School Board Speech July 12, 2017

Good evening President Rothman, Vice President Perlman, School Board Members, Superintendent Martinez, Cabinet Members, APT and CSEA sisters and brothers, and members of the community. First, I would like to recognize 3 of our members who attended the NEA Representative Assembly in Boston along with me last week. The NEA RA is held once a year with over 7,000 delegates representing their local unions and states from across the nation. Delegates work from 7am to as late as 8pm, daily for an entire week. They vote on policy which is then used to form positions on legislation and beliefs for the national organization. APT elected 3 state delegates this year, Gloria Moreno from Simons, who is also an Executive Board Member representing Middle Schools. APT was also represented by Tyra Weis, our former APT President and current San Antonio teacher, and Lisa Garnett, from Diamond Point also attended.

During the Representative Assembly, we were excited to see that educators throughout the nation understand the importance of collaboration, community schools, holding independent for-profit charter schools accountable to the same standards as public schools, and educating and nurturing the whole child, and not just students’ potential test scores. We met with other educators who share our belief that the over testing of our children is hindering our ability to foster quality instruction time. Our hope is that PUSD will be a district that understands this and works to protect our students from the dangers of over testing by limiting testing to only what is necessary.

Also, through the NEA Representative Assembly I came to know that APT and PUSD has been ahead of the curve on community schools and collaboration.  We have an opportunity to set a model that can be the blueprint for other districts who are still in the brainstorming and planning stages of their community schools initiatives. In order to do this, we need to be both deliberate and determined in our continued efforts. Highly functioning community schools can become a hallmark of our district, one that is extremely attractive to parents and families which will help us to retain the students within our district boundaries, and attract others who do not have the benefit of community schools in their home districts.

This leads to me our collaboration efforts. While we have made tremendous gains and have much to celebrate, we also have lots to learn and many areas in which to grow, both for administrators and educators. Community schools is just one area where our collaboration efforts can be highlighted and utilized for the greatest positive outcomes. The NEA Representative Assembly gave me and the other delegates the opportunity to be re-inspired to do this good work, hand in hand with our members, the district, and school site leadership. So, to the APT members who sacrificed 8 days of their summer to represent APT and CTA, on behalf of our entire membership, I publicly acknowledge and give them our sincerest thanks and gratitude.

I also want to thank APT officers, VP Erin Jackson and 2nd VP Chester Tadeja for representing APT when I am unavailable due to other union business. Our other officers, Treasurer Paul Rodriguez and Secretary Sadie Phillips, have also contributed greatly to the Association in our very short time in office. In fact, many of our APT leaders and members have been volunteering this summer. They’ve participated in interview panels, helped to paint the APT office, attended workshops for LACOE, and participated in many other important events during their summer break. I feel personally humbled and blessed to have so much support during my first 6 weeks in office. Members have shown through action the truth of our motto, that we are stronger together. Because of this, I am excited to continue to grow and learn with all of you each day.

One last comment, I wanted to let everyone know I got married for the second time, this past Friday to a very nice man. I have also agreed to change my name  sometime in the near future, to Ms. Dorothy Perez.

Thank you for being here this evening, and thank you for listening.