This article appeared in the Fall 2019 edition of The Classroom Teacher

Delegates at TCTA's 2020 annual meeting in Austin will vote for President-Elect, Budget Committee chair, Curriculum & Instruction Committee chair and Teacher Personal Services Committee chair. The following candidates filed by Nov. 9 and will appear on the ballot. Additional nominations may be made from the floor during the first meeting of the Representative Assembly on Feb. 7.

SHERRY MILLER

OFFICE SOUGHT: President-Elect
YEARS IN TCTA: 33
CURRENT JOB: Music teacher, Skipcha Elementary School, Killeen ISD
TCTA LEADERSHIP: Killeen CTA faculty representative, vice president and president; District 12 director; have served on TCTA Legislation, Professional Rights and Responsibilities, ACT for TCTA and Credentials Committees
EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science in music therapy, Texas Woman’s University; teaching certificate, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: 30 years ago, I attended my first TCTA convention. I was excited to learn about the organization, meet and learn from the expert TCTA legal staff and other TCTA staff members, and make connections with education professionals across our state. As the years progressed, my involvement in our organization included serving at the local, district and state levels. I am currently on the TCTA Executive Board as chairperson for Curriculum and Instruction. For many of us, a career in education was an exciting, lifelong professional choice. Although the work could be challenging, the rewards of helping a student learn to read or discover a new skill they did not realize they had, made the long hours and dedication worth it. As the years have passed, the education profession has changed dramatically. Teachers are overwhelmed by paperwork demands and sometimes by a lack of support from their school district and parents, and sometimes the community. Being an educator is a “true calling.” As educators, we need to support each other, so we keep the “experienced teachers” in the classroom, while we support the next generation of educators. I am proud to be a Texas teacher and will be proud to represent TCTA as President-Elect.

MELODY YOUNG

OFFICE SOUGHT: Budget Committee chairperson (seeking re-election)
YEARS IN TCTA: 22
CURRENT JOB: Math teacher, Sherman High School, Sherman ISD
TCTA LEADERSHIP: District 10 director for seven years, secretary of the District 10 Coordinating Council, current president of Sherman CTA
EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science in mathematics education from the University of Central Oklahoma (formerly Central State University), M.Ed. in gifted education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I have enjoyed serving as your Budget Committee chairperson these last two years. I enjoy working with the staff at TCTA to ensure that your dues are spent well. The staff has done a very good job at keeping the expenses down. They really work to make sure your dues are spent on members. I hope that you will allow me to continue serving you on the Executive Board as your Budget Committee chairperson.

AMY COLLAZO

OFFICE SOUGHT: Curriculum & Instruction Committee chairperson
YEARS IN TCTA: 11
CURRENT JOB: Educational diagnostician at CO Wilson Middle School and Langham Elementary, Nederland ISD
TCTA LEADERSHIP: District 5 Coordinating Council president, June 2016 to present
EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary studies (EC-4), Lamar University; M.Ed. in special education, Lamar University; principal certification, Lamar University; educational diagnostician certification, Stephen F. Austin University
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: As educators and school professionals, curriculum and instruction is at the center of what we do. As our profession continues to change, one thing stays true; teachers. No one knows curriculum and instruction like a veteran teacher. In classrooms, the focus is on the day to day and giving our students 100%, every day. Changes are being made at the state level that are directly impacting our ability to do so. It is critical that teachers’ voices are heard, and their specialized training and education trusted. Our state standards should reflect developmentally appropriate practices, for all students. Our state assessments should be a chance to celebrate student progress without the high stakes. Now more than ever, teachers need to be heard. As chairperson for Curriculum and Instruction, I would get the honor of being your voice. I get to stand in the gap for you while you are in the trenches every day, changing lives. TCTA is a powerful voice in state decision-making and it would be my honor to serve you in this capacity.

NYDIA ALVAREZ-ALONZO

OFFICE SOUGHT: Teacher Personal Services Committee chairperson
YEARS IN TCTA: 17
CURRENT JOB: First grade teacher, Leo Marcell Elementary, Mission CISD
TCTA LEADERSHIP: Mission CTA president, faculty representative, District 1 director, District 1 Coordinating Council vice president
EDUCATION: Bachelor of Business Administration in business management, University of Texas-Pan American; elementary bilingual/ESL-(1-6) alternative certification
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I have been a Texas Classroom Teachers Association member for 17 years and proudly served in a number of local and regional positions. Locally, our CTA has met and exceeded every membership goal we have set for the past eight years. I truly believe our local team has gone the extra mile to develop and highlight teacher services as reflected in our local’s growth. As a District 1 leader, I have been privileged to be a part of a tradition of strong regional leadership. Monthly meetings have given us the opportunity to collaborate and strengthen District 1. The knowledge and skills I have gained have been invaluable. I would not be able to serve my local affiliate and district if it were not for the updates provided by TCTA in all areas of education. I now ask for your support as it would be an honor to serve an organization that has given me so much. I am prepared to contribute to the success of TCTA at the state level.  

JENNIFER THOMASON

OFFICE SOUGHT: Teacher Personal Services Committee chairperson
YEARS IN TCTA: 9
CURRENT JOB: Math teacher, OL Slaton Middle School, Lubbock ISD
TCTA LEADERSHIP: Current Lubbock CTA president (previously served as secretary and legislative chair), campus faculty representative for four years
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s in Christian education from Florida Christian College (now Johnson University); alternative certification as a K-12 special education teacher and 4-8 generalist
CANDIDATE STATEMENT: I strongly believe in what TCTA represents, and I want to serve as part of the leadership at the state level and let my voice be heard. Teaching is the profession that educates all other professions and yet is the one profession that is overlooked, underpaid and often overworked. It is important to empower teachers to have a voice, to know the law, and to encourage and support one another. I believe doing these things will in turn empower students to be lifelong learners. I want to serve as the Teacher Personal Services chairperson because getting our name on products and getting those products into the hands of educators is an important step in recruiting more TCTA members. It is time to take the next step in leadership and become more familiar with the workings of TCTA, the education-related laws advocating for education, and equipping local CTAs with products to pass along the mission of TCTA. My personal mission is to see TCTA become the largest teacher organization in Texas and to continue fighting for educators and our future leaders.

Click here for more information on the annual meeting.