Proud, And Still Inspired

Our annual celebration last week made me so proud. What a wonderful chance to honor the work our activists, organizers and building reps do day-in, day-out for our students and for our profession.

Whatever my role in PAT -- building rep, chair of the Advocacy Committee, Vice-President, and now President -- I've always believed my main job is to bring people together

As President, I'm often seen as the face of PAT, but the real source of our power is you. And as my final term comes to a close, I can't help but reflect on everything we've accomplished by standing together.

The annual celebration was a perfect example. Although most awards went to a single individual, the real credit goes to everyone who's doing their part to make PAT stronger. For example, so many of you are working hard on the Better Oregon campaign, which will allow us to finally fund the schools our students deserve.

The same is true for our elected building reps, and everyone else who advocates for their fellow educators when it's called for. By ensuring our contract is respected, you're protecting not just each other but our students as well. And while some of our endorsed candidates didn't win in the May 17th primary, our work on last year's school board races shows what a difference we can make in politics when we work together.

As I near the end of my presidency, I'm proud that our union is strong and our social justice mission is clear. I want to thank each and every one of you for your work, and your support the past five years. None of what we've accomplished would be possible without you.
I always say that, just like being a teacher, being active in the union was in my blood. Both my parents were educators and my mom was the President of her union, which is a big part of why I got involved in PAT my first year in the District twenty years ago.
Serving as PAT President has been one of the most fulfilling -- and challenging -- things I've ever done. But even after all this time, I'm still so incredibly grateful to represent such an amazing group of educators. Your passion and your willingness to stand up continue to inspire me.
I can't wait to see where PAT goes next. One thing is for sure -- we'll do it together.


In Solidarity,


Gwen Sullivan