By Mindy Duford, Elections Chairperson
Next Friday, May 20th through Monday, May 23rd, you will have the opportunity to vote for KEA Board of Directors and Building ARs. Please review the information provided below prior to the election and take the time to vote. Remember, we are a democratic organization; and your vote gives you the power to influence the destiny and direction of our organization.
All ballot boxes must be returned to the KEA by 5:00 p.m., Monday, May 23rd, or the ballots will not be counted.
ANNE KNAPP: CANDIDATE FOR KEA PRESIDENT
(1 POSITION, 1-YEAR TERM)
Anne has been a teacher in Kenosha for several years and is currently a Kindergarten teacher at Grewenow. Anne holds a BA in both Spanish and Elementary Education (K-8) from UW-Parkside. She has served as the current KEA President, has held the offices of Vice-President and Treasurer in the past, and was an AR prior to that. She serves on the WEAC Board of Directors, was the WEAC IPD Committee Co-Chair, served on the WEAC – AFT-W Unity Committee, and has been elected as a KEA delegate to 11 WEAC and 9 NEA Representative Assemblies. She has attended the NEA Summer Academy and several NCUEA Assemblies.
She states: “I have enjoyed and am proud to have been your president for these past few years. As we begin to implement some exciting new changes, I feel it is important for me to be a part of transitioning our professional association into an organization that collaborates with our community as well.”
JILL JENSEN: CANDIDATE FOR KEA VICE-PRESIDENT
(1 POSITION, 1-YEAR TERM)
Jill has been a teacher for 20 years and is currently a First Grade teacher at Pleasant Prairie. She graduated from UW-Parkside with a BA in Sociology and her Elementary 1-8 certification. She also holds a Masters from National Louis University in Curriculum and Instruction. Jill has served as an AR at Prairie Lane for more than 10 years. She attended NEA training in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 2014 and has been a KEA delegate to the WEAC Representative Assembly for 4 years.
Jill believes that “with over a decade of AR experience, I want to contribute my knowledge and passion to the KEA as your vice-president. Educators have the greatest direct impact on the future leaders of government, business, military, and our community. To ensure and maintain the highest quality of education and, thereby, our society, it is imperative that teachers have a respected voice to attract the best educators. As your vice-president, I will work to improve the cohesiveness of our district by sharing the value of having our organization support the voices of those who teach the future.”
MINDY DUFORD: CANDIDATE FOR KEA TREASURER
(1 POSITION, 1-YEAR TERM)
Mindy has been a teacher for the last 25 years, 17 of them in Kenosha as a Kindergarten teacher at Jeffrey Elementary. Mindy graduated from UW-Stout with a BA in Early Childhood Education. She earned her Elementary Education certification from Wisconsin Lutheran College, and also holds a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction – Creative Arts from Lesley University. Mindy has served in many roles at the KEA: 6 years on the KEA Board of Directors; 10 years as an AR, Chair of the Elections Committee for the past two years, as well as serving on the Public Relations and the KEA Scholarship Committees. She served as the KEA’s representative to the WEAC Board of Directors for 2 years, and has attended the WEAC Representative Assembly as a KEA delegate 10 times, and a delegate to the NEA-RA 7 times.
Mindy states that, “I first came to KUSD in 1999 and, to be honest, I knew nothing about the KEA or any other union. I grew up in a small town in northern Wisconsin and the schools were not unionized there. A year after I came to Jeffrey Elementary, I became an AR with encouragement from Nancy Poulson. Nancy encouraged me to get involved, attend WEAC-RAs and, later, NEA-RAs. With each passing year of experience, I could see the importance of having a collective voice and representation at the local, state, and national level.
“Over the years, I have enjoyed and found strength in representing the staff in my building as an AR, elementary concerns as a member of the KEA Board, and KEA’s interests as the representative to the WEAC Board of Directors.
“The KEA is in a time of transition and growth, post-Act 10. I am confident that we will triumph over those who want to label us as “takers on the public dole.” I know that we have the hardest working, dedicated staff any district could hope for. We deserve to be treated fairly and with respect by administration and the community.
“If elected to the position of Treasurer of the KEA, I will continue to be an active voice and advocate for the teachers, support staff, and substitutes of Kenosha Unified.”
TANYA KITTS-LEWNSKI: CANDIDATE FOR KEA BOARD OF DIRECTORS – HIGH SCHOOL REPRESENTATIVE
(1 POSITION – One 2-YEAR TERM)
Tanya has been a teacher for 12 years, the past two as a Special Education teacher here in KUSD, first at Hillcrest and now at Indian Trail High School and Academy. She holds a Masters in Education degree in Differentiated Instruction for At-Risk Learners from Marian University. She is currently an AR for ITA, a member of the KEA Organizing Committee, and was actively involved in the membership drive last summer. Prior to coming to Kenosha, Tanya was a member of MTEA in Milwaukee, serving on their Safety & Discipline Committee and the Safety & Discipline Labor Relations Committee. She has been active in countless actions as a member of both MTEA and KEA.
Tanya “would be honored to contribute my unique experience as a long-time member of MTEA to help the KEA continue and rebuild. The recertification election showed that the union is still valued. I think there is great potential for organizing educators around issues that are important to us all and rebuilding membership.”
KATHLEEN VINCENT: CANDIDATE FOR KEA BOARD OF DIRECTORS – MIDDLE SCHOOL REPRESENTATIVE
(2 POSITIONS – One 2-YEAR TERM; One 1-YEAR TERM)
Kathy has been a teacher for over 25 years, the past three here in KUSD, currently as a 6th Grade English teacher at Lincoln Middle School. She holds a BA in Elementary Education from UW-Milwaukee, with a minor in Social Studies, as well as a Masters from Silver Lake College. She has been a delegate to the WEAC Representative Assembly for the KEA and for the unions in previous districts in which she has served. She has attended several KEA sponsored workshops, and has regularly attended School Board meetings to show her support on issues. She is a tireless advocate for quality public education.
Kathy has been “a public school teacher for more than 20 years. During that time, I have served on numerous committees, as well as leadership teams. I currently serve on the District’s Strategic Planning Committee and on the Talent Development Committee. In my current school, I serve on our Guiding Coalition.
“It is my belief that educators must have a voice at the table when it comes to ensuring success for all students. I would be honored to serve as your elected KEA voice at that table.”
CANDIDATE FOR KEA BOARD OF DIRECTORS – ELEMENTARY REPRESENTATIVE
(2 POSITIONS – Two 2-YEAR TERMs)
At the time of publication, there are no candidates for these positions. Write-ins are welcome; however, please ask the person if they would be willing to accept if they are elected.
JEANINE FERGUSON: CANDIDATE FOR KEA BOARD OF DIRECTORS – ESP REPRESENTATIVE
(1 POSITION – One 2-YEAR TERM)
Jeanine has been an Education Support Professional in KUSD for the past three years at Indian Trail High School and Academy working with special education students. She attended Gateway Technical College and earned her Paralegal Certification form Carthage College. She currently serves as an ESP AR for the KEA and has been very active in a number of KEA activities and initiatives over the past two years.
Jeanine has “always been an advocate for labor organizations and fair labor practices, as well as a strong proponent of public education.
“To the position of the ESP Representative to the KEA Board of Directors, I would bring many years of experience as a member of a labor organization, years of experience as an ESP in KUSD, and many years of experience as the parent of KUSD students. I have an appreciation for the work and dedication of our teachers and my fellow ESPs. I hold them in the highest regard and welcome the chance to work cooperatively with other KEA Board members to see that their interests are served.”