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UTW Candidate Messages

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As per the elections guidelines, all candidates were able to submit a short message (150 words or less). This message will also be included on the ballots. If the candidate did not submit a message, there name is still listed.

President

  1.  Gabe Costilla - Here’s the reality: unions across the country are struggling. We can keep going down the path of trying to appease the powers that be for scraps, or we can finally stand up and demand that we have a seat at the table. I began my short term as Vice President of UTW ready to go to work for teachers, but quickly found how difficult change can be when so many are satisfied with the status quo. That is why we, The Good Troublemakers, decided to run as a united slate for UTW Reform. If you’ve ever been frustrated by our union’s lack of strength, vision, or transparency, then please consider voting for us. We are committed to increasing member voice, organizational strength, and shared governance. You can find more info about us (along with a detailed plan for UTW reform) on our website at www.GoodTroubleICT.com
  2. Brent Lewis - I will pour my heart and soul into serving the UTW professionals who were there for me as a K-12 Wichita Public Schools student and have also taken great care of my two daughters. I have been a UTW member my entire 15-year career in WPS and have leadership experience in the US Army Commander-In-Chief’s Guard, private business and in our union. There is a need for the spirit of unity and the supportive presence of a strong, responsive professional organization in our daily work. I won’t rest until these become the norm in our schools. I would be honored to serve UTW as President, and would do so with honesty and integrity. I won’t be outworked on your behalf. I am asking for the opportunity to earn your trust, support and vote. Thank you! For more information, please visit: www.LewisforUTW.com

Vice President

  1.  Katie Warren - My name is Katie Warren and I’m running for UTW Vice President.  As an active union member for 15 years, I’ve seen the power our collective voice has when we work together. We must focus on listening to members, working together on solutions, and building unity in UTW. Union work has been a passion of mine since becoming a Pro-rep 14 years ago. I’ve taught at Kelly, OK, and Kensler. This year I became a Peer Consultant to support new teachers. A priority of mine is that ALL members feel heard and supported. As UTW Secretary, I’ve volunteered my summers working on recruitment to build our union stronger. As a parent of a WPS student and a colleague, I see how hard you work and the difference you make every day. It would be such an honor to serve as your Vice President. www.UTWunityandprogress.com
  1. Sarah Westbury - I am a wife, mother, teacher, and advocate. I would like to see transparency, integrity, consistency, and collaboration return to our union. I believe change is necessary to build up our membership and support our teachers the way the deserve to be supported. Teacher voice is paramount and shared governance with the DLT is the way to ensure our teachers are heard. I will help obtain and retain members, share their voices and provide results to ensure their best possible working environment. I will always remain open, honest, transparent, and collaborative in all that I do to serve our members. I will serve with the integrity and respect that our union so desperately needs. Now is the time to make changes and I am ready for the task!

Secretary

  1. Shannon Edwards - United Teachers of Wichita stands for teacher support, and I have developed the relationships, expertise, and knowledge of the education system necessary to provide that support. My experience on various committees in the district, UTW eboard, and service on a school board in a different district have shown that I know how to work with people from a variety of perspectives to solve problems. United Teachers of Wichita is about relationships. I have worked hard to build relationships at the building and district level, as well as participating in multiple activities and trainings with our state and national affiliates. I am running to serve UTW for another term because I know that I have what it takes to get the job done.
  2. Ron Hobert - I am running for UTW Secretary because I have a proven record of leadership, dedication, and transparency with my union experience for the past 17 years.  I will work hard each day for our members to educate and strengthen them into stronger teachers who make a difference each day in a child’s life!  Wichita Public Schools in conjunction with United Teachers of Wichita must continue to problem solve and address working conditions for teachers.  Please vote me for UTW Secretary. 
  3. Olivia Sumner - My name is Olivia Sumner. I was born and raised in USD 259 schools, and currently teach kindergarten and 3rd grade at Education Imagine Academy. I am running because I am frustrated with our lack of voice in the district. I believe teachers should have a voting say in decision making, as we are the ones affected by these choices being made on our behalf. We have the right to be heard, and there is power in numbers.

Treasurer

  1.  Allen Gallaway - I am Allen Gallaway and seeking the office of treasurer for UTW. I have dedicated my time and effort to make our union the best. I am a team player which is vitally important important in these times. I continually listen and work with other members to find solutions to current issues that will help to move our great union forward. I know that dedication and integrity are paramount to making our union strong for ALL members! I will always work hard for you, and I would appreciate your vote.
  2. Bob Tinker - I hold a bachelor’s degree in business and a bachelor’s degree in education, both from Wichita State University. I am currently working toward my master’s in special education. I worked in the banking business for 25 years before making the switch to education ten years ago. I taught fifth grade for seven years and am now in my second year of special education, all at Franklin. After working with the negotiations team for six years, I learned that a union’s power is only as strong as its united members. I would like to see our union become more organized with improved training, communication, and member empowerment. I want teachers to regain our sense of our collective power. With this, teachers will grow in their confidence that it is ok to ask for our needs to be met and to then expect to receive what we deserve.

