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December 10, 2021
Dear Members,
In this season of gratitude, I thank you for all you do to support our students and colleagues.  I encourage you to take the time this weekend to get your booster vaccine if you have not done so already. The booster is a critical line of defense in our area, which has one of the highest vaccination rates in the U.S.
I also invite you to join me in expressing our appreciation to our HEA Executive Board:  Jeb Binns (VP & NEA Board Dir.), Katie Utesch (Sec), Brandice Tranholt (ES Rep), Christian Tautua (MS Rep), Shawna Moore (Specialist Rep and RUC) along with our RUC Council members: Edissa Jaramillo, Stephanie Nelson, Leslie Sokolik, Deb Strayer.  Your HEA program and building reps  and your COVID Captains  are actively working to improve your working conditions.  Members like you working with these Representatives are the real source of power in the day-to-day organizing for racial and social justice and for establishing the conditions we need to stay safe and sane.  We also would not survive this pandemic without support from our amazing staff Portia Robinson (HEA), and Elizabeth Beck, Lori Fleck, and Lani Nguyen (all of whom are WEA).
Finally, joint committees have been negotiated over the years and their charges are outlined in our CBA.  These committees are posted on the HEA website and their names shared below.  These roles are critical in addressing member needs through labor management discussions and helping HEA stay on top of the everchanging working conditions we experience.  If you are interested in joining one of these committees, we have several positions yet to fill.  Please email me if you would like more information.  
In the coming week, I hope you can find time to reflect on all you have accomplished since September and take a measure of joy and pride in that work. 
With appreciation,


  • NEW! SUPERINTENDENT LEADERSHIP TRAITS.  Executive Board members, along with about 20 representative HEA leaders, participated in one of several stakeholder focus groups last month.  Stakeholder survey data was also collected, with the vast majority of input coming from almost 1000 students.  The leadership profile emerging from the data was reported to the school board on December 8.  (embed link from district website)

The results indicate that the community wishes to continue the district’s commitment of knowing every student by name, strength, and need, prepared for the future they choose.  The primary lack of consensus is the spectrum of beliefs held on meeting student needs in terms of prioritizing support for social-emotional versus academic needs.12

         Leadership Profile Findings: 

  • Effective communicator who is a sincere relationship-builder 
  • Knowledgeable instructional leader with a track record of delivering academic results for all students
  • Systems thinker who will bring an anti-racist approach to the work

Next steps in the Process: Share Leadership Traits Profile/desired superintendent characteristics with the community, advertise and recruit candidates, communicate with interested applicants, screen, then the school board conducts closed interviews with the vetted applicants.  They expect to release the names of finalists to the public for input by the end of February. The next work session on this topic will be held Dec. 15 at 4:30-6:00 prior to the 6:00PM school board meeting.  Please attend in person at Central Office or on Zoom.

  • HEA MEETING RULES POLL.  HEA Leaders are conducting a thorough review and revision of our governing documents. After recent general membership meetings, we heard from members who asked we change the rules from Sturgis Parliamentary Code for running our meetings.  Please share your opinion about making a change usingthis quick poll. 
  • HEA DELEGATE NOMINATIONS OPEN.  WEA and NEA RA Nominations are open until January 10.  Talk to your building rep or email Sandy. 
  • WEA Representative Assembly Delegates (one and two-year terms are open) to be held virtually (April dates TBD on zoom) and in Spokane (April 13-15, 2023).
  • NEA Representative Assembly Delegates (two-year terms), if it is held remotely or somewhere other than Texas (July 2-6, 2022) and in Orlando the following year (July 2-6. 2023).
  • EDUCATOR TOUR OF 1619. Saturday, December 11 (11:00AM -1:00PM) Resistance/ Resilience/Remembrance/Liberation is an exhibit by award-winning storyteller Delbert Richardson, Founder and Curator of the American History Traveling Museum: The Unspoken Truths. This art exhibit depicts themes that highlight the assets of African people in Africa and African people of the Diaspora.
    • This exhibit will run through Jan. 15 at the ARTs at King Street Station Gallery, 303 South Jackson St., Seattle.  Register Here to attend on a special event set aside for educators.
    • Learn more about the exhibit here. 

