President's Message: The Year Ahead

Over the last 9 days, we have lived through yet another real-time crisis. As fires have raged across our state and most of the Western United States, the anxiety has been as thick as the smoke.  

Many of you have had to evacuate or prepare to evacuate your homes. Others have helped friends and loved-ones move to safer ground, or have taken refugees from evacuation zones into your homes. 

As always, I am blown away by the dedication and compassion of educators in our District. In the face of staggering current events, I see educators creating spaces for students to process, inquire, and lead, while prioritizing safe and supportive communities in a time of isolation. 

And once again, I see educators shouldering the burden of a school system that is not resourced or fully prepared for the challenges we face. Despite the lack of resources and harrowing circumstances, you continue to provide students with the best experience possible.  This has always been the case, but 2020 has a way of amplifying the persistent inequities that are our duty to correct.

This is why we fight for educators to have the time and the resources we need to do our jobs. 

In our recent Memorandum of Agreement with PPS:

  •       We fought for and won the right for every educator to have an average of at least 3 hours and 10 minutes (on average) each work day as educator-directed time—to create meaningful lessons, to reach out to students and families, to give students individual feedback on their work.
  •       We are still fighting for Dual Language Immersion educators to have the materials and supports for students in the language of instruction.
  •       We are still fighting for Special Educators to be given time to meet their students’ needs, or be compensated when required to work outside of the contract day to complete required meetings and paperwork.
  •       We are still fighting for our students and families to get the support that they need to be able to equitably access education in a Distance-Learning model.

As bargaining team member Emy Markewitz said, we aren’t asking for an extra cookie—we are asking for WHAT WE NEED. 

As a union, we will not stop asking for what we need to serve our students and create the schools that they deserve. 

Thank you for all you’re doing to improve the lives of our students, and please stay safe.

In Solidarity,


Elizabeth Thiel

PAT President