(The 2017-18 Executive Board, from left, Cherie Bales, Donna Corbin, Suzanne Garcia McCall, Janie Baszile, Joyce McCurdy, Twila Read, Cristal Isaacks, Albert Mosqueda, Ann Martinez and Sherry Miller.)

Hundreds of TCTA members gathered in Austin for the 2017 Convention on Feb. 2-3 where they heard from Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath, earned CPE hours, discussed legislative priorities for the 2017 session and elected new statewide officers.

Donna Corbin presided over the Representative Assembly meetings; she and other members of the TCTA Executive Board and Directors’ Council were officially installed by State Rep. John Frullo on Feb. 1. Elected to the Executive Board for 2017-18 were Cherie Bales, president-elect; Sherry Miller, Curriculum and Instruction Committee chair; Albert Mosqueda, Governance Committee chair; Twila Read, Legislative Committee chair; Ann Martinez, Membership Committee chair; and Joyce McCurdy, Professional Rights and Responsibilities chair. 

Miller immediately joins the Executive Board, filling a vacant term. The others take office June 1, when Suzanne Garcia McCall becomes president and Corbin becomes immediate past president. Returning Executive Board members are Janie Baszile, Budget Committee chair, and Cristal Isaacks, Teacher Personal Services Committee chair.

During the convention's keynote address, Morath spoke about the importance of education and praised teachers for their dedication to students. He also took time to answer questions from the audience, with several members expressing concerns about the state's special education services and screening process. Morath pledged to look into gaps in services and said he appreciated the input from teachers.

Delegates to the Representative Assembly adopted several policy statements, taking positions on legislative priorities for the 2017 session, including continuing efforts to increase state funding for public schools and for school employee health insurance, and urging the state not to approve any school choice vouchers that would take needed funds away from public education.

Members also visited with legislators at the Capitol on Feb. 2 and had the opportunity to attend several CPE sessions on a variety of topics. Videos from the sessions will be posted soon.