UEA President: “We can make positive changes that will transform public schools” in 2023

Salutations UEA and Happy New Year!

YOU did it! You survived 2022 by persevering through daunting challenges. You stayed the course even when you experienced teaching conditions that you never imagined when you entered the profession.

You pivoted when situations required patience, flexibility, and problem-solving. You stepped up and pushed through exhaustion. You found the inner strength and fortitude to accomplish more than you thought possible. You modeled resilience for your students.

You matter! You make a profound positive impact on the lives of your students, school communities, and our Utah Education Association. I’m eternally grateful to you and your dedication to our chosen profession.

Renée Pinkney

Each new year brings hope and optimism for a brighter future. We learn from the past and resolve to make changes that will improve our personal and professional circumstances. 2023 will bring opportunities to actively engage with the Utah Education Association to improve and transform our public schools to enable students AND educators to thrive, not just survive. This starts with the 2023 Utah Legislative Session on January 18.

Did you know that UEA holds Educator Day on the Hill every year? You can join the hundreds of educators who show up every Friday during the session to talk to state legislators about proposed bills.

Oftentimes constituents and other interest groups have ideas for bills that are harmful to students and/or educators. In many instances, these bills feel like an affront to our integrity as professionals. This is not a time for handwringing. This is when we roll up our sleeves and get to work. Your UEA legislative and lobby teams are on the hill each day during the session doing just that.

On the flip side, we have public education champions who support us and propose helpful bills. In fact, our association might have an idea for a bill to improve public education and we get a legislator to sponsor it.

Telling your story and explaining how a bill will impact you and your students is powerful. We can stop harmful bills and get positive bills passed through our collective action. This is where hope and optimism for a brighter future play an integral role.

We are all UEA. We can make positive changes that will transform our public schools. Join us this new year in person on the hill or through a call to action as the session unfolds. We are stronger together as a collective voice standing up for the promise of public education, for our students, and for ourselves as educators.

In solidarity,

Renée Pinkney