Leadership Background


President, Seattle Education Association  2012-2016

Transformed SEA from a low-functioning entity into a high-functioning education local with a growing national reputation for innovation.

Created and refined strategic plan for transformation of SEA · Founded “Building Blitz” member organizing campaign strategy using 1-on-1 relational organizing techniques and trained staff to do it · Developed “Peer Leader” identification strategy for use during building blitzes · Developed and led peer leader engagement strategy to galvanize member engagement in the union · Pioneered 40-member bargaining team comprised solely of peer leaders · Garnered unanimous membership support for 2015 strike · Won ground-breaking language on elementary recess, equity in student discipline, limits on standardized testing, teacher evaluation, and ESA caseloads in 2015 strike · Bargained innovative educator contracts with national implications for public sector collective bargaining, pioneering “bargaining for the common good” strategies · Obtained collaborative agreement with School District to create and pilot electronic teacher evaluation tool (eVal system) · Obtained collaborative agreement with School District to create and pilot teacher evaluation training modules and create teacher evaluation train-the-trainer system using peer leaders · Built strong relationships with municipal, county, state and national politicians · Lobbied legislators successfully to refuse U.S. Department of Education pressure to change teacher evaluation legislation in order to qualify for an ESEA waiver – first state to reject the waiver · Provided Washington Senator Patty Murray with only teacher in America to testify on ESEA reauthorization · Set the example for let-the-states-choose model for evaluation growth measures in ESSA · Served as community organizer for SEA, building strong relationship with leaders in parent, education reform, and community services organizations · Participated in Annenberg scan of community-based organizations for education alliances sponsored by NEA; developed relationships with identified potential partners · Trained peer identified leaders in schools to become community liaisons and organizers · Served as board chairperson and trainer for IAF community organizing affiliate · Wrote successful grant applications for NEA grants, including the first cohort of NEA’s GPS grant with a 3-year, $750,000 award · Co-created and co-organized conference on education reform trends for general public, featuring Finnish education expert Passi Sahlberg as keynote speaker · Negotiated partnership agreement for creation of the Seattle Teacher Residency Masters in Teaching program · Created union support program for National Board certification for member teachers · Created union support program for ProTeach certification for member teachers · Negotiated successful collaboration of 7 south King County school districts and their unions for the Race to the Top District grant – one of only two applications nationwide to receive full $40M funding · Achieved highest level of PAC membership growth in the state two years running · Achieved highest level of membership participation in the state for I-1351 Class Size Counts campaign · Culminated statewide action by Washington locals on unconstitutionally inadequate state funding of public education with 5,000-person political rally in downtown Seattle · Ran several successful member-driven campaigns led by peer leaders (including the strike) · Developed and implemented successful 3(1)g Inclusive Diversity Plans that brought SEA into compliance and has kept it in compliance · Transformed disjointed Board of Directors with personal agendas into a body that united around a common vision of union effectiveness · Reduced agency fee payers by 65% following the strike · Built SEA into a respected leader in the community of organized labor in King County · Served as public spokesperson for SEA in the media and in editorial writing   

Vice-President, Seattle Education Association  2010-2011 

Began to formulate plans for union transformation based on experience and work as vice president.

· Developed and implemented a process of member consultation that reversed SEA’s financial decline and in four years made it the strongest financial local in the state · Chaired 2010 bargaining team · Created a framework for teacher evaluation during 2010 bargaining that created a “third way” for teacher evaluation, avoiding direct evaluation by standardized test score  · Seattle’s approach to student growth in teacher evaluation became the template for state legislation on teacher evaluation in 2012 · Crafted proposal in 2010 bargaining for a process to allow school communities to transform their school’s learning environment · Carried out organizing campaign to push district into a contract agreement and avoid a devastating outcome for the union · Led campaign to recruit and train school board candidates that resulted in the defeat of the sitting school board president · Handled grievances for substitute members · Led task force to develop new evaluation system for classified employees · Negotiated same-sex partner benefits and gender reassignment health insurance benefits  · Trained in Industrial Areas Foundation concepts of relational organizing for institutional power