Originally published Oct. 20, 2017 in the Pueblo Chieftain.

BY Jon Pompia, The Pueblo Chieftain

With the Pueblo Education Association’s “informational campaign” — “Every student deserves the highest quality education possible” — in full swing, the president of the teachers union recently gave the board of education of Pueblo City Schools (D60) an overview of the child-oriented push.

Suzanne Ethredge told the board that in lieu of endorsing school board candidates, the union is sharing with the community its vision “of what every student in Pueblo deserves to have in our schools.”

PuebloEthredge said the campaign reflects the fact that as educators, “We knew, at some level, that we needed to start doing something differently ourselves, as an association.”

“Who knows better than educators what should be going on in our classrooms, what should be happening for our students?” Ethredge told the board. “We are the experts in instruction and student learning. Educators who have a voice in decision-making stay in the profession longer and have more job satisfaction.”

Ultimately, Ethredge continued, it’s about a positive experience for all children.

“Students don’t remember the test they took,” she said. “They remember the experiences they had in school.”

And while the 2017 election will soon be over, the campaign will continue, the PEA president said.

“We don’t intend to end this. This is something we intend to keep going.”

In addition to four different yard signs, decals and signs that will soon be distributed, teachers intend to hand out literature through a walking campaign.

Ethredge ended her presentation with an invitation.

“Please join us in helping create the schools our Pueblo students deserve.”

Board Vice President Barb Clementi praised PEA’s informational campaign “as another piece of evidence that we are all in this together, working toward the same end.

“And hopefully we can do more of that so that by pulling together, we can get to where we’d really like to be.”

Added board member R. Kenneth O’Neal, “This was very well thought out, and it has the focus on the child. Experiential learning — that’s how children grow. They hold this, they keep this, and you’re really going into this through art, music, PE.

“This is absolutely on the right track.”


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