NEA Vice President Becky Pringle joined about 120 UEA leaders from across the state at the 2019 UEA Summer Leadership Academy. The event was held June 11-12 at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley City. Leadership Academy is the primary leadership development program for elected leaders in the Utah Education Association. The conference is designed to train state and local association leaders on leadership skills as well as important issues facing educators in Utah.
Leadership Academy participants selected from 20 different workshops, based on their association position and interest. The workshops were scheduled in four different sessions throughout the two days. Workshops topics included racial justice in education, trauma-informed instruction, political organizing, educator ethics, tax reform and information on UEA’s Early Leadership Institute and Policy Ambassador programs. Also offered was a four-workshop organizing and leadership development track which provided graduate credit through Weber State University.
You are Enough: NEA Vice President Becky Pringle
NEA Vice President Becky Pringle gave the keynote address during lunch on the first day of the conference. She began her remarks with a few lines from a poem telling attendees “you are enough, your work is enough” and “you are needed”. She then shared her own leadership journey beginning with an experience as a young educator advocating for her child’s educational success which lead her to become a leader in her local association. Always an inspirational speaker, Pringle brought attendees to their feet with her energy and enthusiasm.
‘Social Change’ Topic of Second-Day Keynote
Kilo Zamora, University of Utah, kicked off the second and final day of Leadership Academy with a message about social change.
See Educators Run: Teachers Urged to Run for Office
Across the country and here in Utah, teachers are stepping up and running for office to advocate for public schools. Elizabeth Weight taught high school in Granite School District for more than 30 years before she decided to run for state representative. She ran on a platform to advocate for working families in her diverse area in West Valley City. During a Summer Leadership Academy breakout session, Weight talked about how her professional experiences as an educator were her greatest asset on the campaign. The vast network of former students, parents, and colleagues gave her a solid voting and organizational base to win her election.
Jenny Graviet teaches junior high in the Weber School District. She never had plans to run for office but after receiving a candidate recruitment phone call from her UniServ director, she decided to take the leap. Graviet told session participants how much support she received from the public education community in Davis and Weber counties, as well as former students, helping her win her election to the State Board of Education. Running for office is difficult, she said, and at times frustrating when partisan politics and negative campaigning showed up in a non-partisan race. Both Rep. Weight and Board Member Graviet had a very powerful message for UEA leaders: the public likes and trust teachers. They both strongly encouraged teachers to run for office.
Future Leadership Academy Dates
- June 9-10, 2020