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President Jeff Wensing: Challenges Become Opportunities

As the curtain comes down on the 2017-18 school year, building custodians and cleaners grow anxious for their fellow educators and students to be released for summer recess. This is their annual oppor-tunity to prepare the buildings for the upcoming school year without being interrupted by jammed lockers or untimely spills. Also in preparation for the 2018-19 school year, educators will take advantage of professional learning opportunities.

NEOEA’s summer opportunities begin with the Greet and Grill cookout on Friday, June 8, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the NEOEA Conference Center. The purpose of the event is to network with people who can help you positively affect your local. Give NEOEA two hours and you will take away ideas that can make life better for your members.

Another opportunity is NEOEA’s annual Summer Leadership Conference which takes place July 25-26 at The Bertram Inn in Aurora. Each year the committee plans an event that is both enjoyable and filled with the most up-todate information concerning our profession. An attendee may choose between individual workshops or a whole track of sessions on a hot topic that interests them. Currently 27 workshops are planned that pertain to leadership roles such as local president, treasurer, grievance chair, and membership engagement coordinator. All educators, regardless of years of service, can find a workshop that provides valuable and pertinent information.

The keynote speaker for the Summer Leadership Conference is Kathleen McKinley, managing partner with Baasten, McKinley & Co., L.P.A. Kathy began her career as a speech pathologist for the Stark County DD program before she transitioned into her current role as a member of OEA’s legal services team. Through it all, Kathy has been a strong advocate for students, educators, and public education. Taking this into account, NEOEA is proud to announce Kathleen McKinley as its 2018 Friend of Education Award winner, which will be presented to Kathy at the Summer Leadership Conference on July 25. Don’t miss it!!

Just as we celebrate the contributions of Kathy McKinley, locals need to celebrate their accomplishments as well. Celebrate student achievement made possible by outstanding educators. Celebrate scholarships provided by your local association. Celebrate community engagement and successful election results. The list goes on and on.

It’s important to celebrate because new challenges are always on the horizon. We wait for the Janus decision by the United States Supreme Court. We wait for Ohio legislators to take action on OTES reform that can continue correcting a broken, unfair evaluation system. Perhaps our biggest challenge that lies ahead is the one to support and elect a pro-public education governor in November 2018. It’s been a challenging eight years during which time we have seen unaccount-ability for charter schools, HB70, and inadequate funding. Now is the time to elect a governor who believes in public education and the quality work we do as educators day in and day out. There is no doubt that our associations will face challenges over the next year. However, there is NO doubt that we will get through the challenges together, we will get through the challenges successfully, and our associations will be stronger.

Finally, this is my last article as NEOEA President. Over the last two years it has been an honor and a pleasure to represent you. Personally, my next challenge is to campaign for the position of OEA Vice President. Over the next year of my campaign, I plan to continue to work hard at building the trust and confidence we have in each other. Enjoy the summer!

United we stand,

Jeff Wensing
NEOEA President

Published in our Summer Issue 2018 of News & Views.


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Our next NEOEA Day is Friday, October 9, 2020!

NEOEA Day represents your dues dollars at work. Attending NEOEA Day programs, most of which provide growth opportunities at lower-than-usual prices, is an excellent way to get some of your NEOEA dues dollars back! For more information, click the link below.

NEOEA Day Page