The e-Professional by EGEA
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The e-Professional

Volume 12                                    November 2014                                         

EGEA Reps are Making Their Mark at CTA State Council

The EGEA representatives to the California Teachers Association State Council met last month in Los Angeles, to participate in this democratic body. The State Council is the governing body of CTA, which meets four times a year to work on CTA business. The elected representatives' responsibilities include setting policy for the organization, formulating and adopting the CTA budget, approving dues structures, directing political actions, and electing executive officers and the Board of Directors. The October meeting agenda included the November election (primarily, the Torlakson v. Tuck race for State Superintendent of Public Instruction), the newly adopted CTA Strategic plan, and various committee work. After each State Council, the work of the body is published for members to review. Click HERE to see the most recent publication.

Our EGEA representatives are Shelly Gupton (Prairie Elementary, Seat 1), Terri Coggeshall (Franklin High School, Seat 2), Michael Juba (Prairie Elementary, Seat 3), Maggie Ellis (Carroll Elementary, Seat 4), Alexandra Condon (Learning Support Services, Seat 5), James Sutter (Foulks Ranch, Seat 6), Kathleen Tijan (Toby Johnson, Seat 7), and our elected alternates Terri Banks (Eddy), Maria Crisologo-Lum (Kennedy Elementary), and Terri Washington (Carroll Elementary). 

After two years of conversations and feedback from thousands of members, leaders, and staff, delegates to the January 2014 State Council unanimously passed CTA's Strategic Plan, entitled "Our Union, Our Future." This is a long-term vision for the direction of CTA. This year, much of the work at State Council (and within CTA itself), has been focused on bringing the workings of CTA into alignment with this new vision. Key areas of this vision include: building an organizing culture, leadership and leadership development, community engagement and coalition building, transforming our profession, social justice, equity and diversity, structure and governance, advocacy on education reform, and organizing unrepresented education workers. Use the following links to learn more about the strategic plan:

EGEA State Council Leadership

EGEA Representatives proudly hold multiple leadership positions within the CTA State Council. Kathleen Tijan is the chair of the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee, Maggie Ellis chairs the Retirement Committee, Shelly Gupton has been selected to be on the Common Core State Standards Committee, Terri Coggeshall helps guide CTA program in our area on the Capital Service Center Committee, and Toby Boyd (Kinder teacher at Prairie Elementary on leave) serves on the CTA Board of Directors. EGEA members are well represented by these leaders who are making an impact at CTA State Council.

FREE Magazines!

One of the benefits of being a NEA Member is access to two free magazine subscriptions every year through NEA Magazine Service. Some titles available include: Bridal Guide, Food and Travel, Good Housekeeping, Popular Science, and Weight Watchers. You must register on the NEA Member Benefits site before you can select your free magazinesClick HERE to Choose your magazines and HERE to register for NEA Member Benefits.

Donors Choose

By Tod Newkom (EGEA Communication Team)

Do you have a project idea or wish list for your classroom? Have you ever said to yourself, "If I only had the funding or some donations, I could do great things with my class." If so, Donors Choose is for you. Donors Choose is a website for teachers which allows anyone from large companies, to your friends on Facebook, to donate money toward a project for your classroom or school. This is a win-win situation where teachers get awesome stuff to benefit their students, and donors get a tax deductible donation.

I have received donations from Hyundai, Chevron, Disney, NEA, Charitable Foundations, friends, and family through the Donors Choose program. Often, you will have half of the needed amount donated as matching funds, which only leaves you to find donors for the remaining cost of the project. Many times, however, another large donor may step up to take care of the rest of your needs. Teachers at my site (Ehrhardt) have received iPads, Chromebooks, (like the one I am using to write this article), video cameras, and even a PA sound system.  

Donations aren't limited to technology. There are several vendors who work with Donors Choose, so you can come up with a project and "shop" online. Once on the site, you can build your wish list, and then tell your students' story. It's that easy! Class sets of books, science equipment, field trips, and even materials for art, are just some of the items that can be added to your shopping cart on Donors Choose. It is also a good idea to browse projects listed by other teachers to get some additional ideas. 

Donors Choose is easy to use. I often tell my colleagues, "If you can use Facebook, you can put together a Donors Choose project for your class." It takes about 30 minutes to write the mini-essay describing your school, students, project, and the impact of getting your project funded for your class. Once all of the money has been raised, the items get shipped directly to you at your school site. Once you have received and started using the new items, you put together a "Thank You package" to appreciate your donors.

Many teachers may feel restricted by tight site budgets and spend their own money. A better option for me is to use Donors Choose. This program allows me to get materials for my classroom and school that I might not otherwise be able to fund. In addition, it allows teachers to personalize the needs of their classroom. With a little work, I have had Donors Choose send me much needed equipment that has helped my students, all for FREE!

I encourage you to check it out, be a dreamer, and do a Donors Choose project for you and your students. For best results, start with a small project in the $400-$800 range. Don't be discouraged if it doesn't get funded, my first few projects didn't get funded either, but my last three have. Just remember, if you are requesting technology, you should check with our Tech Services Department to find out if they will be able to support the item you are requesting. 

Have questions?  Refer to the Donors Choose website (link below) or e-mail me (Tod Newkom @ Ehrhardt) for some some tips about getting your project funded.

Use this link to learn more about using Donors Choose:  How it works/Frequently Asked Questions
"The Educators of the Elk Grove Unified School District."
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Have a safe and restful holiday week.

The EGEA Office will be closed from November 24-28. 

Are you registered on Your annual Retirement Progress Report showing your years of service as reported by the district is only available through your online account, unless you request a paper mailing. It is critical that you review this report annually to ensure that your service credit is accurately reflected. Do NOT wait until you retire to check your progress report. Mistakes are easily corrected when you find them early. Just ask Maggie about the error that she found this year. Access the home page HERE. You will need to register before you can access your account. Find out more about the Annual Progress Report HERE.

November is American Diabetes Month


Diabetes is more prevalent that you may know. Nearly 30 million American children and adults have been diagnosed with this condition. Another 86 million people have been identified as being pre-diabetic. Use the links below to learn more about Diabetes and how to prevent it.
Preventing such conditions is one of the main goals of the EGUSD Wellness Rebate plan. Be sure to make it a priority this year (and every year) to participate

The Union Code of Conduct

Click the picture for a printable copy.
Find my Site Rep
Rep Council Minutes
The Right of Representation "Weingarten Rights"
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