This Week at MCEA

Dec 18, 2023
  1. Making Our Voices Heard: School Climate Actions!
  2. Build Your Teaching Community: NEATRise Mentors
  3. Advocate for Education at the Annual Legislative Reception
  4. Union Elections: Meet the Candidates and Make a Plan to VOTE!
  5. Shape the Conversation: Join MCPS Communities of Practice
  6. Congratulations! Announcing MCEA’s 2023 PAC Raffle Winners
  7. Register Now: 2024 Racial Social Justice Summit & Dr. MLK, Jr. Celebration
  8. Need Praxis Support? Help is Here 

Making Our Voices Heard: School Climate Actions!

Greencastle ES delegation prepares to deliver their letter 

Greencastle Elementary School is in the spotlight this week! MCEA members at Greencastle ES are taking action to address the lack of consistent staffing, significant behavioral needs, physical assault on staff, and IEP service hours not being met. More than 60 members and parents signed a letter addressed to Dr. Wyles and Ms. Dempsey at MCPS. More than 20 members delivered the letter to Assistant Principal Cory Johnson and Interim Principal Suzanne Harvey.Both wore RedforEd! and the administration’s response was positive. They looked forward to continuing the partnership with the staff. After the delegation, they faxed over the letter to Ms. Dempsey. Watch the delegation group here. 

Since December 6, members at 25 schools and worksites (and counting!) took action to address climate concerns. Building Reps and leaders made their voices heard by: 

  • Completing building walks to identify deeply and widely felt issues at their school or worksite. 
  • Writing letters concerning deeply and widely felt worksite-based and / or systemwide issues and proposing solutions and remedies. 
  • Collecting signatures on the letters from colleagues to show union solidarity. 
  • Delivering the letters to MCPS building administrators and supervisors through RedforEdDelegations. 

Let us continue amplifying our collective voice! Get involved and join other sites in our workplace climate campaign. Reach out to your MCEA Building Representatives, your assigned MCEA Uniserv Director, and/or learn more about how to take action here. 

2. Build Your Teaching Community: NEATRise Mentors

Do you enjoy helping and supporting early career educators? If so, become a NEATRise(New Educator Action Team) Mentor! NEATRise mentors are members who are matched to support an educator in their first three years in MCPS. This is a different opportunity than the MCPS mentor program as it is voluntary and non-evaluative. Join us in helping our new colleagues master this crucial profession and learn more about their union.  

Are you in your first three years in an education profession and want support? Then you may be looking for a Mentor. If so, become a NEATRise Mentee today! You will have the opportunity to connect with an experienced educator in a confidential manner, while learning about your rights as a union member.  

Sign up today to get started as a mentor or mentee by clicking here: 

For more information, please reach out to the Help Desk at [email protected]. 

3. Advocate for Education at the Annual Legislative Reception

MCEA’s Annual Legislative Reception will take place on the evening of Friday, January 5th. The reception is open to all members. It is an opportunity to meet and have in-depth discussions with the elected officials who make decisions that impact our work. Please RSVP to attend through the following link: 4. Union Elections: Meet the Candidates and Make a Plan to VOTE!

MCEA, MSEA, and NEA board elections are coming up! Do you know who you are voting for? Along with the Board of Directors candidates, members will also vote on NEA Delegates to the July 2024 Representative Assembly. Election information and MCEA candidate bios below. (MSEA and NEA candidate bios will be available soon here.) Voting opens Monday, January 29, 2024, at 9:00 a.m. and closes Friday, February 16, 2024, at 5:00 p.m. 

MCEA Representative Assembly Endorses Nikki Woodward for MSEA Vice President and Paul Lemle for MSEA President 

Nikki Woodward is an infants and toddlers specialist and is currently serving her third year as MCEA Vice President. Paul Lemle is a Howard County social studies teacher and past president of the Howard County Education Association. At the December 6 Representative Assembly, they earned the representatives’ endorsement. 

