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					                 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE                                                                                            February 2009

  January has come and gone, leaving us with five school days                             TELL Maryland what you think!
missed due to inclement weather. Now the crunch is really on to
prepare students for MSA and HSA testing, but I know our                         All teachers, principals, and other certificated school-based
capable staff is up to the challenge.                                          personnel are invited to participate in TELL Maryland, a 30-minute
  Another challenge during the month of February will be to                    online survey designed to provide you and your colleagues, as
assess the impact our members make on our state legislature.                   well as state and local decision-makers, with valuable data about
Maryland’s education system has now achieved the number one                    teaching and learning conditions.
ranking by Education Weekly. We must still make our voices                       This confidential survey has been used in other states to
heard. Hopefully, Maryland will receive some funding (about 3.2                generate important education policies and improvements. In
billion over 2 years) from President Obama’s stimulus package to               Maryland, it’s sponsored by Governor O’Malley, MSTA, and a
the states. A major portion of this money will be earmarked for                broad coalition of individuals and organizations.
education funding. However, we must make certain our local                       You should be receiving a secure access code at your school,
legislators hear that education funding is critical to student                 which you can use to take the survey on a computer at any
achievement in Allegany County. We need educators to ride the                  location with internet access anytime between February 18 and
bus to Annapolis on Monday, February 23, 2009, to speak with the               March 18. The TELL Maryland (Teaching, Empowering, Leading
Western Maryland Delegation and voice our concerns about                       and Learning) survey asks for your input on the teaching and
education issues such as collective bargaining rights and our                  learning conditions in your school, in areas including Facilities and
pensions.          Please    contact   the     ACTA      office   or           Resources,      Student    Conduct,     Community      Engagement, to reserve your seat on the bus. We leave                  Empowerment, School Leadership, Professional Development,
LaVale Plaza at 3:45 that Monday. Dinner and snacks will be                    Student Learning and New Teacher Support and Mentoring.
provided.                                                                        Your anonymous voice will influence state and district policy
  In this issue of the ACTA Reporter you will find information about           affecting public education. And you and your colleagues can use
upcoming ACTA elections, negotiations, the MSTA Group                          the data to make real changes to benefit everyone in your school
Processing Skills Workshop and the Teacher Technology                          and worksite.
Initiative.                                                                      Don’t have a code? Need more information? Contact your
  Although we face tough economic times, we must continue to                   building representative for details.
press home the idea that progressive education is the way out of                                               _____
the economic crisis. As Lily Eskelsen, Vice President of the NEA                               ACTA Elections Timeline
recently stated at the NEA Mid-Atlantic Conference in Charlotte,
NC: “The American economy is sick. Quality education is the                      Janice Pacelli of Washington Middle School will chair the ACTA
medicine. This is no time to skimp on the medicine.”                           Nominations and Elections Committee for 2009. The timeline for
  Have a great February, even though the groundhog has                         elections is as follows:
predicted six more weeks of winter!                                                  Nomination forms for the following offices:
                                                                                              Regions 1 through 7 Directors
Debbie Pappas                                                                                 MSTA Delegate(s)
Debbie Pappas                                                                                 NEA Delegate(s)
ACTA President                                                                       Nomination forms out to schools by week of January 26,
                                  _____                                                  2009.
           Group Processing Skills Training                                          Nomination forms returned by February 6, 2009.
                                                                                     Nominations accepted from ACTA RA on February 9,
               March 13 – 14, 2009                                                       2009.
                                                                                     Ballots out in schools by week of February 16, 2009.
   The Women’s Leadership Training Cadré is offering Group Processing                Ballots returned Friday, March 6, 2009.
Skills Training (GPS) Friday and Saturday, March 13-14, 2009, at the
                                                                                     Ballots counted week of March 9 – 13, 2009.
Harbourtowne Resort, St. Michaels, MD. Dinner will be served at 5:30
p.m. on Friday, and the first session of the training will begin promptly at         Chairperson will notify President of election results who
7:00 p.m. The training will end on Saturday, March 14, 2009 at                           will notify candidates.
approximately 4:30 p.m.                                                          If you are interested in representing ACTA as a delegate to the
  The Group Processing Skills (GPS) Training provides fundamental              MSTA Convention in Ocean City in October 2009, your name must
communication and decision-making skills necessary to develop a more           be submitted for this election. In order to become a delegate for
effective working relationship with others. The workshop activities are        the NEA Annual Convention from July 1 – 6, 2009 in San Diego,
designed to improve skills in listening, attending and responding to the       CA you must also run in this election. The ACTA will send two
needs of others. This workshop is an effective model for helping diverse
                                                                               delegates to San Diego. If you have not received a nomination
groups to establish common goals, and is designed to include members of
all racial/ethnic backgrounds. Men are highly encouraged to attend.            form and would like to run for election, please contact the ACTA
  Friday’s dinner, breakfast, lunch, and overnight lodging (double             office by 4:00 p.m. on Monday, February 9, 2009.
occupancy) are provided. Singles are available for an additional $75.00.         Why not consider running for Regional Representative? The
  To register, contact by Wednesday, February              ACTA is your Association.
