Why I’m a UEA Member, by UEA Vice President Roger Donohoe

Marketing guru Simon Sinek teaches that, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Lately, at our UEA Board meetings, we have focused keenly on our mission at UEA: “The UEA’s mission is to advance the cause of public education in partnership with others: strengthen the teaching profession, promote quality schools for Utah’s children and advocate the well-being of members.”

One of the first things I noticed as I began serving as your vice president was the honest and unwavering dedication that our leadership has to education, teachers and the students we teach. It still amazes me how every decision made by our leadership and staff is solidly grounded in that statement.

I am amazed by the dedication of our leaders and professional staff. They are everywhere in the state. They have great relationships with the legislature and are present and vocal at every Utah State Board of Education meeting and hearing. If there is anything happening in Utah that pertains to public education, UEA is present and vocal. We are often criticized because people, some even within the ranks of UEA, see only what we do without realizing why we are doing it. We are there and we speak up because Utah’s children deserve the highest quality education possible and our teachers deserve to have their voice heard.

Because Utah’s kids deserve quality programs, we fight to fund these programs. Because all of Utah’s kids deserve a balanced and broad curriculum, we fight for reasonable curriculum requirements.

Because Utah’s kids deserve the best teachers, we fight to fund professional development and reasonable licensing standards so they can have the best trained, best prepared and highest quality professionals teaching them from day one. We fight for salaries, benefits and working conditions that will attract and retain the best educators possible.

We fight for the teaching profession because teachers teach better when they work in an environment that is conducive to learning, where they feel like they are supported and can work responsibly without threat, where they have the mentoring they need to succeed and where they are at liberty to teach with as few restrictions as reasonable.

We advocate for our members because we are all a team and we have each other’s backs. We help each other, we train each other, we mentor one another, we pool our resources so that we can have legal counsel when it is needed, and we have social activities so that we can relax and be friends outside of the work environment.

Because Utah’s kids deserve the best future we can give them, UEA fights for quality public education in every way possible. We are the advocates for Utah’s school children, teachers and the public education system.
Because I have witnessed the dedicated focus UEA has to its mission first hand; to its membership and to the kids in Utah, that is “why” I am a member of the UEA.