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MTA Annual House of Delegates 2006

The Massachusetts Teachers Association Annual House of Delegates was held at the Hynes Auditorium in Boston on May 5 and May 6, 2006.
(Story below courtesy of MTA.)

161st ANNUAL MEETING HIGHLIGHTS

News, awards and slideshows from MTA's annual meeting, Boston. More than 1,000 delegates gathered in Boston Saturday morning to honor two Massachusetts educators at the opening of the second business session of the MTA's Annual Meeting.

An MTA Special Recognition Award was given to 2006 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, Suzanne Wintle.

Wintle has taught for 35 years, kindergarten through grade 6, and is currently a third-grade teacher at the Florence Sawyer School in the Nashoba Regional district.

As the district mentor program coordinator, Suzanne works with the Train the Trainers model, including classes that focus on the adult learner. This work, she said, is a "rewarding means to share with and learn from the next generation of teachers." She also facilitates Florence Sawyer's study group and leads workshops for new teachers on topics such as differentiated instruction and peer-coaching to improve parent-teacher communication.

As the 2006 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, Suzanne has crisscrossed the state to meet with her peers in rural, suburban and urban districts. Reflecting on the year, she said: "My hope is that the workshops I have led, and the speeches I have given, have made a difference for some of these teachers. I know that meeting and working with so many dedicated professionals has had a profound influence on me ... and reinforced my belief in the importance that teachers play in the lives of our young people."

Kathleen Kelley, the retiring president of the Massachusetts Federation of Teachers, was the 2006 recipient of the MTA's Friend of Education Award.

Kelley began her career in 1967 as a first grade teacher in Boston. Ever since then, she has been a strong advocate for children and teachers in Massachusetts, both in the classroom and through her union. Among other roles, she has served as the elementary school field representative for the Boston Teachers Unions, president of the BTU, chief lobbyist for the Massachusetts Federation of Teachers and, for the past 13 years, president of the MFT. (The MFT changed its name to AFT Massachusetts at its annual convention on April 29.)

In granting her this award, the MTA honored Kelley for her role as teacher and leader "committed to advancing the rights and benefits of public education workers preK-graduate school" and also for her "advocacy on behalf of quality public education in Massachusetts."

HEBERT RECEIVES MTA PRESIDENT'S AWARD

Former executive director-treasurer honored as "the man most responsible for passage of the collective bargaining act" at Annual Meeting. Dr. William H. Hebert, former MTA executive director-treasurer, was honored with the President's Award by MTA President Catherine A. Boudreau at the MTA Annual Meeting of Delegates on May 5.

Hebert, who led MTA from 1964 to 1983, was cited by Boudreau as "the man most responsible for passage of the collective bargaining act." The meeting commemorated the 40th anniversary of the implementation of collective bargaining for Massachusetts public school educators in 1966. Dr. William H. Hebert, right, and son William.

"It is an anniversary of major significance for everyone in our profession and, in fact, for everyone who cares about public education," Boudreau said.

"Bill Hebert fought for this goal with virtually no help from any other union," Boudreau noted. "He fought up until almost the very last minute with a Republican governor who was not overly inclined to sign the bill. And he fought for public acceptance of these new rights for Massachusetts teachers."

In his remarks, Hebert expressed pride in the law that "helped to raise the standards and the lifestyles of our teachers and also many administrators." He noted, "We were the first in the nation to have collective bargaining by state law for teachers. Our example was followed by many others.

"In my years as you executive director," he told the delegates, "that success in achieving collective bargaining for teachers stands out in my memory and is my legacy to you."

ANNE WASS ELECTED MTA PRESIDENT

Anne Wass, vice president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, was elected president. She has spent much of her life in public education and has served in many union leadership positions. She is currently on leave from her job as a sixth-grade teacher in Hanover, Mass., where she has taught for 31 years. She has served on the MTA Board of Directors and state Executive Committee and has been president of her local association in Hanover at two different times. For many years, Wass has chaired the training program for new local presidents at the MTA Summer Conference in Williamstown. More than 100 local presidents have benefited from attending these sessions.

Paul Toner, president of the Cambridge Teachers Association, elected vice president at MTA Annual Meeting. Delegates at the 161st Annual Meeting of the MTA have elected new leadership.
Paul Toner and his daughter, Grace, are greeted by applause from president-elect Anne Wass and MTA Executive Director Edward Sullivan, following his acceptance of the MTA vice presidency. Wass has won several awards honoring her abilities as a teacher. These include the Plymouth County Education Association's Honor Award and the PCEA's Loretta Quinlan Award.

Paul Toner was elected vice president. He is on leave from his position as a middle school social studies teacher in Cambridge, and is president of the Cambridge Teachers Association. The CTA represents 1,100 teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals and substitutes. Toner has served in many roles at the CTA, including chairing the negotiations team for 12 consecutive bargaining agreements and resolving more than 200 backlogged grievances.

Toner has a B.A. from Boston University, a master's of education from UMass/Boston, and a law degree from Suffolk University Law School. At the CTA and through various committees of the MTA, Toner has focused on professional issues as well as issues related to salary, benefits and working conditions, including hosting forums on such issues as "Closing the Achievement Gap," and working with the MTA to help all Cambridge paraprofessionals meet ESEA standards to become "highly qualified."

Wass and Toner will take office in July.

Please click here for the gallery of photos taken of the BEA Delegates to the MTA Annual Meeting.

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