President's Message

Dear Educators,

2020 is drawing to a close, but this year has marked our lives forever. 

It was almost a year ago that we began hearing the first news of a dangerous new virus. And Friday, March 13th was the last time we saw our students face-to-face in our classrooms. 

Over the past nine months we have re-invented our practices and built new ways to engage our students and families— all during a national reckoning on race and while grieving the loss of over 275,000 beloved community members across the country.

Throughout all this, our union has relentlessly worked to support our members, to center educator voice in decision-making, and to advocate for a more just and equitable school system and society. 

And your passion and commitment to our common goals is clear. Despite the obstacles that social-distancing has presented, we have record participation in our Rep Assemblies, committee meetings, and member-led projects.

This winter break has never been more needed or more deserved. Please take time to refresh and recharge, and celebrate the coming of a new year.

There is much work ahead as we navigate an intensifying pandemic, prepare for our eventual re-entry to our classrooms, and attempt to leverage this moment to address the systemic inequities in our schools and communities laid bare by this crisis. 

And in the closing weeks of 2020, I know you’ll make the most of current opportunities to support your students and colleagues, lend your perspective to decision-makers at ODE, and get more involved with our union. 

Your vision, wisdom, and commitment— in solidarity with students, communities, and workers fighting for the same values— are the force that will make 2021 a year of needed change.

In Solidarity,

Elizabeth Thiel

PAT President