Archives for May 2012

CEA recognizes supporters and retirees

Nearly 600 guests attended the 36th Annual CEA Awards & Retirement Banquet on Friday, May 18, at the Hilton Columbus at Easton. The event celebrates our retirees and others whose efforts have gone above and beyond the call of duty in Association work and support of public education.

Paula Garfield was honored with the Outstanding Member Award. Garfield, a special education teacher at Beechcroft HS, worked tirelessly for the repeal of Senate Bill 5. She collected more signatures for SB 5’s repeal than any other individual in the state of Ohio.

CEA Vice President Sally Oldham received the Builder of the Association Award. As a faculty representative, long-time member of the Board of Governors, PAR consulting teacher, CEA staff consultant and Vice President of CEA, Sally has fought tenaciously for the members of the Columbus Education Association throughout her entire career.

Distinguished Service Awards were presented to Jan Bell, Debby Huffman-Mirib and Michele Mays. Jan serves on the CEA Board of Governors representing District 1, is a teacher representative on the PAR Panel, a delegate to OEA and NEA and has served on numerous CEA committees. Debby has been a Faculty Representative, a delegate to OEA and NEA and Chair of the Bargaining Team since 2007. Michele has been a delegate to OEA and NEA, served as Secretary of CEA for many years, and, as Chair of the Elections Committee, is responsible for running Association elections.

The Friend of Education Award went to WCBE for its continuous support of Central Ohio’s cultural and educational landscape. The station is home to CEA’s “Teacher Talk,” hosted by Sue Misiak, a former CEA member. Sponsored by the CCS Board of Education, WCBE was cautioned in 2011 not to air episodes of “Teacher Talk” that dealt with SB 5. WCBE aired them anyway, adding a disclaimer before each episode to appease the legal department.

The Innovator in Education Award was presented to Dr. Valarie Kinloch of The Ohio State University’s College of Education and Human Ecology. Dr. Kinloch has been a vital partner with CEA through her efforts with the transformational service-learning project, “Bringing Learning to Life.” More than 60 CEA members and hundreds of CCS students have participated in the program over the last two years.

On behalf of the retirees of 2012, Dean Fowls (Northgate) presented a very surprised CEA President Rhonda Johnson with a class gift of $3,500. The funds will be used to award two scholarships at next year’s banquet. Fowls challenged future retirees to continue the tradition.

To see pictures from this event, go to CEA’s Flickr page at:

Outstanding Faculty Representatives

Each year, the CEA District Governors select faculty representatives to be honored for their hard work and dedication during the year.

We salute the following FRs for their service:

2012 retirees
CEA congratulates all of our members who are retiring this spring. The following individuals were honored at the CEA Awards Banquet:

CEA scholarship recipients
For more than 30 years, CEA has honored and supported students with scholarships at the banquet. We congratulate this year’s winners and their CEA-member parents:

Sally Oldham's swan song

Columbus Education Association Vice President Sally Oldham has been a fixture in CCS. On May 31, she will retire, ending six years of service as CEA Vice President and more than 30 years of service to the students and teachers of CCS. Here is her farewell letter to the members of CEA.

I have lived and breathed Columbus City Schools for 39 years. I have seen ditto machines that left you marked with blue ink, mimeograph machines and copiers that collate and staple. I have lived through the 1975 strike, desegregation, “schools without schools” and a trucker strike that made traveling the freeway next to impossible. I have played record players, tape players, reel-to-reel movies, tapes and CDs in the classroom. I wrote on chalkboards and whiteboards but was not lucky enough to have a SMART Board.

Things have certainly changed for teachers through the years. I remember having to teach art, music and physical education to my class because levy after levy failed, and there were no specialists. I will admit that I taught crafts instead of art. I played games in physical education. I did better in music because it is a passion of mine. Empowered by CEA, I joined forces with my colleagues, and we built a coalition to bring back specialists in those areas.

CEA Vice President Sally Oldham speaking at CEA’s SB 5 Town Hall meeting. In her hand is a copy of the very first CEA Master Agreement.

I have enjoyed every minute in the classroom with my kids. They were mine and still are today. I always warned them when they moved on to middle school that I knew teachers everywhere. I would come over to see them if I found out they were not doing their best. I loved reading to them, sharing an author and tempting them to pick up a new genre of reading. What fun! We learned together.

As a Peer Assistance and Review Consultant, I realized what a big world CCS really was. I had an intern at Cedarwood and traveled way down Parsons and stopped because I had thought I was out of Columbus. I made it after I called the school to get reassurance that I was going the right direction.

As a consultant at CEA, I was mentored by Rick “The Hammer” Logan. Later I was urged to run for CEA Vice President by some persistent friends.

You have supported me as Vice President for six years. I am humbled by your support and the great honor you gave me. I represented “you,” the greatest teaching force ever. “You” are my friends, my colleagues and my teaching buddies. I know you are in good hands. CEA is strong because of each one of you.

Thank you, and I will miss you all.

OEA delegates meet

More than 90 CEA members represented you at the Ohio Education Association Representative Assembly (RA) May 11–12. The OEA RA is the top governing body of our state association comprised of more than 1,300 delegates elected by local education associations.

“This November, voters can take the power out of the hands of the politicians and put it back where it belongs—in the hands of the people, and OEA is proud to join this effort,” said OEA President Patricia Frost-Brooks, speaking about the Voters First initiative.

“Together we can stop the politicians, and we can do it now—in time for the 2014 elections.” Following President Brooks’ message, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown addressed OEA delegates on the first day of the RA.

“More than anything, public education made this country successful,” said Sen. Brown. “I’ll tell you, my voice might not be the prettiest,” the gravelly-voiced Senator told the crowd, “but because of you, it will be the strongest one fighting for education.”

RA delegates soundly approved a new business item that allows OEA to begin organizing and representing private and charter school teachers. “The new policy is consistent with OEA’s principles, including the belief that all employees have the right to representation and bargaining,” said OEA President Patricia Frost-Brooks.

By an overwhelming majority, the OEA Representative Assembly voted to approve a one-time dues assessment of $22. It will help fund the effort to gather petition signatures and to support the Voters First initiative to amend the Ohio Constitution on redistricting and reapportionment.

Additionally, delegates and management staff contributed an all-time record of more than $45,000 to the OEA Fund for Children and Public Education. The Capital District contributed more than $13,000 to the fund.