Spread the word » Facebook Twitter

In this Issue: Holiday Greetings 

  1. January & February Events: Sign Up to speak at the School Board 
  2. Get Started with YOUR NEA Member Benefits 
  3. HSD School Board Communication
  5. MLK Labor Council Update: Support Striking Baristas
  6. Substitute Fill Data Rates 

December 16, 2022

Dear Supporter, 

I hope you will join me in setting aside as much work as you possibly can over the next two weeks to take the time to enjoy your loved ones, the great outdoors, good food and good friends.  Please use the blessings of the season to refresh, restore, and recharge.  You are doing so much for others and now is the time to care for yourself.  Your kindness and support mean so much to me.  I hope you are able to give and receive the same wherever you work around Highline.  

Best wishes for a safe, restful/exciting (depending) and happiness-filled holiday season.

See you in 2023!


1. January  & February Events

1. Winter Break. December 17, 2022- January 2, 2023. Return from break TUESDAY, January 3

2. HPS School Board Meetings: January 4 & 18  @ 6PM. (in person & via zoom) Scheduled and Unscheduled Speakers encouraged to sign up. Call 206-631-3070 Between Monday 8AM and Wednesday noon. Leave your name, contact number, and your topic.

3. Rainier UniServ Council Rainbow Educators Monthly Meetup: January 5, 2023 @ 4PM. RSVP here. Dinner will be provided to in-person attendees.

4. HEA Rep Council Meeting: January 9, 2023 @ 4:30PM. (Jump on from 4PM-4:30PM for a Rep Skill Refresher.)   Meeting to be held on zoom. Link will be emailed to all HEA members.  Nominations close at the meeting for candidates to the NEA RA (Orlando & Philadelphia) and WEA RA (Spokane). Zoom Link will be emailed to all HEA members to attend the 5:30PM candidate speeches.

5. Save the Date:  Human Civil Rights Leadership Conference – January 20 (evening) and January 21, 2023. Save the date! This annual conference is a collaborative effort to help member educators with issues of cross-cultural competency, social justice, and educational equity within the institutions that serve our students. The virtual conference will begin on the evening of Friday, January 20th with discussion, and continue all day Saturday, January 21st with full-day sessions. Agenda and additional details coming soon.

6. WEA Guest Teacher Training: January 21 or February 11 on zoom. 9AM-1PM. FREE ! Get your clock hours and training hours. Choose from one of the courses: Classroom Management, Deescalation, Cultural Responsive Behavior Interventions. Keep an eye on your email for the registration link. 

7. Save the Date:  4th Annual Rainier Educators of Color Equity Conference – February 2 (evening) and February 3 (on zoom).  Conference Theme:  Lean In!. Registration link coming soon!

2. NEA Member Benefits

All of us at California Casualty want to share how much we appreciate you, our educators.  We wish you a wonderful, stress-free holiday season!  With busy HEA members in mind, we have streamlined how you can connect with us using new online portal. You can now complete a quote anytime 24/7 outside of traditional business hours.  We understand how busy you are and hope this simplifies our process. Happy Holidays! 

We’ve gathered the six simplest ways to keep on top of the benefits that come with union membership

Use this quick link to get started.

1.  Unlock the full potential of your current NEA Member Benefits by first registering on the site

2.  Name a beneficiary for your current NEA® Complimentary Life Insurance policy, issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, to let us know to whom you want your benefits to go. 

3.  Sign up for NEA Travel to browse deals on car rentals, hotels, resorts, cruises and more. Receive $500 Travel Dollars the first time you use our travel site and annually thereafter.

4.  Try the NEA Student Debt Navigator powered by Savi and find out how much you could save on your student loans. 

5.  Subscribe to free newsletters filled with helpful tips and solutions to both today’s purchases and savings for tomorrow. 

6.  Access your discounted magazine subscriptions

3. HSD School Board Communication

HEA and community members are joining both to listen and to speak during school board meetings.  You too can address the HSD School Board.  The next meeting is on Wednesday, January 4 @ 6PM Register to speak by calling 206-631-3070 beginning Monday, January 2, 2023 at 8AM until Wednesday, January 4, 2023 at noon. Scheduled speakers are allocated up to 4 minutes at the start of the meeting while the first ten speakers who sign up at the meeting are given 2 minutes near the end. 

Please continue to sign up and speak on how amazing our students are, and what we appreciate about our school board, their policies as well as what we still need to carry out our work.  

Here are last week’s speakers and their messages.

