Monday, June 19, 2006

ISEA-PAC Meets to Make Candidate Recommendations for 2006 General Election

The ISEA-PAC Central Committee met on June 15-16, 2006 at the Downtown Holiday Inn in Des Moines to make recommendations for the fall election. The nineteen UniServ Units of Team ISEA have 4 members (2 Republican and 2 Democrats) representing each Unit on the ISEA PAC Central Committee in addition to the ISEA President and Vice President.

Attendance on Thursday, June 15th was as follows:

Cedar Wood (1)
DMEA (4)
East Central (4)
Geode (2)
Great River (2)
Hawkeye (3)
JDC (2)
Lincolnway (1)
Mississippi Bend (1)
Mid-Iowa (2)
Unit 9 (2)
Polk Suburban (3)
South Central (1)
Siouxland (4)
Southwest (3)
Unit 10 (1)
Unit 2 (3)
Northern Pride (0)

On Thursday, all 100 House races and 25 Senate races were reviewed. Action was taken on recommendations of the local PAC interview teams, as well as on recommending in the 1st Congressional District Bruce Braley as the candidate to support.

Over the dinner hour PAC members selected a representative from each of the 10 regional ISEA office + DMEA to be a part of a "NEA-PAC Fundraising Committee". Vice President Chris Bern is heading up the committee in which they brainstormed ideas in how to raise awareness and raise contribution levels of ISEA members for the NEA Fund for Children and Public Education. This group will gather again at Summer Conference and assist in the fundraising effort there. Vice President Bern will report to the Executive Board while in Storm Lake on their initial work.

Friday morning, June 16th one could tell there was excitement in the air as folks gathered for the interviews of the two candidates for Governor. Pictured (at left) is Lowell Dauenbaugh, Assistant Executive Director and Gary Anhalt (on right) ISEA Executive Board member from Cedar Wood.

Also in attendance on Friday morning was Associate Executive Director, John Hanrahan (on left) visiting with retired member Tom Wolfe (on right) from Great River UniServ Unit.

Hard-working members of the ISEA-PAC Central Committee pictured here are (from left to right) Roberta Rosheim, Maquoketa; Bill Hardisty, retired/ AHST; and Jean Seeland, Waterloo.

Promptly at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, the first interview was underway with Secretary of State Chet Culver (pictured at right). Each interview lasted approximately 60 minutes with all questions coming from me. An interview team made up of 6 Republican and 6 Democratic ISEA members were the folks that as a group discussed candidate responses and brought forward the eventual recommendation to the larger body.

At 10:00 a.m. Iowa 1st District Congressman Jim Nussle's (pictured at left) interview was underway. We are grateful that both candidates agreed to our interview! The interview team met for nearly an hour and had many positive things to share about both candidates.

The interview team brought back the recommendation of support of Secretary of State Chet Culver as our choice for Iowa's next Governor. In the next step of our process, the ISEA-PAC Central Committee voted to concur. The final action taken was for the ISEA Executive Board and they voted unanimously to concur with the PAC Central Committee's recommendation.

ISEA Executive Board members present were:
Rhonda Anderson-ESP Chair
Gary Anhalt-Cedar Wood
Mike Beranek-Polk Suburban
Chris Bern-Vice President
Barb Cunningham-Retired Chair
J. Fink (alternate)-Unit 9
Michael Hall-Higher Ed Chair
Kathy Haltmeyer-Mississippi Bend
Sally Hansen-Mid Iowa
Rob Hirst-Hawkeye
Gayle Jeffers-NEA Director
Marlin Jeffers-AEA Chair
LaDona Jergenson-Lincolnway
Paula Logan-Geode/Treasurer
Paul Mann-DMEA
Al Mattison-Unit 2
Linda Nelson-President
Nancy Notton-Stumpff (alternate)-East Central
Jan Olson-Siouxland
Jean Swenson-NEIEU
Peg Thein-JDC
Sarah Topliff-Student Program Chair
Anne Travis-Southwest
Jim Young-NEA Director

At 2:00 p.m. on Friday, June 16th a press conference was held in which we announced our recommendation to the central Iowa media. Present for the press conference were Secretary of State Culver; Ann Albert (far right), ISEA member from Prairie Valley; Kevin Ericson (2nd from right) ISEA member from Nevada; and behind Sec. Culver Vice President Chris Bern, Knoxville. I'm on the left!

