It has been a joy and a privilege to serve as your WEAC Region 6 president for the last three years. I am looking forward to my final few months in office and to the union’s future. When my term is up, as past president I will continue to work closely with the Region 6 board of directors and new president Kirah Zeilinger, and, even more importantly, I am going to remain an active, engaged member of our union.
I am excited about the future of Region 6, even though my role within it is changing, and I am excited about my future as a social studies teacher at Oregon High School because our union makes that future brighter.
Together, what we have built is strong and getting stronger. Our recommendations in school board and referendum elections carry a lot of weight, and we win an overwhelming majority of them. We have prevailed in all but a few union certification and recertification elections, and have earned more than 90 percent of the votes. Newspaper the television reporters call us regularly to ask for our perspective on the important education issues of the day. Region 6 locals have input and influence when it comes to their school districts’ policies. This influence doesn’t just benefit employees. It benefits students and communities, and makes everyone’s future more promising.
I am proud of what I have done as a social studies teacher and as a union leader. But my contributions to the union will not end when and if I choose to stop serving as an elected leader. We are all leaders when we participate and speak up. I will continue to contribute to our union by maintaining my membership, attending meetings, lending my voice to the discussion, listening the union’s recommendations, and talking about the union with my colleagues and community members every chance I get.
Indeed, it might be kind of nice to sit in the back of the room for a change and let other people plan the meetings and field the questions. When that day comes, I will do what I have so many times throughout these last few years encouraged you to do: join the conversation and talk about our union.
Summer, fall or winter, your union and how you can get more involved are hot topics. Please don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Region 6 office at 1-800-397-2287 anytime, any day. I am not going away, and our union is here to stay.
President of WEAC Region 6