Executive Board (vote for no more than 10)

  1.  Jon Albers - I’m a 6th year teacher and UTW member, and this is my second year as building rep. I am passionate, progressive, and focused on bringing positive change and innovation to our union and district. Quality teachers are one of the most important assets to any community, though we have become undervalued, misused, and mistreated. My main priority for the Executive Board and UTW leadership is to ensure quality leadership, open communication, and trust while creating a strong sense of community. We must be able to work with district administration in a constructive way, while also ensuring that our teachers are treated fairly and given the respect they deserve. Our organization needs committed, selfless leadership who can inspire trust in our building reps and our teachers. We need to communicate more openly and honestly with our membership and with every potential member in our district.
  2. Heather Brown - I am excited to be running to serve you on the Executive Board of UTW. I am an educator because I am passionate about providing our students with the best education. Our union and school district must work together to achieve that goal. I have taught for almost 20 years with 8 years in Wichita Public Schools. I’ve met the most amazing educators who bring their unique skills & diversity to our students. The teachers in this district are driven, hardworking, & strive to bring their best to their students. Teaching is an art form & we all need to support each other with continual coaching and mentoring. I know firsthand the sacrifices teachers make every day especially in this time of a pandemic. Right now we need to be focused, determined and willing to problem solve solutions that support our teachers as well as our students.
  3. Tracy Callard - I am running for E-Board because I truly care about this district and my colleagues. We must work with district leadership to make USD 259 the best district for children AND teachers in Kansas. I started teaching in Wichita in 1993. Since that time, I have taught all grades 1-8, so I understand challenges teachers face across grade levels. I spent 20 years in Title One buildings and 15 years as a gifted ed teacher, so I also understand the paperwork mountain facing sped teachers. My master's degrees are in Urban Teaching and Special Ed/Gifted. As a former attorney, I bring unique insights to board meetings, and as a former Kansas Teacher of the Year, I have credibility with admin when I speak to them about issues we face as teachers. I hope you will allow me to speak for YOU.
  4. Robert Castleberry
  5. Donna Cook-Lujano - I have been a teacher for USD269 for the past 28 years. During this time I taught mathematics at the middle school for 17 years, gifted education teaching 5th – 12th grade students for 8 years and understand the caseloads of SPED teachers, and work currently as a high school mathematics teacher. I have observed the needs of our teachers and students at every grade level and become more active in the union. I have served as a pro rep for Heights high school and Southeast high school for the last 3 years and feel that I would represent the teachers in the Wichita School District at every grade level and teaching category. I have earned a Master’s degree in ESOL and Gifted education. I am currently working on my Educational Doctoral Degree in leadership. As your e-board member, I will work to help teachers at every level.
  6. Kristal Cutler -
  7. Shannon Edwards - United Teachers of Wichita stands for teacher support, and I have developed the relationships, expertise, and knowledge of the education system necessary to provide that support. My experience on various committees in the district, UTW eboard, and service on a school board in a different district have shown that I know how to work with people from a variety of perspectives to solve problems. United Teachers of Wichita is about relationships. I have worked hard to build relationships at the building and district level, as well as participating in multiple activities and trainings with our state and national affiliates. I am running to serve UTW for another term because I know that I have what it takes to get the job done.
  8. Allen Gallaway - I am Allen Gallaway and I'm running for a position on the UTW Executive Board. I currently teach 5th Grade MSR at Linwood. I've taught since 1996 all those years in 259. I am and have been a building pro-rep for most of my career. I currently serve on the 259 Labor Management Committee and on the Distinguished Classroom Teacher Awards. In addition, I have served on KNEA Board of Directors for the last 4 years. I also serve on the KNEA Social Justice Committee. You DO have a VOICE at the building, local, and state levels. I proudly represent ALL members in our great union! I would appreciate your vote for E-board.
  9. Nicholas Green - Good Trouble Candidate I have been a Social Studies teacher at West High school since finishing my undergraduate at the University of Kansas in 2015. Unlike so many teachers, I did not have any connection to education before becoming a teacher. I knew I wanted to do something that contributed to my community. but I struggled to find what that was until my 3rd year at KU when I found my way to education. Once I finally stepped foot inside of a classroom, I knew I was where I belonged. I have never stopped working to make my school a better place for both my students and my colleagues. Now, through UTW, I hope to bring that same attitude to helping all teachers. With a little Good Trouble, I believe we can build a stronger, more united, Union and move the needle towards the goal of Shared Governance.
  10. Jared Hall
  11. Christina Herring - I have been a special education teacher for 15 years. I have served as a department chair and consulting teacher of special education where I trained and mentored teachers. I specialized in supervising MIS personnel, Mandt training and co-teacher training. At North, I have been a mentor to new teachers. This is my 5th year at North High. I have been a building pro rep and a strong voice for special education. I would like to see a union where elementary and secondary teachers are treated with respect. I would like to see our union become more involved in decision making with our BOE members as well as our community. I would like to see our union volunteering in different capacities. Most of all, I would like to see us become a stronger, more responsive and supportive union where we put our people first.
