Thank You for the Honor of Serving as President, by UEA President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh


4/11/2016

How lucky am I to have something that makes leaving so hard!

As I reach the end of my tenure as your president, I am filled with many mixed emotions — gratitude, humility, impatience and sadness to name a few.

The past six years have changed me in ways I could only imagine back in 2010. I have encountered some amazing educators who have positively impacted my life and instilled in me a desire to be a better person…

  • Denise, a teacher in Davis, whose passion for students shown through her work with the Teacher Leadership Initiative and reignited her desire to continue to strive for excellence in her classroom…she taught me the power of continuous learning.
  • The educators on the UEA Teaching Excellence Commission and the Assessment Literacy Task Force who came together in a tireless effort to ensure that teacher expertise and voice was heard in policy arenas and on Capitol Hill…they taught me the true meaning of the word “professional.”
  • Hundreds and hundreds of teachers who showed up for Educator Day on the Hill to share their classroom stories with legislators…sometimes with tears and sometimes frustration but always with integrity.
  • The UniServ and UEA staff who work tirelessly on behalf of our members…they shared their example of dedication and advocacy so freely.
  • The ARs, local leaders, UEA Board members and rank-and-file members who attended to the largest education rally in Utah’s history on Capitol Hill asking for adequate funding for our students and classrooms…they taught me the power of collective action and voice.

So much to be proud of and so much to celebrate.

As with everything in life, you don’t always get the perfect ending or have enough time to accomplish all the things you desired. Even so, I am filled with hope. I have hope because of each of you. Your talents, passion, and expertise encompass all that is great about the Utah Education Association. The Association is bigger than one individual or one president. It is the sum of all of the knowledge, skills and dedication of our members and staff.

So as I embark on life’s next adventure, I do so with a great sense of possibility. My fellow educators, as we continue the work of the UEA, remember that limitations live only in our minds. Let’s use our imaginations and our possibilities will be limitless.

Thank you for the honor of serving as your UEA President.

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