Mountain Panarama
EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION
August 28, 2014
AEA President Andy Holleman

Andy.Holleman@AnchorageEA.net

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Welcome to the Anchorage Education Association

Welcome back for the start of the 2014-15 school year. There's a lot happening, as always, and we hope this site serves to be a good communications channel between AEA and the membership.

As we start the year, we're down to 3 members that are still on layoff status. This is good news in terms of where we thought we might be, but still a huge disappointment for them and the students they should be in front of. Please keep them in your thoughts.

We are also down about 70 positions from last year. Bigger classes, fewer offerings, and for middle school elective teachers, one more class per day to teach. Nothing about the job got easier over the summer, and there are fewer people with fewer resources.

And yet, we anticipated it would be worse. Except for the efforts of a group of parents, I'm pretty certain it would have been. As we start the year, I hope everyone is aware of Great Alaska Schools and what they've done. Check them out at http://greatalaskaschools.org/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Great-Alaska-Schools-Anchorage/. As you talk with parents that want to know what they can do to help lower class sizes and bring more electives and options I hope you'll refer them to those pages.

While you're talking with anyone this year, remember that it was the actions of parents and community members that kept the cuts from being about 260 FTE instead of 70. Our relationship with the public has never been more critical.

Back on the member front, we'll be talking to you this fall about the usual stuff and more. AEA is looking to engage members on professional issues - curriculum and professional development are key areas. We're working with NEA to use grant funding to make us about more than contract and working conditions. We want AEA to play a role in your success as an education professional.

And we want it to be fun as well. We'll be doing some things to bring everyone out together during the year. We need to spend more time together and know each other better. To that end, I ask every member that's been around for a while, especially if you're a veteran in your building......take a minute and look for the new faces. Take time to introduce yourself. Ask them if they're just new to your building, or new to ASD. If they're new to ASD, ask them if they're also new to Alaska. Find out how it's going, both in and out of school. Let them know you're glad to answer questions. It's all part of trying to recapture that old excitement that came from being part of a great team in a great place to live and work.

We've got a lot in front of us this year. We'll do better if we link up and do it as a team.

If you want to be an active member of the team, talk to your building rep! If you're not sure who that is, feel free to email me and ask. We'll also be looking for help with our website, with educating members about retirement issues in Alaska, and much more.

Members are welcome to contact me any time about any concerns or questions. Let us know if you think we're helping or hurting or missing something completely. Email me at Andy.Holleman@AnchorageEA.net or call the office at 274-0536.

Check back here often AND be sure to "Like" us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AnchorageEA.

Have a great start.

Andy Holleman President


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