MCEA Board of Directors (ES Representative) [Full bios here]  

  • Ashlee Hewlett, Clarksburg ES 
  • Jennifer Knight, Rolling Terrace ES 
  • Kristen Poole, Stedwick ES 
  • Java Robinson, Piney Branch ES 
  • Laura Sutter, Sherwood ES 
  • Jacqueline Sutton, Flower Valley ES 
  • Emmett Tesler, Roscoe Nix ES 

MCEA Board of Directors (MS Representative) [Full bios here] 

  • Cassandra Belton, Farquhar MS 
  • Joshua Rubin, Loiederman MS 
  • Christine Wilkin, Shady Grove MS 

MCEA Board of Directors (HS Representative) [Full bios here] 

  • Lindsey Allar, Seneca Valley HS 
  • Jody Gil, Blair HS 
  • Stephanie Hasty, Seneca Valley HS 

MCEA President Candidates: [Full bios here] 

  • Laura Ellis, Wheaton HS 
  • Brandy Reazer, Northwood HS 
  • David Stein, Blair HS 

The following races were won by acclamation: 

  • MCEA Vice President—Danillya Wilson, Wheaton Woods ES
  • MCEA Treasurer—Kember Kane, Westover ES
  • MCEA Secretary—Dustin Jeter, Blake HS
  • All MCEA delegates to the MSEA October 2024 Representative Assembly 


5. Shape the Conversation: Join MCPS Communities of Practice

As you may be aware, in response to the exposure of systemic problems related to the Beidleman case, MCPS has launched a stakeholders’ group, entitled “Communities of Practice,” to improve the climate, culture, and functionality of the school system. In addition to representation from all three bargaining units and MCPS executive leadership, former MCPS school board members, businesspeople, parents, students, and local non-profit leaders are also attending. The stated goal of the Communities of Practice is to make recommendations to Superintendent McKnight and the Board of Education. Meetings will be held on Wednesday evenings in upcoming weeks and will conclude in the spring. If you would like to be a part of this group, please contact Mary Neal at [email protected]. 


 6. Congratulations! Announcing MCEA’s 2023 PAC Raffle Winners

Congratulations to the following members whose new and increased contributions to PAC won them an awesome raffle prize! Winners will be contacted via personal email and prizes can be picked up on or after January 8, 2024. 

$50 Gift Card Winners 

  • Rodolfo Rodriguez Terrero – Forest Oak MS 
  • Emily Aumaitre – Paint Branch HS 
  • Brandy Reazer – Northwood HS 
  • Juanita Okanlawon – Sargent Shriver ES 

$100 Gift Card Winners 

  • Alisa Dennis – Blake HS 
  • Paul Klein – Quince Orchard HS 

 $250 Gift Card Winners 

  • Tristen Day – Fairland ES 
  • Gabriela Carrion Zayas – Gaithersburg HS 

 Apple Watch Winner 

  • Glenn Miller – Sherwood HS 

MacBook Pro Winner 

  • Dillon Grenham – Gaithersburg HS


7. Register Now: 2024 Racial Social Justice Summit & Dr. MLK, Jr. Celebration


Mark your calendars for MSEA’s Racial Social Justice Summit and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration on Saturday, January 13, 2024. This year’s theme is ‘Rise Up Because When We Fight, We Win! Our Collective Fight for Racial, Social, and Economic Justice’. This one-day combined event will convene educators, students, community members, and experts to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy, recognize award winners, and provide engaging workshops that further MSEA’s work for racial, social, and economic justice for students, educators, and communities. Workshop topics will cover the various intersections of the racial, social, and economic justice spectrum. The cost for the event is $10 for members and youth/children, $20 for non-member attendees. There will be morning and afternoon workshops that bookend the Dr. King Celebration. Individuals will be able to choose what segments of the day they wish to attend. The costs are the same for any level of attendance. To register, click here. Over the coming weeks, please check the MSEA website and MSEA social media for more event details and program information. Details of the event include: 

Date: Saturday, January 13, 2024, from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. 

Location: Baltimore BWI Hilton, 1739 W. Nursery Rd., Linthicum Heights 

Theme: Rise Up Because When We Fight, We Win! Our Collective Fight for Racial, Social, and Economic Justice. 

Contact:  [email protected] 

8. Need Praxis Support? Help is Here
Do you need any support with Praxis? Would you like to have one-on-one support? Well, look no more! Request support using this form: PRAXIS Tutoring Request.

MSEA processes requests daily and finds tutors to work directly with members. Once the information submitted in the request form is complete, an email is sent out to the member to collect more information that aids in pairing individuals with the correct tutor.  

Contact: Danielle Jones


Our next weekly update will be out January 8, 2024. Until then, we wish you a joyous holiday and a happy New Year! 

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