By: Leigh Hawkinson, AEA President

As you have hopefully settled into this virtual teaching world, I hope this message will find you and your families safe and well.  What a year this has been! In my 33 years in education, I never could have imagined the virtual teaching world you have found yourselves adapting to.  Iíve thought for veteran teachers and brand-new teachers, it must feel like an alternate universe.  As youíve no doubt heard by now, the School Board has decided not to begin the Hybrid model until after Winter Break. I know there have been mixed reactions to this decision and AEA does not have a position on it.  What we remain focused on is making sure you have a safe working environment and teaching schedules that are in your and your studentís best interest.  These things are within our control and we will remain laser focused on doing the very best we can for all of you.

Additionally, as youíve heard, negotiations are not going well.  Your Bargaining Team and I remain completely dumbfounded that when everything we have been saying for over a year about the budget is IN FACT TRUE, the School Board did not act immediately to approve our raise.  Instead they have chosen to believe inaccurate and nonsensical information from their ďCBOĒ who created most of the inaccurate projections! Settling this raise is solely in the School Boardís hands now.  Rest assured, we WILL get our well-deserved raise and retro pay. I donít think the School Board understands the damage that is being done in the meantime. The damage to the trust and belief in our School Board, administration and District may never be repaired.

As I told you in a previous email, I am a teacher and a counselor. As your President, I always keep you foremost in my mind. As an Association, we remain focused on being truthful and doing the right thing to the best of our abilities. We continue to do so!  Please know that you are in my thoughts every day as we navigate this uncertain and, sometimes, wacky world.  Just know that I will do the heavy lifting on my end, so you can remain focused on the difficult job of educating our students.

Be Safe And Well!