Get Out the Vote! – Editorial by UEA President Renee Pinkney

Renée Pinkney

What an exhilarating couple of months! I walked out of my classroom on June 3 after 26 years at Park City High School teaching social studies and walked into the UEA as president on July 15. When I’m asked why I wanted to be president, the answer is simple. I believe in our mission, our vision and our ability to make positive change. There has been a UEA President for my 27-year teaching career fighting to protect the promise of public education. This is my opportunity to pay it forward for our members.

In getting out into schools and hearing from our educators, this school year seems brighter…like a fresh start. Teachers started the year energized, hopeful and excited to be back in the classroom after teaching during the height of a global pandemic. One teacher said, “it’s so nice to be in a normal school environment.” It is with hope that I started my three-year term two months ago. Hope for strong public schools is my motivator, but change doesn’t happen without action. We have a midterm election that provides us an opportunity to elect pro-public education candidates.

I need you to VOTE! Get your friends, family, and neighbors out to vote. Check out our UEA Political Action Committee (PAC) candidate recommendations at myUEA.org/elections. Research the candidates in your area to find out who supports public education then educate everyone you know. Make sure you vote for every office down the ballot. This is important.

Education champions understand we need public policies that will strengthen and elevate the teaching profession. We need highly qualified educators on day one that understand the importance of welcoming every child into the classroom. We know that fostering a strong sense of belonging creates a classroom climate conducive to learning. Our students must feel safe, both psychologically and physically.
Investing in our educators by providing us with compensation packages that are commensurate with our credentials as professionals demonstrates respect for our profession. We must be trusted, respected and viewed as a partner with parents in providing a world-class education for all students.

Aspiring educators, early career educators, veteran educators and retired educators know that student success is at the heart of everything we do. When we feel respected and trusted as professionals we can reach, teach and inspire our students to reach their full potential.

Get out the VOTE!