SEA Election Day: Tuesday March 13th, 2018

electiondayTuesday March 13th, 2018 is SEA Election Day. Members will have the opportunity to vote for candidates to represent them in the following positions: SEA President, SEA 1st Vice President, SEA Secretary, Elementary Representative, Middle School Representative, ESP Representative, Ethnic Minority Representative, NEA-RA Delegate.

The following candidates will be on the ballot in the March 13th SEA Elections.

(Click on candidate names for more information about them.)

SEA President:
Crysta Weitekamp: Current SEA President
Aaron Graves: Grant Middle School

SEA 1st Vice-President:
Jeffrey Garman: Jefferson Middle School
Angie Meneghetti: Grant Middle School

SEA Secretary:
Carrie Kincaid: Technology Department

Elementary Representative:
Meghan Kapanick: Jane Addams Elementary School

Middle School Representative:
Courtney Upperman: Washington Middle School

High School Representative:
No candidates

ESP Representative
Kathy Johnson: ESP Lawrence Education Center
Juan Morrison: Lanphier High School

Ethnic Minority Representative:
Juan Morrison: Lanphier High School

NEA-RA Delegate Candidates:
Corey Bond: Springfield Learning Academy
Juan Morrison: Lanphier High School
Kelly Sholtis: Building 1900
Kathy Gebhardt: Hazel Dell
LeAnn Divjak – Dubois Elementary School
Crysta Weitekamp: Current SEA President
Sara Robinson: Dubois Elementary School

(Up to 8 delegates will be elected.)


Crysta Weitekamp:

Current SEA President
Running for: SEA President, NEA-RA Delegate

District Experience:
This is my 22nd year of teaching in District 186. I began at the elementary level as a resource teacher and later moved to high school inclusion. I served as a District mentor for new teachers in Pre-K to HS for 4 years. I have proudly been National Board Certified since 2005 and have assisted others in attaining certification.

SEA Experience:
Current SEA President. I have been involved in union activities throughout my entire career. I’ve held the following positions – Elementary Solutions Chair, Secretary, Vice President (1st and 2nd), Bargaining Chair, Region Vice Chair, and President. I’ve diligently served on and chaired numerous committees representing SEA at the district and state level.

Goals for Assoc.:
I want ALL members to realize their importance in our association and the power of our collective voice. We are a strong organization, but we must stand together in unity and stop letting others divide us. From our district level to the state and federal level, we must continue to advocate for all of our members.

General Comments:
It is an honor and privilege to serve you as SEA President and to advocate for your needs. I love meeting with members daily, listening to concerns, and problem solving actual solutions. Together, we have accomplished a great deal, but there is still more work to do. We need to continue to insist on social emotional supports for all students as well as additional resources and programs so all may achieve to their full potential. We know that many students come to school with significant emotional needs that impact academic progress. I will continue to advocate for high quality training in this area for all members. I believe that all of our learning environments should be safe and secure and will continue to work with security, our district, school board, and the community to ensure the safety of all. I have the hard conversations so we can continue to move forward. Divided we accomplish nothing. We are stronger when we are together. Vote for me so together, we can continue our important work!

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Aaron Graves:

Grant Middle School
Running for: SEA President

District Experience:
I attended all grades K-12 in Springfield 186 under some of the district’s finest teachers and principals. I have taught more than 20 years for our district as well. 1 year Jefferson Middle School – Science/Reading. 4 years Harvard Park – 4th Grade General Ed. 1 year Regional Education – Truancy Program. 3 years Student Assistance Program – Black Hawk/ Wilcox / Butler Elementary. 13 years Grant Middle School – Technology / Reading Intervention / Literature / Writing.

SEA EXPERIENCE:
Prior to 2011, I was a Building Association Representative (AR), elected delegate to Illinois Education Association Representative Assembly (IEA RA), Consortium for Educational Change (CEC) Conference attendee, elected Region 11 Vice-chair, Springfield Political Action Committee (SPACE) Chair, and Springfield Education Association First Vice-chair. I stepped away from union to fulfill military commitments and deployed to Afghanistan as an Army Engineer Officer in 2011-2012. Since returning to the union, I have served as Building AR, IEA RA Delegate and ran for Region 11 chair alongside Angie Meneghetti in the last 2016 SEA Officer Election.

