Leading the Change
After a hiatus in 2020 due to COVID, UEA Summer Leadership Academy returned in 2021, with a few modifications. This year’s event targeted leaders in their first year. It was held at two locations: Farmington and Richfield. UEA Leadership Academy is the primary leadership development program for elected leaders in the Utah Education Association and its local associations. The event in each location began with a pre-recorded video introduction by NEA President Becky Pringle and a welcome from UEA President Heidi Matthews.
“This is a Special Summer leadership academy – one that was designed just for you” said Matthews. “Given the uncertainties, it was determined that if we could only bring together a few people for our annual Summer Leadership Academy, the most important thing that we should be doing is supporting you, our newest local association leaders. Yep. You are special – and the many people who had their hands in creating this SLA today share the goal of having you leaving our time with foundations for success – or at least the tools to be able to give you confidence as you learn about this important role that you have taken on.”
“I hope that you will leave this workshop feeling inspired and energized and ready,” said Pringle. “I hope that you will grasp with your hearts and your hands and your minds all of the practical tools you need to continue building your personal leadership path. It is a path that is constructed of NEA’s leadership framework of advocacy and communication, of governance and leadership, of leading our professions and fiscal health and our newest competency…social and emotional learning.”
Leadership Academy participants participated in three training sessions during the day:
- LOCAL LEADERSHIP FOUNDATIONS outlined the UEA’s mission and overall structure. The session described opportunities to lead for strong membership, budgets and bylaws in each local association using the UEA Board of Director’s strategic goals as a guide. Session presented by: Amy Barton, Washington County Education Association President; Heidi Matthews, UEA President; and Barb Whitman, Ogden-Weber UniServ Director.
- STAFF AND GOVERNANCE RELATIONSHIP considered ways to build strong relationships between staff, governance and committees. The session presented by: Curt Benjamin, Northern UniServ Director; Becca Hall, Tooele Education Association Vice-President; and Renee Pinkney, UEA Vice-President.
- MEMBERSHIP FOR GROWTH AND STRENGTH demonstrated how leaders can utilize bargaining, political action, communications and organizing to build strong local associations. Session presented by: Cindy Formeller, Davis UniServ Director and Rod Hurd, Sevier Education Association President.
President Matthews closed the training by asking participants what leadership legacy they hoped to leave.