Delegate Assembly Enjoys a Successful Return to Coeur d’Alene
For the first time since 2000 the IEA Annual Meeting and Delegate Assembly was held outside of Boise, with members from North Idaho playing host to the 2019 event April 5-6. Nearly 400 delegates were in attendance, along with IEA staff, non-voting members, and special guests. The two day event drew rave reviews and was successful on several fronts, including positive exposure for the Association, an opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of Coeur d’Alene, a smoothly-run program, and a highly successful fundraiser for the IEA Children’s Fund.
“It was invigorating to take our biggest event to Coeur d’Alene and gratifying to see the enthusiastic response of our members as we came together to conduct the business of our association and collaborate with colleagues,” said IEA President Kari Overall. “We were thrilled to be able to showcase the great work we do and the importance of our democratic process.”
The 2019 Delegate Assembly received wonderful media exposure in the area, with Ariana Lake from KXLY-TV (Channel 4, Spokane) coming to the Coeur d’Alene Resort to do stories on the important advocacy work being done by members and the Children’s Fund auction. She interviewed members Jake Smulkowski (Post Falls EA) and Erin Paradis (Vallivue EA) for her story on the event and later posted a follow up online story with final results from the Children’s Fund auction. The Coeur d’Alene Press also did a preview story the first day of Delegate Assembly.
It was a banner year in terms of fundraising for the IEA Children’s Fund. The silent auction featured a plethora of donated items and raised $11,584.60. Cash donations netted another $12.757.24 for a staggering total of $24,341.84 going to help children and families in need through IEA member requests.
IEA President Kari Overall delivered her annual remarks to the delegates and 2019 Idaho Teacher of the Year Marc Beitia of American Falls shared some poignant stories as the keynote speaker. Incoming IEA Executive Director Matt Aber-Towns was introduced to members for the first time and spent the weekend soaking up information. Outgoing Interim Executive Director Paul Hambleton received kudos for the work he has done with the IEA over the last four months.
As usual, the floor debate was spirited but respectful, with several New Business Items brought forward. Most of the NBIs were geared toward directing the IEA to try and work with elected officials on topics such as early childhood education, counselor to student ratios, lead testing of water in schools, and a living wage for Education Support Professionals. The two NBIs that passed with costs attached to them related to research and materials for ESP recruitment and a one-step online membership enrollment system (IEA and NEA staff have already been working on this important upgrade).