Goals for Assoc.:
My overarching goal for the association is that it function as a strong local should. Building ARs should be leaders and problem solvers, connected with the union president and Uniserv Director, and make the district a better place for all. Currently, we need immediate establishment of safer and more orderly schools and better alternative education options. Secondly, we need implementation of proven and properly staffed academic and social emotional programs with a district accountability of student’s achievement in these areas. Third, we need a laser focus on ESP, educator and other SEA member salary, medical benefits and retirement. Our union team should be working right now, fostering relationships with board members while simultaneously negotiating a contract we lock in before the school year of our expired contract year begins. We have to assure that we are taking care of our own while we are taking care of everything and everyone else.

General Comments:
Our union needs change. It requires a leader diligent enough to get into your buildings and talk with all members. It needs a leader eloquent enough to sort and relay those concerns to larger audiences. And, it demands a leader tenacious enough to fight for you, your buildings and your students who want and deserve better. Springfield 186 should be a school system that we are not only proud to work for but a place we would be willing to recommend every school to our friends and even send our own children to. I am willing to work night and day to make that happen. But first, I need your vote.

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Jeffrey Garman:

Jefferson Middle School
Running for: SEA 1st Vice-President

District Experience:
10 years McClernand Elementary School; 1 year Jefferson Middle School.

SEA Experience:
Elementary Rep 2 years; 1st Vice President 2 years; AR 8 years, SPACE Chair, SPACE Member; Time Commitments Committee; Bargaining.

Goals for Assoc.:
To provide leadership for staff, students, and the community.

General Comments:
I have worked hard for all members and hope you give me the opportunity to continue to do so. I would appreciate your vote.

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Angie Meneghetti:

Grant Middle School
Running for: SEA 1st Vice-President

District Experience:
6, 7, 8th grade science teacher at Grant Middle School. I have been a teacher for 28 years and teaching in District 186 since 2001. I have served as Science department chair, member of SLT, ILT, PBIS, BIST teams, BETA Club, Science Club and Student Council sponsor. IMSA teacher for 13 years. District 186 Student Assessment Rubric Committee, Science Curriculum committee, District handbook committee, textbook selection committee and currently serve on the SEL committee

SEA Experience:
Building Association Representative, Middle School Solutions Chair (3 terms), 2nd Vice President (2 terms), 1st Vice President (2 terms), Region 11 Vice Chair (2 terms), Grassroots Political Activists for the IEA (2 terms), current member of the Legislative committee for the IEA, Grievance committee, Legislative Chair, Scholarship committee, S-Pace member, election committee for SEA. Attended and participated in numerous IEA RA and NEA RA conventions and IEA Core trainings and Midwest regional conferences.

Goals for Assoc.
To provide constant support and follow through on educational issues. To continue to openly and honestly communicate with all members. To fight for an end to violence in our schools. To support fair and equitable school funding in Illinois.

General Comments:
Thank you for continuing support and I would appreciate your vote.

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Carrie Kincaid:

Technology Department
Running for: SEA Secretary

District Experience:
SHS English/Speech teacher – years; GMS Language Arts teacher – 3 years; MS/HS Technology Teacher Instructional Leader – 12 years.

SEA Experience:
SEA Secretary 2017-2018; Bargaining Team: 2016-17 & 2017-18.

Goals for Assoc.:
Unity, transparency, and membership involvement.

General Comments:
Thank YOU for all your hard work in educating our students! I would appreciate your vote.

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Meghan Kapanick:

Jane Addams Elementary School
Running for: Elementary Representative

District Experience:
This is my 11th year teaching in District 186. I have been at Jane Adams for 4 years. I have taught 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades.

SEA Experience:
I have been an AR for several years. I have also been an Elementary Rep for 2 years.

Goals for Assoc.
My goal is to get more elementary teachers involved in the union and to make teachers more aware of union benefits.

General Comments:
We must come together in order for our union to work for us!

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Courtney Upperman:

Washington Middle School
Running for: Middle School Representative

District Experience:
4th years on contract

SEA Experience:
2017-2018 School year

Goals for Assoc.:
Have the middle schools become more united.

General Comments: None

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Kathy Johnson:

ESP Lawrence Education Center
Running for: ESP Representative

District Experience:
I have been with District 186 since 1989. I have been a special ed attendant and civilian security.

SEA Experience:
I am an A.R. Bargaining Co-chair, ESP Rep on Executive Board, ESP Solutions Chair, and Represented SEA at the NEA RA. I have also served on several SEA committees.

Goals for Assoc.:
My goal for the association is to continue to work towards a strong, unified membership. I believe all members have a voice and all voices should be listened to.

General Comments:
I would appreciate your vote and would love to continue serving as your ESP rep on our Executive Board.

