UNITER – USEP Officer Elections
 /  UNITER – USEP Officer Elections
UNITER title
A Publication of the United School Employees of Pasco
Feb. 9, 2017

SPECIAL USEP ELECTION EDITION

Following the close of nominations for USEP elections, the positions of USEP SRP Vice-President, Secretary-Treasurer, FEA Teacher and SRP Delegates, and SRP NEA delegates were uncontested. These candidates are deemed elected by acclimation in accordance with USEP election policy and will not appear on the USEP ballots.

UPDATE: USEP is moving to a fully electronic balloting system through the Pasco Co. Supervisor of Elections Office. This new system will work as follows: The Pasco Supervisor of Elections will mail “unique numeric identifiers” in sealed envelopes to USEP Building Reps for distribution to union members in their schools/worksites by February 23, 2017. These sealed envelopes will then be given to each eligible union member who will acknowledge receipt of their voting number by signing a list held by the Building Rep. The positions for the office of USEP President, USEP Teacher Vice-President, Teacher NEA Convention Delegates, SRP and Teacher Executive Boards are up for election. Members will complete their ballots by going “online” and using their unique Numeric identifier to enter their votes. Instructions will be included in the sealed envelope. USEP intends for the voting to take place during the dates previously communicated - February 23rd though March 9th. If you have any questions, please call the USEP Offices at (813) 996-2119. Results will be known and communicated on March 9th, immediately after voting ends.

 

Candidates for USEP President
All USEP Members May Vote for this Office

Kenny Blankenship

For the last three year’s our union has faced many challenges. Although we cannot anticipate every challenge, we can elect leaders to effectively lead us into the future. We still need representatives who possess the DEDICATION, EXPERIENCE, AND VISION needed to lead USEP. After serving for these last three years as your USEP president, I would be honored to continue to represent you for the next three.

DEDICATION:

I am a dedicated father and husband of 27 years. First hired as an ESE teacher at Land O’ Lakes HS in 1997, I worked to become ESE certified while working. As a teacher and coach, I dedicated many hours to my students. I have dedicated countless hours as LOLHS building representative, USEP executive board member, secretary-treasurer, vice-president, and president, also currently serving FEA on the Governance Board, Government Relations Committee, and Executive Cabinet. Refusing to tolerate the mistreatment of Teachers and School Related Personnel, I have stood in the gap to represent you at many levels.

Experience:

My twenty-year teaching career shows I’m a dedicated, highly motivated, and experienced leader, deeply committed to defend union rights at all levels. As a USEP officer, my experiences include:

  • Handling individual grievances, and aiding in class-action grievances at the principal, district, superintendent, school board, and arbitration levels;
  • Serving on teacher bargaining teams;
  • Representing USEP before state and local agencies, news media, state legislature, school board, district administration, committees, and state and national committees and conferences;
  • Using computer technology and social media effectively to represent and communicate with members;
  • Preparing surveys, contract proposals, settlement summaries, and education related talking points, and aiding in legal briefs;

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Don Peace

My name is DON PEACE and I am running for USEP President. I have taught for 33 years at Gulf Middle School, representing USEP at all levels and giving me a wealth of knowledge and experience.

My vision for our union is to put PASCO FIRST. It’s not about me! YOU, our employees, along with students, programs and working conditions should be priority. Our affiliates are important as allies in the educational fight, but our focus must be Pasco. I have always been a proponent for change. We have been promised many initiatives, with few starting, but have not followed through with any major changes in our function.PASCO FIRST has many ideas to move us forward and I’ll share some with you:

P is for PRESENT- politically charged and seemingly ineffective in District relations. Morale is low. We have not had the “smooth transition” we were promised 2½ years ago.

P is also for PROGRESS. Moving forward, I would promote professionalism and communication in the office of President. Our posture and verbiage to the District should reflect our professional status. The face of our union needs to be a positive force.

A is for Achieving a collaborative relationship with the District. I am respected and will honor our status as a professional organization. I use a joint approach to problem-solving with my administration and it’s proven fruitful in alleviating issues while still small. This would benefit our District conversations.

A is also for Activism. Everyone should have a “place” and feel important in our union.

