IEA and NEA Presidents in the Spotlight at Delegate Assembly
Nearly 400 Delegates Help IEA Celebrate 125th Anniversary
Idaho Education Association President Penni Cyr presided over her sixth and final IEA Delegate Assembly and National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen Garcia provided a stirring keynote address as the IEA observed its 125th anniversary April 21 and 22 in Boise. Cyr is retiring this summer and told delegates she plans to travel the country with her husband and dote on her first grandchild; born just a week before Delegate Assembly. Eskelsen Garcia was making her first official visit to Idaho as NEA President.
A native of Utah and the 1999 Utah Teacher of the Year, Eskelsen Garcia reminded the audience about the importance of their work, both in and out of the classroom. “You have the power, so put it to work for kids and don’t waste it,” she urged. “We are the people who can put together the pieces of the puzzle for students.”
Eskelsen Garcia also spoke out in favor of well-resourced public schools and against concepts like school vouchers and for-profit schools that utilize public funds. “There are a lot of great choices within the public school system, and we need to strive to make every public school look like our best public schools.”
For her part, Cyr reflected on her six-year tenure as IEA President following many years as an educator in Moscow. “The last six years have been the pinnacle of my professional life,” she said. “I couldn’t be prouder of my work with, and on behalf of, the incredible members of the Idaho Education Association.” Cyr will officially step down from office August 1, 2017. An announcement of a newly elected president will come later this spring.
IEA member Sonia Galaviz of Boise also addressed the delegates, sharing her experiences as the NEA Foundation Excellence in Education Award winner and offering words of encouragement for her colleagues. “Nobody gives us anything in Idaho, and we have work to do, but we know how to do this,” she said. Read the IEA REPORTER Q & A with Sonia Galaviz.
Delegates Act on Several New Business Items, Resolutions
As the highest governing body of the Association, the delegates debated and discussed several issues regarding the policy and philosophy that the IEA will embrace going forward. New business items approved at Delegate Assembly include:
- A dues increase of $4 per member, per year for two years to cover costs associated with convening the 2019 Delegate Assembly in Coeur d’Alene.
- Instructing the Board of Directors to explore other options, both in Boise and elsewhere in the state, as venues for future Delegate Assemblies.
- Establishing a marketing/public relations task force to report to the Board of Directors on ideas for helping to improve the image of the IEA.
- Directing the Board of Directors to integrate working toward racial justice into the IEA’s strategic action plan.
Among the resolution passed by the delegates was a philosophical statement urging local affiliates and governing bodies to support and promote diversity in sexual orientation and gender identity relating to education employment.
Great Support for IEA Children’s Fund
The customary fund-raising efforts to benefit the IEA Children’s Fund were a big success. The silent auction raised $9,777 and cash contributions totaled $8,830, bringing the overall amount raised for this terrific charity to $18,607.
The IEA Children’s Fund recently relaunched with a new web page and even more opportunities for organizations and companies to donate.