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Corey Bond:

Springfield Learning Academy
Running for: NEA-RA Delegate

District Experience:
Six year veteran teacher; 6 years Social Studies teacher; 5 years ILT member; 1 year member PBIS Team; 2 years United Way Annual Campaign Team Leader, Social Studies Book Committee.

SEA Experience:
Four year Area Representative; career-long union member; S-PACE Steering Committee; By-Law Committee,; 29017 IEA RA Representative; 2015, 2016 and 2017 NEA RA attendee; St. Patrick’s Day Parade participant.

Goals for Assoc.:
The relevancy of our work as a union has never been more important. Although we have a large and robust union, various political factors threaten to impede our ability to draw membership and subsequently raise money. It is no secret that unions are in a battle for their very existence. We have seen neighboring states have their collective bargaining rights decimated by those in power with an insidious agenda. My first goal for the SEA is to increase membership by educating prospective teachers and support staff of the merits of our cause. Secondly, having worked on the S-PACE committee for the last two years, it is imperative that we court politicians and board members who advocate policies which empower teachers, parents and students. Thirdly, I want there to be an increased level of general involvement by the rank & file teachers and ESP’s in the district. This is extremely important because many times members seem disconnected from the substantive work happening at various levels in the union. Springfield, because of its relationship with the Capital, is in a unique position to advocate for pro-teacher policies and reforms in how we educate our children. Lastly, organization transparency, advocating for safe working environments for teachers and students.

General Comments:
I am committed to attending all informational and general caucus sessions to best represent the issues and concerns of both District 186 and the State of Illinois.

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Juan Morrison:

Lanphier High School
Running for: ESP Representative, Ethnic Minority Representative, NEA-RA Delegate

District Experience:
I have been employed with School District 186 for 24 year as in-house teacher security.

SEA Experience:
2 ½ years’ experience as an AR Representative and served on the Executive Committee.

Goals for Assoc.:
To enhance the skills and knowledge of ESP members.

General Comments:
I appreciate the opportunity of being selected to the NEA Conference to sharpen my skills.

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Kelly Sholtis:

Building 1900
Running for: NEA-RA Delegate

District Experience:
I have taught both Elementary and High School, served as a Title I Reading/Math teacher and a Student Assistance Program Leader. I currently am the support person for Teacher Evaluation and Braided Behavior Support Systems.

SEA Experience:
I have served as an Association Representative, Public Relations Chair, Elementary Representative, and 1st and 2nd Vice President. I currently serve as the Professional Development Chair.

Goals for Assoc.:
Engage all members in issues that affect teaching and learning.

General Comments:
I would appreciate your vote.

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Kathy Gebhardt:

Hazel Dell
Running for: NEA-RA Delegate

District Experience:
I am in my 18th year as an Educator with District 186

SEA Experience:
I have been a member of SEA since I began teaching in 2000.

Goals for Assoc.:
My main goal for the association is not to forget the members in the association.

General Comments:
I am interested in becoming a delegate for Region 11 IEA-NEA again this year. Last year’s experience at the assembly was an eye-opener as to how everything comes together to attempt to make things happen. I want to do my part to represent the interests and concerns for you, our members. I want to continue to increase my knowledge of the IEA-NEA as to better represent the members of our delegation. I appreciate the consideration of our vote. Thank you!

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LeAnn Divjak:

Dubois Elementary School
Running for: NEA-RA Delegate

District Experience:
This is my 23rd year in the district. I have taught Kindergarten and now 1st grade.

SEA Experience:
3rd year being AR, 2 years AR Delegate, 2 years National Delegate, ESPACE Committee, Sue Handy Scholarship Committee.

Goals for Assoc.:
To help unite members and help members become more involved.

General Comments:
This is my 2nd year being a RA Delegate and 3rd being a National Delegate. It is a very rewarding experience and I look forward to representing you again.

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Sara Robinson:

Dubois Elementary School
Running for: NEA-RA Delegate

District Experience:
I have been teaching since January of 2004 for the district. Two years prior to starting in January I did my student teaching and methods hours for the district as well. I have taught 2nd, 3rd, 4th, middle and currently kindergarten for the district.

SEA Experience:
This is my first year as an SEA RA for my building.

Goals for Assoc.:
Being in an elementary position, I see many areas of need. However, I think my focus would be around empowering all teachers with the tools and resources they need to feel supported in our schools by families, parents and administration. Working together to ensure that teachers can feel supported and purposeful.

General Comments:
In this type of position you need to be a problem solver and not a part of the problem. To enact change you need to be positive, direct and determined. This is my opportunity to make things better and to be a part of positive changes for our teachers and district.

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