S is to Support our members more productively through better use of staff and membership. We can develop our resources by utilizing individual member’s skills.

S is also for Streamlining our meetings to make better use of our time. Reformatting how we do things will result in better-informed members.

C is for Communication. We need to better utilize technology with the District and our members. This was one of our FUTURES goals, but has not been advanced.

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Message from USEP Election Chair Frank Roder

The USEP Election Committee is made up of six members from USEP-Retired. We are working with the Supervisor of Elections office to guarantee that this election is handled professionally. This election, for the first time, is being done electronically to ensure that your vote is counted in a secure manner.

Familiarize yourself with each candidate by reading their statements in the UNITER. You will decide who will serve as the President and Instructional Vice President of USEP and who will serve on the USEP Executive Board. Remember the person you vote for will affect your life in the workplace for the next three years. The ramifications of the outcome of this election will affect each of you.

Each member of USEP has the opportunity to select leaders who will determine the direction of this organization for the next three years. Make sure you have a voice - VOTE!

Frank H. Roder, Chair of USEP Elections Committee.

USEP Candidates Elected by Acclimation

SRP Vice President:
   Lee Beville

Secretary-Treasurer:
   Cheryl Vinson

FEA SRP Delegates:
   Marvin Coleman
   Thomas Scheiderman

FEA Instructional Delegates:
   Phil Altshuler
   Katie Altshuler
   Annette Armstrong
   Nickol White
   Gloria Mouw
   Erin McWilliams
   Kenny Blankenship
   Nancy Richie

NEA SRP Delegates:
   Marvin Coleman
   Cindy Van Zandt

REMINDER!
To be eligible to vote in the USEP Officer and Delegate Elections, you must have joined USEP on or before December 2, 2016. If you have any questions regarding your status or your join date, please use the contact form or call 813-996-2119.

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(BLANKENSHIP cont. from pg.1)

  • Developing newsletters, information flyers, political rallies, and workshops;
  • Serving as USEP building representative, executive board member, secretary-treasurer, vice-president, and president representing members locally, statewide, and nationally;
  • Understanding the structure and leadership of USEP, its affiliates, and Pasco School District.

VISION:

Every employee deserves dignity, security, and prosperity. We can accomplish these goals through improved collective bargaining, political, and social action.

Working together, we must continue to:

  • Negotiate equitable pay increases and meaningful language to protect against legislation impacting member’s working conditions;
  •  Unify, build, and engage membership, growing members into activists;
  • Implement membership programs focusing on retention of members and recruitment;
  • Create and provide opportunities to train members as leaders.
  • Train building representatives in contract management, conflict resolution, member representation, and grievance handling;
  • Actively lobby for education-friendly legislation, opposing those who seek to exploit education for their own needs.

I hope you’ll re-elect me to continue serving as USEP president and working to ensure dignity, security, and prosperity for all USEP members.
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USEP UNITER banner

(PEACE cont. from pg.1)

C is also for Collaboration. The District and union should work together to promote Pasco County education to its utmost. This includes taking care of our employees, students and working conditions along with District initiatives.

O is for Organizational restructuring. We need more productivity with our resources of people, time and programs.

O is also for Ongoing “FUTURES” work. We need to regularly focus on and determine the future of our organization for the next generation of members.

These are some ideas to improve OUR union. Others are spelled out in available literature. I would appreciate your vote and recommendation to others to be President. As we move forward together, LET’S MAKE PASCO FIRST!
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SRP Executive Board
Only SRP Employees May Vote for SRP Executive Board Members

Ed Garza: My name is Ed Garza.

I am asking for your vote for the position of SRP Executive Board Member.

I have been a Union member for 33 years, 11 years in USEP. I have been a building rep for 11 years. I have been on the negotiation committee for the past 8 years working for ALL the members of the SRP. On campus, I represent all members, SRP and teachers.

I have been on the Executive Board for 4½ years. I make sure SRP are not left out. I engage in SRP and instructional issues regarding discipline of students, working conditions and respect.

During E-Board voting, I sometimes vote NO, as I feel that it may not be in the best interests of our Union.

LET ME BE CLEAR, I WILL NOT BE A RUBBER STAMP FOR ANY PRESIDENT FOR OUR UNION.