11, 2009.                                                                                                        _____
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                                                                                            GOING GREEN
                                                                        Congratulations to Mac Sloan, biology and environmental
  The ACTA and the Allegany County Educational Services               science teacher at Fort Hill High School who was recognized by
Council along with the Allegany County Libraries and Frostburg        the State of Maryland for initiating a project to reforest the
State University Student Education Association will celebrate Dr.     topography of Allegany County in the George’s Creek area and
Seuss’s birthday on Saturday, March 7, 2009.                          Rocky Gap State Park. Mac and his colleagues are utilizing a
  Open houses will be held at each library from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00    once-dormant greenhouse at Fort Hill to start more than 1500
p.m. The Cat in the Hat will be reading (on the hour) and prizes      trees by using recycled milk crates and tree planting tubes.
and books will be given to participating children.                      Mac says he enjoys “being able to go beyond the curriculum to
                               _____                                  instill values, change behaviors, and improve students’ relationship
                CALL FOR PROPOSALS                                    with their environment.” Mac and his students are featured in the
                                                                      January-February issue of MSTA ActionLine magazine in an
                  MSTA Convention                                     article entitled “Going Green.” Mac is the son of Dr. Fred Sloan
                                                                      and the late Kathy Sloan, both former educators in the Allegany
                October 16-17, 2009                                   County Public Schools. He is married to Melanie Sloan, a teacher
                                                                      at John Humbird Elementary School.
  We know many of our members have knowledge and skills they                                         _____
could share with their colleagues.
  Have you ever thought about providing a workshop for your
                                                                                  LONG-TERM SUBSTITUTES
                                                                        If there are teachers at your school who have completed their
  We want you to share your best strategies and tips with                th
                                                                      90 consecutive day as a long-term substitute, they are now
Maryland’s educators. Here are some categories we’re particularly
                                                                      eligible for benefits from ACPS and for membership in ACTA.
looking for…
                                       st                             Please contact the ACTA office at if
  - Classroom Management           - 21 Century Skills
                                                                      you know of someone in this situation.
  - Special Education              - Reading, Writing and Literacy
  - STEM (Science, Technology, - Civics, History and
     Engineering and Math)            Government in a New Era              ANNUAL ACTA MEMBERSHIP MEETING
  -Tips for Mentors, New           - Skills for Educational Support
     Teachers and Career              Professionals                     The Annual Membership meeting will be held in conjunction with
     Changers                      - Cultural Competency              the Rep Assembly meeting on Monday, February 9, 2009, at 4:00
  - Community/Parental Involvement                                    p.m. in the Career Center Auditorium in Cresaptown. Presenter
                                                                      for the meeting will be Richard Smith of NEA Member Benefits
 …However, we also like to provide a variety of workshops in          who will highlight the various programs open to members..
many areas to meet the varied needs of our 70,000 plus
                                                                         Light refreshments will be served. All members are invited.
members!                                                                                             _____
                                                                                             ACTA Website
       Put together a 90-minute to          two-hour   interactive
    workshop in your area of expertise.                                 Check out our newly updated website at
      Fill out the Proposal Form 2009 found on the MSTA                There is a new calendar of events for ACTA and MSTA in an
    website                                           easily printable version. A new link has been added so that
       Send it to Yusuan Smithson at MSTA via email                  members can access various forms as they are needed. or FAX 410-280-9067 by NO                                                _____
    LATER THAN March 30, 2009.                                                        ACTA NEGOTIATIONS
  If selected, you’ll receive accommodation in Ocean City,              The ACTA began negotiations with the team from the Board of
Maryland for one night and your expenses (within MSTA                 Education on Thursday, January 8, 2009. A second meeting was
guidelines) for one day’s travel and meals. (Limited to two           held on Monday, January 26, 2009 where both teams presented
presenters per workshop)                                              issues for discussion.
  Get more information online at                       The ACTA is proposing changes in the areas of professional
                              _____                                   development opportunities, guidelines for the use of the Sick
                   MSTA ELECTIONS                                     Leave Bank, teacher workload, elementary planning time,
                                                                      compensation for licensure, teacher absence procedures and
  Members should be receiving ballots for the MSTA elections the      salary schedule options. The next meeting is scheduled for
week of February 9, 2009. ACTA Building Representatives will          Wednesday, February 11, 2009 at the ACTA office.
have the ballots, which need to be returned to MSTA by February                                   _____
27, 2009. Please exercise your rights as a member and cast your         PETITION FOR WILLIAM (BILL) BROWN
ballot. Many ACTA members are running as state delegates to the
annual NEA Convention and could use your support. Also, those          ACTA received over 100 signatures in support of Bill Brown’s
members from the smaller Maryland counties can usually use the        candidacy for re-election to the Board of Trustees of the Maryland
votes we give them. Allegany usually has the highest percentage       State Retirement and Pension System. Many thanks to the
of votes cast during MSTA elections. Let’s continue to claim that     members who signed the petitions which were mailed to MSTA.