remedies for teacher work-life balance are reflected by my priorities — I hear your exhaustion.
At the very core of our profession are the inherent principles of support, care and attention for one another. Our Association must be seen as a tomorrow-oriented organization in which service to members is the top priority. I will continue to practice servant-leadership in my actions.
Robert was elected ATA vice-president in 2013; he was also elected district representative of Central North in 2009 and re-elected in 2011. Prior to joining PEC, Robert served three terms as Parkland Teachers’ Local 10 president and was its spokesperson during its 21-day strike, which resulted in the Parkland 907 arbitration. Robert has been chair of the ATA Finance Committee for the past two years, advocating restrained budgets reflective of teachers’ zero per cent increases. Since 1989 Robert has served the teachers of Alberta in leadership capacities.
Watch Robert Twerdoclib's campaign video.