UEA leaders gather in Midway for 2016 UEA Summer Leadership Academy


2016 UEA Summer Leadership Academy

Word Cloud - One Word to Describe Conference
(click to view larger image)
Word Cloud - One Commitment You Will Make
(click to view larger image)

About 130 teachers and leaders representing school districts from across the state gathered at the 2016 UEA Summer Leadership Academy. Leadership Academy is a multi-day workshop is designed for state and local leaders to receive training on leadership skills, capacity building, important issues facing UEA members and other relevant topics. The 2016 Academy was held June 8-9 at the Zermatt Resort in Midway.

UEA President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh and Executive Director Lisa Nentl-Bloom kicked off the training by asking participants to note the “current versus ideal reality” in their schools. They then posed the question “what’s getting in the way of your ideal reality?” Some barriers discussed included workload, lack of connection to relevance, lack of AR knowledge due to non-participation, inability to delegate, insufficient number of members to do the work, and people focused individual goals instead of collective goals.

Gallagher-Fishbaugh then asked participants to share opportunities to help move us toward our ideal reality. Opportunities discussed included positive leaders, conferences and training for members, a strong retired member program and amazing teachers who demonstrate what good teaching looks like.

Nentl-Bloom then led a discussion on how to get from our current to our ideal reality. She shared the UEA Mission Statement and asked if each UniServ or local has a mission statement or goals. “You must ensure that everything you do fits within your mission statement and strategic goals,” she said. With participants seated at tables by UniServ, they were given time to discuss goals and come up with a plan of action.

Educational Tracks

Leadership Academy participants could select from five separate educational tracks, based on their association position and interest. Each of the following tracks were taught in four separate sessions throughout the two days:

Be the Best AR You Can Be—

Session One: Responsibilities and Opportunities – Box Elder Education Association President Robyn Smith and Jordan Education Association President Jennifer Boehme discussed the roles and responsibilities of an Association Representative. They shared ideas for how to be involved and “mapping” of faculty members to get them engaged.

Session Two: Communication – Smith and Northern UniServ Director Curt Benjamin told participants the work of an AR is about building relationships…it’s about meeting not just meetings. In this session participants learned principles and developed techniques to more effectively meet one-on-one with teachers, as well as conduct more purposeful 10-minute building meetings.

Session Three: Membership and Relationships – Cache Education Association President Amy Bassett and UEA Director of Membership and Organizing Jenny Okerlund discussed ways to establish a relationship with members and potential members within the school. Recruiting is easier when you know more about the Association and how to answer those tough questions, they said.

Session Four: Resources and Member Benefits – Boehme and NEA Member Benefits representative Sean Mabey reviewed where to find Association and District information helpful to ARs. Ideas included UEA Access, NEA EdCommunities and NEA Member Benefits. They discussed ways to  effectively use these as an AR.


Session One: The Nuts and Bolts of the Association – Jordan UniServ Director Laura Arnold and UEA Business Manager Brenda Pett shared what leaders need to know about fiduciary responsibility and governing documents. Pett discussed financial practices while Black lead participants through a review of Constitutions and Bylaws.

Session Two: Year at a Glance – Canyons Education Association President Jen Buttars was joined by other local leaders from across the state as they shared ideas for engaging and organizing Executive Boards and Association Representatives. They spent time helping participants complete a “Year at a Glance” document, then heard from local leaders about successful strategies.

Session Three: How to Talk So They Can Listen – Buttars, Washington Education Association President Amy Barton, and UEA Director of Communications and Public Relations Mike Kelley discussed the NEA and UEA messages and how to use the NEA and UEA messages to help direct conversations in ways that will be understood. Barton shared how social media and other electronic platforms put us literally in the palms of our members’ hands.

Session Four: You Don't Have To Do It Alone  – UEA President Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh and Executive Director Lisa Nentl-Bloom talked about using the tenets of “distributive leadership” to share the responsibilities and prevent leader burnout.

Membership & Organizing—

Session One: Transactional vs. Transformational, an Introduction to Organizing – Washington Education Association Vice President Kathleen Cheshire covered the heart of organizing philosophy: transformational organizing. She also discussed the “Golden Circle,” setting the foundation of organizational work.

Session Two: One-on-Ones and Story of Self  – Jordan UniServ Director Jessica Dunn and Davis UniServ Director Pat Riley reinforced the importance of building relationships through conducting one-on-ones and how the ‘Story of Self’ can be a tool to build transformational work.

Session Three: Building Mapping and Digital Organizing – UEA Director of Policy and Research Jay Blain and UniServ Specialist William Spiegel built on the tools for transformational organizing and covered how to do “Building Mapping” and what digital tools are available, from social media to MiniVan.

Session Four: Putting It All Together – Spiegel and Granite Education Association Board Member Caren Burns shared ways to develop a membership campaign and looked at the back-to-school campaign. They shared ideas for turning tools into organizing opportunities.

Political Action—

Session One: Educators in the Chambers - Teachers Who Became Legislators – Two current legislators, Representatives Carol Spackman Moss and Derrin Owens, shared experiences from serving on Utah’s Capitol Hill. Why did they decide to run? What was it like running? How did they win? What is it like to serve?

Session Two: Why is Politics Important? A Roadmap of What's at Stake – UEA Political Action Committee Executive Council members Chelsie Acosta and Ryan Anderson discussed how classroom challenges are linked to politics.

Session Three: Political Action in Action - Getting our Recommended Candidates Elected – Utah State School Board member Dixie Allen and UEA Director of Government Relations and Political Action Chase Clyde provided practice conversations for participants to share with friends, family and colleagues, and with a real live candidate.

Session Four: Campaigns 101: How to Organize a Winning Campaign - From Local School Board to the Presidency – Clyde and professional political strategist Claire McGuire answered the questions ‘How do campaigns really work?’ and ‘What does it really take to win?’ These political strategists shared war stories from the trenches.

Teaching & Learning—

Session One: Critical Conversations and Educator Evaluation – Northern UniServ Director Curt Benjamin shared the evolution of Utah’s current teacher evaluation structure and how to help teachers have critical conversations with their administrators about their evaluations. The conversations are critical because they involve a critique of teachers’ work, they are critically important, and they reveal power disparities, said Benjamin.

Session Two: Assessment Literacy – Provo Education Association President Christy Giblon and association leaders Brenda Fuller and Charlotte Hart provided an overview of the five assessment literacy modules. They also shared how the modules have been successfully implemented, common roadblocks to implementation and strategies for membership engagement and recruitment.

Session Three: Praxis® – Provo Education Association Vice President Bailey Danielson delivered a ‘training of trainers’ with materials for UniServs to update or initiate their own Praxis training. She discussed the relevance of Praxis training for new educators and connecting Praxis to membership organizing.

Session Four: Growing New Leaders and Engaging Members through Teaching and Learning – Weber Education Association President Barb Whitman shared ways to identify leaders, create leadership opportunities and increase member engagement through teaching and learning. Concepts covered included expanding the definition of leadership and the importance of developing leaders for both association and school/district roles.

Back to News Listing