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.