I try to make sure the money is spent wisely, and that our rights as Union members and employees of Pasco School are protected by applicable laws that I know exist from the 33 years of experience.

I ask for your support. Vote for me, ED GARZA, as an SRP Executive Board member for our Union to continue the work of protecting rights, dignity and respect for our members.

Thank you.
Ed Garza
Master Building Rep
SRP Executive Board
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MaryAnn Brini: Hi, my name is MaryAnn Brini. I have worked for Pasco District Schools for the past 10 years. I currently work as a school bus driver out of Central Compound in Land O’ Lakes. I am seeking to run for another term on the Executive Board for the SRP. I have served on the Executive Board for the past five years. I am also currently serving on the Negotiations Committee, the Transportation Committee and the SRP Committee.

I am outspoken, positive and energetic. I will fight for you!

Please consider voting for me.

Thank you
MaryAnn Brini
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Allison Spears: I first joined the district as a custodian, spent a year as a clinic assistant, and currently work as an Instructional Assistant at Sand Pine Elementary School. I have been a union member almost as long as I have worked for the district and serve on the SRP Solutions Committee. Working in these various support positions has given me an acute understanding of how we all have to work together to help create the most successful learning environment possible for our students. I hope and desire to use that understanding to bring important issues forward and as an Executive Board member help SRP voices to be heard.
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Cindy Van Zandt: No Statement Provided

Candidates for USEP Instructional Delegates to the NEA Convention
Only Instructional Members May Vote for NEA Delegates

Gloria Mouw:As a 2015 delegate, I support the NEA’s belief that every student in Pasco County deserves a quality public education! This is true regardless of family demographics. I am an advocate of the following educational goals:

  • To help unite our members
  • To help fulfill the promise of a quality public education.
  • To prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world.

Please vote for Gloria Mouw as a National Education Association delegate.
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Nancy Richie: (see statement in Instructional Executive Board section)

Katie Altshuler: No Statement Provided

Lisa Mazza: No Statement Provided

Nickol White: No Statement Provided

Rebecca Camunas: No Statement Provided

Virginia Seaman: No Statement Provided

Candidates for USEP Vice President for Instructional
All USEP Members May Vote for Instructional Vice President

Lisa Mazza: Strong Public Education, the rights of all people in our schools, and the collective voice we call USEP, this is my list of important things. When I decided to become involved with our union, I went and listened to what others had to say. After thirty years working in public education, now is the time to be heard. The truth is that we have exceptional, professional teachers that are shaping our future, SRP that are the backbone of our schools, and outstanding students coming to us for their education. This is the collective voice that needs to be in the conversation that brings about change in our schools.

How do we do this? We start by voting. This is where it begins. I want to challenge this group of United School Employees of Pasco to vote for their leaders. Start small but be heard.

Kenny Blankenship for President and Lisa Mazza for Vice President of USEP.
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Phil Altshuler: No Statement Provided

Instructional Executive Board
Only Instr. Employees May Vote for Instr. Executive Board Members

Annette Armstrong: I am seeking election to USEP’s Executive Board as I have been involved in enhancing the teaching profession throughout my career in education. From the beginning, when I first became a teacher in Pasco County, I joined USEP to seek the benefits of collective bargaining as well as the camaraderie of fellow educators. I have found USEP to offer that and so much more. I became a Building Representative when working as an elementary teacher at Fox Hollow Elementary over 20 years ago and have continued to be a Building Representative at each school I’ve worked in. Over the years, I’ve become a Certified Building Representative as well as a Master Building Representative in order to assist fellow teachers when needed. I feel my extensive background in USEP as well as the last three years in which I served on the Executive Board make me an excellent candidate and would appreciate your vote so that I may serve another three years on USEP’s Executive Board.
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Connie Gourley: Having been raised in a Union-oriented family, I understand the important of contract language and negotiations. Since my father is retired Laborers and Carpenters, I learned at an early age the vital role that unions play: providing training, fair pay, and safe working conditions. At the age of 18, I became a member of the Laborers International Union of North America.