2. WINTER FUN @Washington State Parks

 Whether you’re welcoming Hannukah, Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve or ringing in 2022, our Washington State Parks have winter events for you.  And Jan. 1 is a free day, so you won’t need a Discover Pass for day parking.
  • Camas Beach Winterfest: Saturday, Dec. 11, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Craft making, music, food, more! 
  • Deception Pass New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day Campout: Friday, Dec. 31. Register here.  
  • Snow sports at Lake Wenatchee State Park.  Rangers will lead guided snowshoe hikes every Saturday in January and February, 1 to 3 p.m. Groups meet at the North Reservation Booth, 12:45. Rent snowshoes (limited availability) by calling (509) 763-3101.
  • Interpretive Centers.  Several state parks offer indoor interpretive centers and beautiful overlooks to get the whole family into nature on cold-weather days.
  • Start the Year Outdoors.  More than 40 state parks across Washington are offering guided and self-guided hikes on New Year’s Day! They vary in difficulty and terrain. Many are ADA accessible. A few parks will host bike rides and dog walks. Most first day activities are free, and several include refreshments and indoor breaks.


Much appreciation to the HEA members who step up annually to fill leadership positions on joint committees with the district to ensure your voices are represented when addressing district, building, and program needs.  This is where many of our members’ issues and concerns are addressed.  Please check out the HEA website for Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) language and for a description of these committees. Below are the HEA members representing you!
HEA Members of the Bargaining Team
  • Thara Cooper (Chair) (Secondary/Content Specialists)
  • Elizabeth Beck (WEA)
  • Jeb Binns (HS/DL) (EBoard)
  • Rich Coker (HS/DL)
  • Veronica Fairchild (BIPOC Rep/Academic Specialists)
  • Sandra Aguila (ES/DL)
  • Edissa Jaramillo (MS/SPED/DL)
  • OPEN (ESA)
HEA Members of the Dual Language Committee (CBA Section 4.23.D. and LOA p. 165)
  • Nicole Grambo (Co-chair)
  • Sandy Hunt (Co-chair)
  • Maria Cruz 
  • Emily Ezpeleta
  • Salvador Gomez
  • Lan Nguyen
  • Bethany Plett
  • Kimberly Rodriguez
  • Rich Coker (Bargaining Team)
HEA Members of the Joint Assessment Review Committee (HAT-CBA LOA p. 168)
  • Sandy Hunt (Co-chair)
  • Dr. Emily Chapman
  • Daniel Ervin
  • Grace Friedman 
  • Lisa Juvinall
  • Catherine Saephanh
HEA Members of the Highline Equity and Anti-Racist Team (HEART-CBA LOA p. 166)
  • Shawna Moore (Co-chair)
  • Jay Novelo
  • Amelia Swinton
  • Yvonne Walker
HEA Members of the Instructional Materials Committee (CBA Section 13-Requirements per state regs.)
  • Sandy Hunt (Co-chair)
  • Cheri Clymer
  • Jennifer Ferry
  • Hilda Huizar
  • Stefan Nelson
HEA Members of the Joint Evaluation Team/TPEP Issues
  • Brandice Tranholt (Co-chair)
  • Elizabeth Beck
  • Stephanie Nelson
  • Marquia Montero
  • OPEN

HEA Members of the Special Education Joint Committee (CBA LOA p. 177)
  • Edissa Jaramillo (Co-chair) (IAC)
  • Elizabeth Beck
  • Abby Hardy (ILC)
  • Ann Kelly (DL Elementary LRC)
  • Erik Kory (Secondary LRC)
  • Katie McGrew (IK)
  • Jessica Wade (Psych)
  • OPEN
HEA Members of the Student Behavior Support Team (CBA LOA pg. 178-79)
  • Sandy Hunt (Co-chair)
  • Elizabeth Beck
  • Joe Bourgeois
  • Kiana Brisco
  • Natalie Dunn
  • Bethany Tate
  • Tracy Werthman
HEA Members of the Joint Kinder Assessment Work Group/WAKIDS (CBA Section 4.24 pg. 45-46)
  • Yazmin Gil (Chair)
  • Sandra Aguila
  • OPEN
  • OPEN
HEA Leads on the District Safety Team (Every building should have one rep per state regs.)
  • Larcy Amorelle
  • Sandy Hunt
HEA Members on the Operations Committee for COVID Safety (COVID Reopening Schools MOU)
  • Larcy Amorelle (HEA Lead)
  • Renee Agatsuma (HS)
  • Haley Fidler (ES)
  • Kathy Myers (Nurse)
  • Julie Nguyen (Nurse)
  • Jessica Walsh (ESA)
  • Middle School (OPEN)
  • Sandy Hunt