CEA President Johnson Welcomes 300 New Members

Photo Credit: Robert Hern, Jr.

CEA President Rhonda Johnson addresses 300 new CCS teachers.

CEA President Rhonda Johnson, Vice President Sally Oldham and other dignitaries from CCS welcomed 300 new teachers to the Columbus Education Association at the annual New Teacher Luncheon, held on August 20, 2009 at The Westin Columbus.

“I’m proud to say I’m a Columbus City Schools teacher,” said Johnson, “and proud to say that I am a member of CEA.”

The newly hired teachers are the latest educators to start the Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) Program, now in its 23rd year of implementation. Adapted from the Toledo Federation of Teachers and instituted in Columbus in 1986, PAR has proved to be an invaluable resource for rookie teachers in the district.

“Doctors and lawyers are professionals and evaluate each other,” explained President Johnson. “So it made sense to further professionalize the practice of teaching by drawing on the expertise of veteran educators to guide and evaluate first year teachers, or as we call them, interns.”

The PAR Program also has an intervention component that offers teachers who may be experiencing difficulty in their classroom another opportunity to improve their practice.

“As President of CEA,” added Johnson, “it is my goal to make sure there is a committed, caring and quality teacher in every classroom in Columbus. The PAR Program has ultimately resulted in improved student performance for the district.”

“You are joining a family,” stated President Johnson. “You now have over 4,000 new friends. In fact, I’ve joined Twitter and if you receive my tweets, you can experience some of what CEA does on a daily basis to ensure our members are well taken care of.”

“As newly minted teachers,” added CEA Vice President Sally Oldham, “You are about to embark on a great journey this year.”

“Being a member of CEA,” Interim Deputy Superintendent Elaine Bell told the new teachers, “is one of your best fringe benefits.”