As a member of the Bethel Education Association, we endeavored to negotiate workload, class size, and pay disputes. The Union’s position went unheard and the 2007 Strike began. I accepted the role of Strike Team Leader and proudly and successfully helped to lead that movement.

I proudly serve as the USEP Building Representative at PVMS. I am most proud that members of the faculty are comfortable approaching me with their concerns. I strive to approach all situations with an open mind allowing facts, not emotion, to dictate my reason.
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Fai Fai Ho: Hello, my name is, Fai Fai Ho. I am running to be an instructional executive board member. I have been a member of USEP since I started teaching in 2005. Currently, I am at Richey Elementary School and Trinity Elementary School as a music specialist. Here is a sample of my USEP involvement: contract negotiations committee member, building representative (I have been through the certified and master building representative trainings.), Target Tallahassee, appointed to the USEP executive board in spring 2016. I also volunteer myself to attend school board meetings, to show my dedication to students and staff, outside of the classroom. Please vote for me to help us build a world class education support organization, working and fighting as one, for our employees and students. Thank you.
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Gloria Mouw: It is with “joy” and “excitement” that I, Gloria Mouw, ask for your vote to serve another term as a Teacher Executive Board Member at Large.

It is my pleasure to be a dedicated fighter for you! I remain enthused and full of energy to protect your best interests! I will continue to pursue the strategy of “best solutions” for our members! This is important because “when teacher win, our students win!” I have actively participated in the following hands-on activities:

  • Serving as a Master Certified Building Representative
  • Attending monthly council meetings
  • Attending rallies to “Make Our Schools a Priority”
  • Traveling to Tallahassee twice a year to meet with elected officials
  • Negotiating the Union Contract

There is no greater feeling than contributing to the critical decision-making process! This is why I want to serve another term as a Teacher Executive Board Member at Large. Please vote for Gloria Mouw.
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Jessica Williams: Jessica is a graduate of Pasco County Schools (Quail Hollow, Weightman Middle, and Land O’ Lakes High School). After college, Jessica worked at a juvenile residential facility before beginning in the District in 2005. Jessica started as a behavior specialist at Northwest Elementary and then she went on to open Anclote High School as a school counselor. Jessica worked briefly at John Long Middle School before leaving the school district to provide mental health counseling in the community to at-risk students. In 2015, she returned back to the district as the Department of Juvenile Justice school counselor, where she covers 5 schools. Through this time, Jessica has been an active USEP member and building representative. Jessica has gone to Tallahassee to meet with representatives and she currently serves on the Executive Board. It is important to be a voice for teachers and school counselors and Jessica is willing to serve as that voice.
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Michael Aday: Hi! My name is MIKE ADAY, and I am running for Executive Board Member at Large - Instructional. I have been member of the Executive Board, appointed as representative for FYRE (Florida Young Remarkable Educators) and PYE (Pasco Young Educators). I take an active role as member and “THE” voice for Annual Contract/newer teachers on the Instructional Bargaining Team going on 4 years. I do my best to give a logical and multi-perspective approach to issues facing our members and negotiations; as a USEP member since joining Pasco, Building Rep for 5 years now, newer Annual Contract teacher (6 years in), younger professional, father of a Pasco student, etc. Above all else, I have been a dedicated USEP member/Rep. and have fought for, given my time and efforts for my members, school and this Union. I want the opportunity to represent all instructional members moving forward towards a better future.
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Nancy Richie: I am Nancy Richie and am asking for your vote for the position of NEA Delegate and USEP Executive Board Member at Large. I have had the pleasure of representing members for the past 6 years, making our schools a priority by attending monthly representative council meetings, negotiating the contract, traveling to Tallahassee to urge our elected officials to make the right decisions for our public schools, attending rep rallies, attending USEP’s organizing trainings, speaking up for the rights of Pasco County School District’s instructional and SRP employees and being a certified master building representative. I have traveled to both the NEA and AFT conferences representing employees of Pasco County Schools. I am dedicated to fighting for our public schools and believe I can make a positive contribution as your NEA Delegate and would appreciate your vote!
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Fred Beauchamp: No Statement Provided

Katie Altshuler: No Statement Provided

Nickol White: No Statement Provided

Contact Info

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