Summer Organizing Institutes are a Big Hit
Professional development combined with fun and fellowship this summer as the IEA hosted events at Cactus Pete’s in Jackpot and Templin’s Resort in Post Falls. Playing for Keeps featured workshops on everything from energizing local membership to political activism to communications and social media. More than 200 members attended the two events and were enthusiastic about taking the knowledge and techniques that they acquired back to their local associations.
[blockquote]”I love the camaraderie and the interaction with people that we have such a familiar base with”, said member Wendy Anderson from Pocatello. “Everyone is here to improve education and their concern is education excellence”. [/blockquote]
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While Playing for Keeps addressed important issues and had serious undertones, there were still plenty of opportunities for members to explore or re-kindle relationships over meals, at the gaming tables (Jackpot) and along the picturesque Spokane River (Post Falls). “We are having fun with people not just in a work environment, but we are able to laugh and joke and have a good time”, noted Anderson.
The Jackpot event for Regions 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9 was also highlighted by a special tribute to retiring IEA Government Relations Director Bert Marley and keynote comments from Executive Director Robin Nettinga. In Post Falls, Regions 1 and 2 welcomed special guest speaker Princess Moss, a key member of the Executive Committee of the National Education Association.
James Conlon, NEA field staff assigned to Idaho, who facilitated a workshop on the national political landscape, appreciated the opportunity to help galvanize Idaho educators. “I really wanted to bring people together and start building relationships and talking about the importance of everyone getting involved and staying together for public education”, Conlon said. “We’ve had some challenging times here in Idaho the last couple of years, but the teachers have the power to make the changes they want if they stand together and speak with a unified voice”.
If you missed out on the rewarding Summer Organizing Institutes this year, stay tuned, because plans are already underway for an even bigger and better event next summer.