Meet the Candidates

IEA Board of Directors Interim Vice-President Special Election Candidates

 


 

Jon Hawkes | Snake River Education Association

 

Jon Hawkes Candidate Questionnaire

How long have you been working in education?

I have been in education since the fall of 2012, so just over 10 years.

What positions of leadership have you held (elected, appointed or voluntary) at the local, region, state or national level?

I have held numerous positions of leadership throughout our organization. I have been the lead negotiator for our local since I first joined the IEA and have served as the Snake River Education Association President since 2015. I was the Region 5 President for two years and served two terms (six years) as one of the Region 5 Representatives on the IEA Board of Directors. During that time, I served on many committees, including the Member Benefits committee, Negotiations committee, Elections committee, as Co-Chair of the PCB (Policy, Constitution, and Bylaws) committee, and most relevant to the office of Vice President that I am seeking, the Budget committee.

What do you believe are the three primary responsibilities of this office?

There are many important responsibilities for the IEA Vice President, but the three primary responsibilities of the Vice President are outlined in IEA Bylaws and Policy:

-To succeed to the office of President if a vacancy exists, or act for the president when they are unable to perform their duties or are unavailable.

-To chair the Budget committee.

-To perform other duties as requested by the President of the IEA and the IEA Board of Directors.

What do you see as the greatest challenge IEA members will face in the next five years? What ideas do you have to address that challenge?

I feel that the greatest challenge that the IEA will face in the next five years is the continued politization of the work that we do. Every day is turning into more of a battle, not just in our classrooms dealing with the continued fallout from Covid and other massive student-centric issues, but also outside the classroom. The amount of disinformation that is spread about what happens in our schools, from people who lack any real evidence or first-hand experience, has been an issue ever since I first entered the classroom. But we now see a huge push by these individuals to take over local school boards, run for statewide representative positions, and pass vague and litigious legislation in a crusade to limit exposure to opinions and beliefs that they do not share, and I feel that in a traditionally conservative state like Idaho, that this trend is bound to get worse before it gets better.

I think that to address this challenge we need to continue to grow our outreach in social media, in political action, and in legislative intervention and involvement. As much as we feel disheartened by the pushback we get in situations like these, the data that I have seen shows that most parents and students support their local schools and educators. We need to continue to work to activate these supporters, to share the importance of what we do in schools and how we do it, to own all the amazing things that educators are doing throughout the state, and to confront disinformation, bigotry, fear, and hate with hard data, stability, grace, and most importantly, education.

What is your plan for increasing membership and member engagement?

I think that we have made great advances in membership recruitment and engagement the last several years with the changes that we have made to our organization’s structure and approach to the work we do. I would continue to support these programs, which the data shows are accomplishing our goals of increasing membership and engaging our members. Specifically, I would continue our emphasis on building strong local involvement and the Targeted Local campaign, the work that our PACE organization has done in elections and the IEA Lobby Day efforts, and the efforts of the Center for Teaching and Learning to support and develop our educators throughout the state.

How do you intend to communicate with members in order to keep them informed and to find out their concerns?

I tend to be very busy (as many of us are), so of course phone calls and emails would be crucial to staying in touch with our members throughout the state. I work in a four-day week school district, so I would have a lot of flexibility to attend regional trainings and meetings on the weekends to talk to members and hear their concerns. I also have admin that are very supportive of the work I already currently do in the IEA and so I would make every effort to attend all the Mini-DA’s throughout the state, as I feel like many of our member concerns and requests for action are brought forward during our Delegate Assembly process.

Provide other information you would like members to know:

I just want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for what you do. When I think back on all my years as a student in Idaho public schools and universities, I am amazed by the intelligent, understanding, caring professionals who guided my growth into adulthood and into this profession. Many of those individuals have no idea the impact that they had on my life, and every day in our schools presents untold opportunity to provide that guidance and stability for our students. Our work has been absurdly challenging the last few years, but as we continue to work together, I am confident that we will continue to see the results of those efforts and build the schools that our students deserve.


 

Deanna Didier | Lewiston Education Association

Deanna Didier’s Candidate Questionnaire

How long have you been working in education?

I have been in the field of education since January 2005.

What positions of leadership have you held (elected, appointed or voluntary) at the local, region, state or national level?

Positions that I have held or are currently involved in are as follows: Lewiston Education Association President, Lewiston Education Association Negotiation team member, Lewiston Education Association delegate, IEA Region 2 President, IEA Region 2 Board of Director,  IEA Budget Committee member, IEA Policy Constitution and Bylaws Committee member, Children’s Fund Board member, Children’s Fund Board Co-Chair, IEA Negotiation Team member, NEA Representative Assembly delegate 

What do you believe are the three primary responsibilities of this office?

The top three priorities of IEA Vice President are outlined in IEA Policy and Bylaws. First is to succeed the office of president if a vacancy exists in the office of president or act for the president when this person is unable to perform the duties. Second is to serve as chair of the Budget committee and a member of the Resolutions Committee. Last is to perform other duties as stipulated by the Constitution, Bylaws, by the president and the Board of Directors. 

What do you see as the greatest challenge IEA members will face in the next five years? What ideas do you have to address that challenge? 

I believe the greatest challenge IEA members will face in the next five years is the continued escalation of student behaviors. My idea to address this growing need is to make sure that schools and staff have resources needed to assist students who are not yet ready for the classroom. Legislators need to constantly support education funding and make it a top priority. State Department of Education, Superintendents, PTA and IEA could collaboratively create a plan of implementation to address escalation of student behaviors. School districts would then have a guideline that would be a partnership plan with everyone involved in the drafting, implementation and rollout. 

 

What is your plan for increasing membership and member engagement?

A proven plan of  membership growth is strategic planning. When locals actively engage in strategic planning and work their plan membership grows. Members see and hear about what the locals are doing and become involved. It is a movement gaining momentum each year when the work is continued at each local.

 

How do you intend to communicate with members in order to keep them informed and to find out their concerns?

Along with face to face conversations,  phone calls and emails will be used to maintain connectedness. I believe in forming personal relationships. I will visit and collaborate with region representatives face-to-face at quarterly budget and board meetings. If I were elected VP, I would communicate and assist leaders regarding their member needs using my past experiences about what was deemed successful.

 

Provide other information you would like members to know:

Being an educator is not just a job to me. It defines who I am as a person. Since my beginning years in education, I have not only taught students, but cared about and advocated for fellow teachers and our school community. As a child I have fond memories of my former educators.  They played a role in forming the person I am today and my love of education. As a current educator myself, I have had the pleasure of forming these same relationships and bonds with past and present students. Helping others recognize and reach their fullest potential comes naturally to me. I genuinely enjoy working with others even when it comes to advocating in challenging areas. I sincerely enjoy building relationships with both members and nonmembers alike. Raising my voice and sharing my knowledge and passion around education have become increasingly important to me. In today’s ever-changing world, I feel it is important to be flexible yet consistent in education reform. I believe having an open mind and a willingness to change will lead to greater student outcomes and higher educator retention. 

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