I am honoured to present my commitment to public education and myself as a candidate for president.
Conditions of practice
Working conditions continue to deteriorate and as many schools reach capacity, others see declining enrolments: conditions are likely to worsen not improve. As president I will champion
• reducing class size and improving support and resources for inclusion,
• reducing bureaucracy and
• investing in the professional development and FNMI training of all teachers.
The year 2016 saw a new approach with central table and local bargaining. While this was legislated, we worked to develop checks and balances: now we need to appraise the process. As president, I will champion
• stronger and more significant roles for locals in central table bargaining,
• a stronger role for local bargaining on conditions of practice and
• strong emphasis on sustaining and developing the careers of teachers — too many teachers are leaving the profession.
The ATA is its membership. After consecutive long-term contracts, ATA member engagement has waned. Member engagement must be our primary focus. As president I will champion
• a northern, central and southern structure for the ATA — becoming more local while retaining our provincial and global focus;
• articulation of our strategic plan with focus on member commitment to achieve the Association’s Preferred Futures vision; and
• focusing resources on turning policy into action, starting with conditions of practice, professional autonomy, public assurance and technology.
Curriculum change and development
The partnership between the ATA and government on curriculum reform is getting mixed reviews: many say it is good and working and others call it flawed and phony. As president I will champion
• ATA specialist councils as the vehicles for curriculum re-development;
• creative approaches to teacher-developed assessments, utilizing our research Renewing Alberta’s Promise: A Great School for All and the Alberta Assessment Consortium; and
• use of technology in schools based on our Growing Up Digital research.
I have been a public school teacher for close to 30 years, and my passion for education continues to grow each time I see students and teachers do remarkable things. I have taught in rural and urban Alberta, at community schools, outreach centres and schools in villages, towns and cities. I started as a substitute teacher, worked under temporary contracts, and have taught grades 3 to 12, including four years as a special education teacher.
My BEd is in secondary social studies and my MEd is in teacher leadership. With the National Geographic Society in Washington D.C., I completed teacher consultant fellowships over three summers. I worked for Alberta Education as a curriculum consultant in social studies and English language arts. I have instructed at NAIT, served as a sessional instructor at Queens, and volunteered two summers in Belize, assisting indigenous teachers with curriculum and instruction.
Teachers from across Alberta elected me twice as ATA vice-president; I was elected to two terms as Central North district representative. I was also elected president of Parkland Teachers’ Local No. 10 and served as spokesperson during a lockout and again during a 21-day strike which resulted in the Parkland 907 settlement.