This article appeared in the Winter 2020-21 edition of The Classroom Teacher.

The TCTA Representative Assembly will convene in the evening on Friday, Feb. 26, during the 2021 Virtual Convention, so no one needs to request time off to attend this year. 

We also plan to provide several hours of professional development credit, including updates from TCTA’s legal and lobby teams, along with a variety of other presenters.

We’ll have more details in mid-January and links to registration at tcta.org/convention.

Delegates to the Representative Assembly will elect statewide officers for 2021 during the meeting. Positions on the ballot this year include President-Elect, Governance Committee chair, Legislation Committee chair, Membership Committee chair, Professional Rights & Responsibilities Committee chair and Curriculum & Instruction Committee chair to fill a vacant seat on the Executive Board. Odd-numbered districts also will elect directors to two-year terms beginning June 1.

The following six candidates declared their intent to run by Nov. 28 and their names will appear on the ballot. Additional nominations for write-in candidates may be made from the floor during the business meeting on Feb. 26.

ELEANORE MALONE | PRESIDENT-ELECT

  • TCTA member for 13 years
  • Current Job: Seventh grade history teacher, Boulter Middle School, Tyler ISD
  • Education: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Texas College; teaching certificate, LeTourneau University
  • Previous TCTA Leadership: Tyler CTA faculty representative, vice president and president; District 7 director; Governance Committee chair
  • Candidate statement: Joining TCTA is one of the best decisions I’ve made as an educator. Teachers often feel overwhelmed by all the demands on their time, and I love being a member of an organization that goes above and beyond to support its members and all educators. I’m proud to be part of TCTA, and if elected, I pledge to do all I can to represent TCTA and its members, speaking out for what educators need in these challenging times.

JENNIFER HUTCHINSON | GOVERNANCE

  • TCTA member for 14 years
  • Current Job: Social studies teacher, grades 9-12, the Impact Center, Hays CISD
  • Education: Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, University of Texas at Austin; Master of Education, Texas State University
  • Previous TCTA Leadership: Hays CTA president; San Marcos CTA president; District 13 Director
  • Candidate statement: I am grateful for the opportunity to serve my fellow teachers in the role of Governance chair. This position is a good fit for me because I am committed to assisting the local associations with the details of and adherence to the guidelines established within the TCTA governance documents. I understand and am willing to undertake the responsibility of receiving and processing all motions to amend TCTA governance documents, interpreting existing governance documents, assisting local affiliates in drafting governance documents, and making recommendations for necessary additions or changes in the TCTA governance documents. Thank you for considering me for this position.

CRISTAL ISAACKS | LEGISLATION

  • TCTA member for 33 years
  • Current Job: Librarian and Library Coordinator and Public Relations, Levelland ISD
  • Education: Bachelor of Science in Education, Texas Tech University; Master of Library Science, Texas Woman’s University
  • Previous TCTA Leadership: Legislation Committee chair 2, Teacher Personal Services Committee chair, Budget Committee chair, Budget Committee member; District 17 director, DCC 17 treasurer; Levelland CTA president, vice president, treasurer and faculty representative.
  • Candidate statement: I would love to serve you as TCTA Legislation Committee chair once again. I listen to your concerns and I will speak up for Texas educators to elected officials at the Capitol. I’m not shy, I have a positive personality, and want to work with TCTA’s top-rated education lobby team in making sure that the SBEC, our representatives, our governor and lieutenant governor, and our senators understand that teaching is the most important investment for our country and the future. I want to get the message to these elected officials about our COVID-19 stresses and extra duties, the STAAR testing, the school grading system and merit pay, and the new issues that come our way. I have been honored to be part of the TCTA leadership before and wish to represent you again as Legislation chair.

DEBRA HELBERT | MEMBERSHIP

  • TCTA member for 30 years
  • Current Job: Science teacher, grades K-5, Long Elementary, Lamar CISD
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education, Houston Baptist University; Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, Houston Baptist University.
  • Previous TCTA Leadership: Lamar CTA faculty representative; District 4 Director
  • Candidate statement: Through the years, I have been interested in serving in more leadership roles for TCTA beyond the local level. I feel a call to serve in this organization. TCTA membership is a strong passion of mine. My colleagues joke at the beginning of each year when they see me walking the halls because they know I am on a mission to find our new teachers to offer them the opportunity to join TCTA. I know from personal experience with friends how detrimental it can be for educators if they have no representation. I do share these experiences with teachers to encourage those who are reluctant to join a professional organization. As Membership chair, I will work tirelessly to keep our memberships strong. I will offer encouragement to those campus level representations. I will work closely with TCTA staff to form ideas and implement these ideas to increase our membership numbers and maintain that we are the best professional organization for educators in the state of Texas. It would be an honor and privilege to serve our dedicated educators at the state level. I thank you for your consideration of me for this position of Membership chair.

SHARRON WOOD | PROFESSIONAL RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES

  • TCTA member for 18 years
  • Current Job: Prekindergarten teacher, Mauriceville Elementary, Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in General Studies, Master of Education Administration, ESL
  • Previous TCTA Leadership: LCM CTA secretary; District 5 Director, DCC 5 President and 
  • DCC 5 Vice President
  • Candidate statement: In the great state of Texas we have excellent teachers who deserve the very best. The very best begins with you and your team at TCTA. I am a candidate for Executive Board as the Professional Rights and Responsibilities chair. As your representative, I would strive for excellence as your voice. I have been in the educational system for 21 years. I have worked as a substitute, a paraprofessional, a prekindergarten, kindergarten, second and third grade teacher. I have been a member of only one professional organization and I have served in many different capacities from my local to district as well as serving on various committees throughout the years. I hope you will consider me to continue to represent you and TCTA in this new role as your representative on the Executive Board as the chair of the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee. 

JOYCE MCCURDY | CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION

  • TCTA member for 21 years
  • Current Job: Sixth-grade social studies, Kirby Middle School, Wichita Falls ISD
  • Education: Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, minor in English, Midwestern State University
  • Previous TCTA Leadership: Wichita Falls CTA president and treasurer; District 9 director, Professional Rights & Responsibilities Committee chair
  • Candidate statement: As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. My end has come as serving as the Professional Rights & Responsibilities Committee Chair. I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you. Now that I have gotten a taste of serving my fellow teachers, I just can’t seem to “Never Say Goodbye.” I’m asking you to give your support to me once again as I run for Curriculum & Instruction Chair on the Executive Board. I believe that this position has always been important, but now even more so as school has changed. Teachers are faced with the challenges of teaching students remotely and face to face, many of us doing both at the same time, while planning lessons that will work digitally, keep all students engaged, and adhere to all of our students’ needs. Whew, we are doing a lot! If I receive your vote, I will use my voice to advocate for teachers, because we have always been essential workers!