Polk Suburban UniServ Unit held its 2nd annual Recognition Dinner on Tuesday evening, May 1st in Ankeny at "Traditions" restaurant. I was invited last year too and say this is a mighty fine tradition to continue!
Polk Suburban UniServ President Rodney Hilpipre (seated on the left), a teacher in Southeast Polk, welcomed the over 70 members. Seated with President Rodney are UniServ Directors Wayne Bauman and Peri Van Tassel.
Prior to dinner both Jan Reinicke, ISEA Executive Director and me had the opportunity to address the group. I spoke of the difference member invovement meant in electing state legislators that do more then talk about making education a priority. Jan shared, with the passage of the new and improved Teacher Quality law, educators for the first time will have a voice in their professional development. Jan also shared that Community Colleges saw a 9% growth in their budgets (including a separate salary allocation) and Birth-12 grade districts saw a 7% growth (including the Teacher Quality funds).
Iowa's 2007 Teacher of the Year, Jan Keese, a 3rd grade teacher from Ankeny addressed the group. Jan shared how nation-wide all state Teacher's of the Year have banned together to speak out on needed changes to the so called No Child Left Behind law. Jan is not only an ISEA member, but she is the secretary for Polk Suburban UniServ Unit!
Following dinner, President Rodney was joined by UniServ Directors Peri and Wayne in honoring PSUU local associations for Membership gains and for meeting their Bargaining Goals. Many, many locals were honored for the great work their local leaders continue to do!
The evening was a great opportunity to reconnect with the many friends I've made from Polk Suburban locals. I've visited bus barns, the Community College campus, and so many locals throughout the Unit. Thanks PSUU for the great work you continue to do on behalf of Team ISEA and for your leadership in the educational work place!