Saturday, May 23, 2009

Reflections on ACT Presidency

Ballots for the election of President and Treasurer of the Association of Commonwealth Teachers were delivered to principals on Thursday, and should now be in the offices of all public schools in the CNMI. Please vote and return your ballot to the envelope provided by Wednesday, May 27th. Teachers from Tinian and Rota are welcome to e-mail their votes to While there is only one candidate for each office on the ballot, we sincerely hope all student contact personnel will take time to vote. Voters can either express support for the candidate on the ballot or write in the name of another candidate, if they prefer. It is not necessary to be a member of ACT to vote in this election.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the PSS Leadership Team, Board of Education, and most especially the teachers of the CNMI for their continued support and encouragement during my term as President of ACT.

The past two years have been a whirlwind of activity for our Association. Some of our top priorities were to increase communication among teachers, encourage teachers to stay informed and get involved, and to rebuild the image of the ACT with the Board of Education and general public. To accomplish these goals, we needed to put our differences aside and work collaboratively.

Here are some of the activities we have embarked upon in an effort to reach our goals.
The establishment of a teacher's website with current events, links, photos, and a teacher's blog.
An extensive bylaw revision process with input from all interested members.
Providing advance notice to teachers regarding BOE meetings.
The attendance of at least one ACT Officer at all BOE meetings (when possible) with minutes sent from the meetings to all ACT members.
Meetings with PSS Leadership and/or the Board of Education regarding teacher concerns. The process was slow, but our efforts resulted in a closer examination of health and safety concerns in schools, Praxis Compensation for Step 11 employees, additional time allowed for ESL teachers on the Praxis Exams, and most recently the re-evaluation of Praxis II passing scores required.
Pre-Election Round table Discussions on Education with candidates for all offices and interested members of the community.
Workshops and meetings with Non-HQT teachers to better assist them in becoming HQT.
Continued Communication and dialogue with the GOV/BOE regarding the appointment of a Teacher Representative to the Board of Education.
In addition to the above, members of ACT have been quietly working behind the scenes in support of various community activities such as: PAWS Kids Night Out, CAMI Children's Party, Operation Homefront Support, Education Day Public Wavings, and Developmental Disability Month Activities.

It has been an honor and privilege to serve the teachers of the CNMI as ACT President. This is a terrific organization, and a wonderful way for teachers to stay informed and get involved. Although there is still much to do, I have no doubt my successor will be well equipped to continue down the positive path the members have chosen. I offer my congratulations to whomever the teachers select, and will be happy to provide support in any way requested.

Betty Miller
ACT President

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1 comment:

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