  • Susanne Rankin- Math Teacher at Highline HS-After sharing her love of teaching math and her appreciation for collaboration, Susanne expressed her concern about the report card grading scale.  While she agreed the lower grading scale made sense during the shutdown, she believes that students can do better than a passing score of 40%.  She would like to see the gradebook unlocked so teachers can change the rating scale.  
  • Ben Folgers- ELA Teacher at Mount Rainier HS-After beginning his talk by asking us to remember the people who were murdered in the LGBTQ hate crime in Colorado, Ben thanked Dr. Duran for his recent message of supporting all students and their families.  He then reiterated his commitment to equity and asked for further district statements reaffirming support for Trans and LGBTQ students.  Ben would like the district to research community partnerships to better support our students, particularly our queer students.  He invited the board and others to connect with him on this issue.
  • Michael Acord- Retired SEA guest teacher now supports substitutes within WEA. Michael shared the results of SEA research on substitute-friendly schools in which administrators greeted their guest teachers, as well as checked in with their classes. In addition, the most important people are the office staff who set the entire tone with their greeting and provision of materials.  He wanted substitutes to know that WEA offers free professional development and clock hours (see Events) on a regular basis.
  • Billy Hetherington-The Laborer’s Union leader and member of the Highline CTE Advisory Committee-After sharing a bit about himself as young person and the opportunities that construction affords, Billy encouraged the board to see that investments in infrastructure projects as an extension of the K-12 system.  He explained that programs like Community Workforce Agreements help to diversify the construction industry by creating pathways for more People of Color to enter high-paying trade jobs.
  • Renee Agatsuma- Science teacher at Evergreen HS-Renee returned to this meeting to correct information she shared at the previous school board meeting.  She explained that their science curriculum is from HHI and provides examples of how science is value ladened.  One unit they study is about sex verification in athletes.  Students learn that there are different tests using different approaches, and because of that sometimes athletes are allowed to participate in a competition and sometimes they are not, all depending on what test was used.  She shared that, explore these types of concepts, students must feel safe, and it is important for recruitment efforts to hire teachers that look like their students.
  • Andrew De Jong- Science teacher at Evergreen HS-After sharing his teaching philosophy, Andrew talked about the many challenges of using the standards-based grading/gradebook as it was rolled out. To be successful with our students, teachers need to build strong student-teacher connections.  He wanted the board to know that we are socialized differently based on our identities, and to ignore that fact keeps marginalized students at the periphery.  In his practice, he strives for affirming, liberatory education as our students are sacred and worthy of love, guidance, and attention. 
  • Sandy Hunt- President HEA-After sharing an old Letter of Agreement from work jointly undertaken to reduce workload through the “Time Committee,” Sandy reminded Dr. Duran of his commitment to reducing district initiatives.  The workload as it exists is unstainable, and members cannot continue to “build the plane while we fly.”  She challenged the district to find a way to land this plane.
  • Hendrik Ufkes- Alumnus of Evergreen and a K-12 HSD education-After thanking the board and the community for passing the bond, Hendrik predicted that students will benefit because they can tangibly see that the community cares. He believes that the condition of your school reflects the perception of the community holds about the students and so this tax investment will pay massive dividends for the future of our youth.  
  • Zach Wenman- City of Burien after school program coordinator-After expressing the value and power in their partnership with the district, Zach described some of the free after school programs ESSER grants are funding at Burien schools.  He expressed the need to find a means to continuing and expanding these opportunities for all youth in our communities. 
  • Bob Korth- Alumnus of Mt Rainier HS along with the current President and soon to be Business Manager of the Iron Workers Union.  Bob is also a task force member for the SPS Community Workforce Agreement (CWA).  The Seattle District is collecting data on the impact of their projects, and Bob confirmed it is showing that investing in students and families is creating career pathways for district families.  He emphasized that when communities pass bonds, these investments should not only be building schools but also building careers in their communities.  He pointed out that our three new schools will cost the public a lot of money and the public should get this return on their investment.




5. MLK LC: Support Starbucks Baristas

As you're likely aware, baristas have been organizing at Starbucks over the past year and the company has been using every tool they have to retaliate. The company continues to shut down union shops, including in Seattle. Half of all unionized locations have been closed in the past few months.  Starting TODAY, Friday the 16th, three Seattle area shops will be doubling down and going on strike to demand they stop slashing hours, provide credit card tipping to all shops, and to stop shutting down union stores. This is the final Starbucks action of the year, so they need our support!

The stores on strike are:

  • 5th & Pike in downtown
  • Madison Park (Howard Shultz's neighborhood store)
  • Reserve Roastery on Capitol Hill

Picket line times are as follows:

  • Saturday: Madison Park - 9am-11am, Reserve Roastery - 12pm-3pm
  • Sunday: Reserve Roastery - 12pm-3pm

If you're able to, stop by and show your support wearing your union colors... And we need to find somewhere else to get our coffee

6. Substitute Data Fill Rates