Now our work really begins! Team ISEA will be working all corners and throughout the state to door knock, put up yard signs, make phone calls to help elect a majority party that will stand up and vote to support students and public education and will join Chet Culver as our next Governor!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A Powerful Message by a Powerful Role Model

As I continue my travels throughout the state, I often listen to books on tape/CD. The most recent book on tape that I had a chance to listen to is Madeleine Albright's, Madam Secretary. I enjoyed this book a great deal and I would highly recommend it as a "summer reading" for you! Albright's personal as well as professional stories endeared me to this world leader. She is indeed a powerful role model. I think her story will capture your heart!

The New York Times best-selling memoir of former secretary of state now (also) in paperback.

In this outspoken and much-praised memoir, the highest-ranking woman in American history shares her remarkable story and provides an insider's view of world affairs during a period of unprecedented turbulence. A national bestseller on its first publication in 2003, Madam Secretary combines warm humor with profound insights and personal testament with fascinating additions to the historical record. Includes a new preface written especially for this edition.

Madeleine Albright, born in Prague, was confirmed as the sixty-fourth secretary of state in 1997. Her distinguished career in government includes positions in the National Security Council, as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and on Capitol Hill. She lives in Washington, D.C., and Virginia.

Format: Paperback, 736pp

Format: Hardcover, 576pp

Format: Compact Disc Abridged, 5 CDs, 6 hrs. 30 min.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

ISEA Scholarship Winner to Student Teach This Fall

Lindsay Townsend, a graduate of Johnston High School and currently a senior at the University of Northern Iowa, was honored by the Johnston Education Association as an ISEA scholarship winner at a special luncheon on Friday. Lindsay is majoring in Elementary Education at UNI and will have an endorsement in Early Childhood.

Lindsay will student teach in the Des Moines area this fall. Her first assignment will be in a 2nd grade classroom at Eason Elementary in the Waukee Public Schools and her second placement in the West Des Moines Public Schools at Jordan Creek Elementary in a Self-Contained Pre-School class. Lindsay is one of four scholarship winners that Team ISEA honored this year with a $1,000 check. Lindsay is the Treasurer of the Student ISEA chapter at the University of Northern Iowa. We are so proud of you, Lindsay!

Lindsay's mother, Brigid Townsend (2nd from left), is a 15 year veteran educator at Johnston High School. Brigid's current assignment is in Special Education as a Work Experience Coordinator. Barb Allen (on far right), Johnston EA co-president with Melissa Keeney (at far left) for the 2005-2006 school year, described to us over lunch that the coming school year she will be co-president with Maribeth Miller. Melissa is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher and teaches 2nd grade at Lawson Elementary in Johnston. I sure think this is a creative way to have continued experience in our association's top leadership role. Kudos to the Johnston EA leaders for "thinking outside the box"! I first met Barb in January of this year when she participated in the NEA Midwest Regional Conference held in Indianapolis, IN. Barb is a school nurse in the Johnston 6-8 Middle School.

Congratulations again, Lindsay! And thanks Team ISEA leaders of the Johnston EA for all you do every day for Iowa students!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The "Magic Wand" Lady

Betty Linn, receptionist at the ISEA headquarters building and a retired Des Moines elementary Art instructor, is pictured here with me as we celebrated her birthday on Wednesday, a day early.

Although the phone system and visitors keep Betty quite busy, she is often given tasks to do during those "in-between-times". You all know, teachers are good at multi-tasking! Betty is the person I went to when I had the idea of honoring school secretaries with a "magic wand". I gave her the idea and she gathered the materials and went on to make hundreds and hundreds of beautiful "magic wands". I thought it only fitting for her birthday gift to honor her with a 'purchased' magic wand.

The gift bags (at the right) line an area of the floor in my ISEA office with "magic wands" ready for my next road trip.

The "magic wands" have been a wonderful entry into the schools this year, but best of all it has been such a joy to award each school secretary with this small gift. In addition to the "magic wand" I give school secretaries a note card with the message, "On behalf of your 32,000 colleagues that are members of the Iowa State Education Association, we thank you for the magic you do every day for the students of Iowa!"

Thanks, Betty, for the magic you do every day for all Team ISEA!