  12. Ron Hobert - I am running for Executive Board because I have a proven record of leadership, dedication, and transparency with my union experience for the past 17 years.  I will work hard each day for our members to educate and strengthen them into stronger teachers who make a difference each day in a child’s life!  Wichita Public Schools in conjunction with United Teachers of Wichita must continue to problem solve and address working conditions for teachers.  Please vote me for UTW Executive Board. 
  13. Rachel Horn
  14. Teresa Kidd - My name is Teresa Kidd and I teach ESOL at Caldwell Elementary. I have been teaching for 16 years, all of which have been in USD 259 and have always been a UTW member. I have been on Building Committee every year and have been the lead Pro-Rep for 12 years. My colleagues feel comfortable bringing ideas and concerns to me, knowing they will be addressed in a confidential and professional manner. I have good relationships with administration that allow me to bring these issues forward. When participating in the superintendent’s listening sessions I gained a greater understanding of where we stand with school board members and district administration. The skills learned through this will allow me to build new, strong relationships to advocate for teachers. Now that my two children are older, I am excited to devote more time and increase my involvement in UTW.
  15. Noel Lucero - Hi! My name is Noel Lucero and I am running for a seat on the Executive Board. I have been a proud UTW member for 18 years and an active building rep for the last 11 years. One of my priorities for UTW is to build a stronger organization with an emphasis on recruitment and retention of members. I am inspired daily by the strength and ingenuity of our USD 259 teachers. I have never been afraid to ask the tough questions and stand up for members and I will continue to do so. I would be honored to represent you as an Executive Board member.
  16. Stephen Maurer - I have been a teacher in USD 259 since 2013 with all 8 years served at Southeast High. I’ve taught each level of English, brought an AVID class from freshman year to graduation, and served as a UTW pro-rep for seven years. This year, I became chair of our Building Committee and a member in the district Marzano workgroup. As a pro-rep, I’ve seen the challenges of organizing members in my building. With this coalition, we have an opportunity to reinvigorate all staff and build stronger connections with the community. I firmly believe our leadership must be accountable and responsive to the demands of membership. I won’t forget our mission is to enable workers to exercise their economic power for the betterment of their working conditions. Bottom line, our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions. We all deserve better than the status quo.
  17. Phuong Mueller
  18. Martin Schoket - Born and raised in Wichita, I am an alumni of USD 259 and a product of WPS education. A graduate of the University of Kansas, I have a bachelors in Secondary English, and in my 7th year, I have taught at three schools, at two levels, holding positions such as professional representative, Building Committee chairperson, English department chair, AVID teacher, AVID Site Coordinator, reading intervention teacher, and MTSS committee member. I am running for UTW Executive Board because I want to engage further with the responsibilities related to administrative decision-making in the union. I believe wholeheartedly in a union’s ability to secure social and economic justice for its members and community at large, so I want to position myself in a manner consistent with providing ideas concurrent to that arc towards justice.
  19. Mark Shultz - I have been on E-board for 8 year and have experience at the high and elementary school levels. I also bring a perspective from the cst members. Serving has been an honor and I want to continue to serve the teachers of our district to the best of my abilities.
  20. Diane Smith - I am running so we can continue to build bridges with district leadership and not walls. It is time for us to be united.
  21. Ben Stauble - Benjamin Stauble, Academic Life Skills K – 5 instructor, Mueller Aerospace and Engineering Discovery Magnet Elementary School, has been an educator both within and outside public schools in some capacity for the last thirty-two years. He believes that anyone can learn anything given the right amount of time, talent, and tools. He carries this philosophy with him through all areas of education as he collaborates with other team players within the district or building relationships to grow student success in the community. On the road to completing National Board Certification, Stauble found the need to communicate concise and accurate data to help with the decision-making process. He believes through relational interventions and consistently adhering to the rules that govern us, WE can move mountains! Stauble has the tenacity to ensure success whenever a struggle arises.
  22. Katie Warren - My name is Katie Warren and I’m running for UTW Executive Board. As an active union member for 15 years, I’ve seen the power our collective voice has when we work together. We must focus on listening to members, working together on solutions, and building unity in UTW. Union work has been a passion of mine since becoming a Pro-rep 14 years ago. I’ve taught at Kelly, OK, and Kensler. This year I became a Peer Consultant to support new teachers. A priority of mine that ALL members feel heard and supported. As UTW Secretary, I’ve volunteered my summers working on recruitment to build our union stronger. As a parent of a WPS student and a colleague, I see how hard you work and the difference you make every day. It would be such an honor to serve you on the UTW Executive Board. www.UTWunityandprogress.com
  23. Valerie Wills - My name is Valerie Wills. I am a current member of the UTW Executive Board, and I am running for a second term. I graduated from Southeast High School in 1999. I earned my master’s degree in Early Childhood Education in 2012 and a Master’s in Social work 2008. I have worked in Wichita public schools for over 10 years. I have taught kindergarten for 8 years. I currently teach kindergarten at Gammon Elementary and I have been here for two years. I joined the union in 2012. In 2015, I became a pro-rep. In 2018, I started a building committee at my school. I am very passionate about teachers, students, and our union. I believe that if we all work together; we can be the catalyst for positive change. My goal is to listen to the needs of the members and collaborate to find solutions.

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