News & Events
Congratulations to SPFT’s elected leadership for the 2017-18 school year!
President: Nick Faber
Secretary: Erica Schatzlein
Executive Board (9 open seats):
- Peggy Cobbins
- Joan Duncanson
- Laurel Kuhner Berker
- Becky McCammon
- Caitlin Reid
- Dane Ryan
- Julia Shepherd
- Denise Young
- Rebecca Wade
St. Paul Regional Labor Federation (10 positions):
- Peggy Cobbins
- Pete Grebner
- Barb Herrington-Hall
- Roy Magnuson
- Lindsay Peifer
- Dane Ryan
- Erica Schatzlein
- Sue Snyder
- Leah VanDassor
- Hannah Weber
Diedra Carlson, a JJ Hill Montessori E1 teacher, was awarded Education Minnesota’s Human Rights Award at the annual representative convention this past weekend. Diedra was recognized for her commitment to racial and social justice in the classroom and her passion for teaching.
The Human Rights Award recognizes a member who works to protect the human and civil rights of students and their fellow educators. These are members who build partnerships with communities of color and promote educational opportunities for all students.
ELL PIC has been cancelled for this evening (4/20). The district decision makers are unavailable to join us this evening, so they’ve asked us to reschedule.
The meeting will be held on May 9th at 4:30 instead at SPFT’s office. We will be discussing staffing decision making. If you’re able, please show up!
This is an important training for educators by MIRAc (Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee) volunteers and SPFT teachers about what are our rights when Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) show up at the door. Many of our students are living in the uncertainty of possible deportation of themselves or family members. At this training participants will brainstorm, share resources and discuss how to present this information to our students. Our superintendent made a strong stand against allowing ICE into our schools in order to help keep our students and families safer. Now its up to us to bring the message to our students that they all belong here and that we intend to stand up for their rights.
This training will be offered on April 25th from 4:30-6:45 at SPFT (23 Empire Drive). You can register on PD Express.
This year in Saint Paul, we will be electing a new mayor as well as three members of the school board. SPFT members have a unique opportunity to support pro-public school candidates who want to work with educators to continue to improve our schools and our city.
Our COPE committee sent questionnaires to all of the candidates who asked to screen for SPFT’s endorsement. Mayoral candidates Melvin Carter, Elizabeth Dickenson, Tom Goldstein, Pat Harris, and Dai Thao responded to the questionnaire. Board of Education candidates Eduardo Barrera, Jeanie Foster, Tony Fragnito, and Marny Xiong also responded.
Caucuses will be held on the last two weekends in April.
- Ward 1: 10:00am on April 22nd at Capitol Hill Magnet
- Ward 2: 12:30am on April 23rd at Harding High School
- Ward 3: 12:00pm on April 30th at Highland Park Middle School
- Ward 4: 9:30am on April 29th at Murray Middle School
- Ward 5: 9:00am on April 22nd at Wellstone Elementary
- Ward 6: 10:00am on April 29th at Johnson High School
- Ward 7: 1:00pm on April 30th at Harding High School
SPFT’s candidate screening will be held on June 3rd and open to the public. All are welcome to attend. More details will be provided soon.
A message from President Denise Rodriguez:
After 39 years in the St. Paul Public Schools, I have decided to retire in June. As a student at Mounds Park Junior High, and a proud graduate of Harding High School, all I wanted to be when I grew up was a Spanish teacher in SPPS. Teaching is my passion, but as I became more active in our union I discovered my second passion: advocating for members.
I am incredibly proud of the work SPFT has done. In our last round of contract negotiations, we won funding for Restorative Practice pilots, a $15 starting wage for all our Educational Assistants, and a continued commitment from the district for additional counselors, nurses, school psychologists, social workers and librarians. Most recently we laid the groundwork to run a campaign to fully fund our public schools.
Even though I am stepping down, I know I am leaving SPFT in good hands. We have so many strong leaders on our Executive Board, Bargaining Teams, among our stewards, and in the classroom. Vice President Nick Faber is running for president, and I know he will do an excellent job continuing SPFT’s work advocating for our members and students.
Serving as your president has been exciting and challenging honor. Thank you for this incredible opportunity.
The Saint Paul Federation of Teachers is excited to partner with our new superintendent, Joe Gothard, in the coming years to work to provide all students the education they deserve. We share a common belief that all children deserve to be well educated, regardless of their race, gender identity, immigration status, sexuality, or ability, and that public schools are the best way to give every student an equitable opportunity. We believe that Dr. Gothard will be a strong advocate for all our students and their families.
While providing a public education is expensive and difficult, it is also critical to setting all of our students on a path to success. If we prioritize our children, there are enough resources in our city and our state to fully fund our public schools. SPFT will continue to fight to improve our public schools, and we look forward to partnering with Dr. Gothard to achieve this goal.
Two Saint Paul teachers have been named finalists for the Minnesota Teacher of the Year award: Michael Houston (Harding High School) and Ong Xiong (Phalen Lake Elementary).
Congratulations to both of you for your hard work and dedication to your students!
The next Teacher of the Year will be announced May 7 at the Radisson Blu Mall of America in Bloomington. Good luck to all of our nominees! Education Minnesota, the statewide educators union, organizes and underwrites the Teacher of the Year program.
The election of SPFT officers, executive board members and delegates to St. Paul Regional Labor Assembly will be held at our April 24 membership meeting. Stewards will receive election procedures and instructions at the end of this week along with a poster for their building that outlines the process for our members to vote.
All ballots must be returned to the SPFT Office by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 24 with no exceptions.
Ballots and candidate bios will be mailed to member’s homes the week of April 10. Ballots can be returned to building stewards by noon, April 24, or hand-delivered to the SPFT Office or sent by U.S. Mail. All ballots must be sealed in the official #9 return envelope to be counted. SPFT members are asked to notify the district immediately if their address has recently changed. Lost ballots will not be replaced.