Convention breaks records, highlights voices of students and educators
Whether you were in Ocean City and want to relive the highlights or didn’t make it and want to see what you missed, here are some of the top moments from this year’s convention:
In her first MSEA convention speech as president, Cheryl Bost outlined her vision for a new labor movement and the importance of educators using their power and their voice. “Right now there are people who are speaking for us, for our profession, and for our students who haven’t spent a day working in the schools we love,” said Bost. “It’s time to stand up to them. All of us. They won’t give up their power or give us back our voice without a fight. … We’ve got to use the power in our classrooms and in our union to win the changes that we need for our students, our profession, and our schools.” Watch her full remarks below.
A panel of exceptional student activists from across the state shared the issues they’re passionate about, what changes they’re trying to create, and what they want educators to know. It was an authentic, honest conversation that led to many more conversations among the educators who witnessed it.
Educators are excited to pass Question 1 and elect pro-public education candidates up and down the ballot. That enthusiasm showed with some incredible fundraising for MSEA’s Fund for Children and Public Education, crushing the previous record that was set just last year. This year, delegates raised more than $44,000 in two days.
Newly-named Maryland Teacher of the Year and Somerset Education Association member Dr. Richard Warren gave a memorable address to RA delegates. “I believe that the school to prison pipeline can be eliminated and replaced with a school to teacher pipeline,” said Warren, “where more teachers are being recruited, trained, and sustained and where more schools can be opened instead of prisons to change the world around us.”
MSEA ESP of the Year and Calvert Association of Educational Support Staff member Jackie Waul gave a stirring address to RA delegates: “As I look at the word ESP, it is not just a label,” said Waul, “but also means ‘Energizing Student Participation’ and exhausting all cost to become the village it takes to raise a child and support our students across the state. In being our students’ ‘village,’ that means ESPs, families, and teachers, working together and putting aside the labels, to fight for the success of our students.”
Dorchester County’s Maple Elementary Marching Band — the only elementary school marching band in the state — helped to kick off the convention on Friday morning. The group, which had previously performed on “Good Morning America” and at a Ravens game, brought a lot of excitement to the RA Hall — and brought delegates to their feet to cheer on the students.
MSEA-recommended gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous visited the Representative Assembly to discuss his education plans and stress the importance of listening to educators. Jealous was enthusiastically received by delegates, who voted overwhelmingly to endorse him during the 2018 Spring RA. Watch his remarks below.
Members from across the state starred in this year’s convention videos, providing delegates with inspiration, encouragement, and laughs.
Delegates debated and passed MSEA’s legislative platform and resolutions, adopted a bylaw amendment, and considered 18 New Business Items (NBIs), passing 13 NBIs on a wide range of issues. Look for quarterly updates on MSEA’s work to fulfill passed NBIS at marylandeducators.org/convention.
For the fifth year in a row, more than 100 first-time delegates joined veteran activists, putting the strength and diversity of the association on full display.