ARA Expressions

May 30, 2017

Why do you give up your May long weekend to attend ARA?

Daniel Mills

Trumpeter Local No. 26

First ARA

“To reflect on what the Association does for me as a teacher.

“As part of ARA, we’re directly influencing, implementing the policies
and such that are put forward, but the body of provincial council
has to then execute them on our behalf. So they do the work
through the course of the year; it’s only fair that then
we have that duty and obligation to return the service.”

Jeff Friesen

Livingstone Range Local No. 14

3rd ARA

“I really believe in democracy and I love how, in this assembly, we are able to see democracy in action. I know that sounds like a trite answer, but in our world today I find that true democracy is something that is more and more frequently difficult to find.

Deanna Simmons

Edmonton Public

3rd ARA

“I feel, rather than sit back and complain about things, you have to get active and involved to try and change the things you don’t like.”

 Chandre Smith

Red Deer Catholic Local No. 80

6th ARA

“I believe it’s important that teacher voice be a part of how Barnett House runs things, and I feel the more teachers who are involved in bringing that voice forward, the more effective Barnett House will be at representing us.”

Herb Neuberger

Chinook’s Edge Local No. 17

ARA #10–15 (estimated over a 20-year period)

“I’ve been attending a few years and it’s a really important opportunity to bring … the delegates from across the province together so that they can express their viewpoints in a very democratic process.”

Jane Hopper

Calgary Public Local No. 38

30th ARA

“I enjoy it. I love the involvement. I love the feeling of the people. It’s in my blood, I guess. I [am] so impressed at the way we function and the things we do and the way we work for teachers.”

Thanks Theobald

During the introductions that kicked off ARA, it was announced that, if delegates experienced any problems, associate executive secretary Dennis Theobald would take care of them. In fact, the announcement continued, if delegates had any problems of any kind during the entire weekend, Theobald was responsible. This spawned a new Twitter hashtag and a flurry of tweets.

Jonathan Sharek @jsharek

I slept on my arm and it felt like pins and needles. #thankstheobald

Maria Murray @mariamurrray

The flavour in my gum just ran out! #thankstheobald

Dennis Theobald

Come unto me ye afflicted, and you shall be comforted. #thankstheobald

Jackelyn Urquhart

Help! I’m so hungry but I’m having trouble peeling my orange. What do I do? #thankstheobald


Associate executive secretary Dennis Theobald reacts to an announcement that he will fix any and all problems faced by delegates at ARA 2017.


Executive secretary Gordon Thomas hams it up with ARA delegates during one of the weekend’s lighter moments.


Canadian Teachers’ Federation president Heather Smith reacts to a comment by ATA president Mark Ramsankar (sitting just off camera) during her address to ARA delegates.



Past-president Carol Henderson prepares to accept a rose from Central North district representative Paul McCann. Provincial Executive Council members presented Henderson, who is retiring in July, with 22.5 roses, one for each year she spent on Council.


Ross MacDonald, a teacher and ARA delegate from Battle River Local No. 32, pipes in honoured guests to kick off the weekend’s events.

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