2013 SVEA Convention

2013 SVEA Convention
Save the Date
March 22-23, 2013

The SVEA’s Spring Convention will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Charlottesville, Virginia
More details coming soon.

Click here for a Call for Presentations if you are interested in presenting.

Thinking about reviving a chapter? Check out these tips!

Reviving a Chapter

Maintaining a successful chapter is a difficult task.  Any chapter should always attract new members, find new community service projects and volunteer opportunities, and maintain a professional aspect through workshops.  If the members become less active, the chapter will slowly start to fade.  What, then?  A motivated member needs to revive a chapter.

Reviving a chapter takes a lot of work—and the longer it has been inactive, the harder it will be to restart.  The first step is planning.  Dealing with logistics should be your starting point.  For example, does your chapter constitution need to be revised? Are you considered an “active” organization at your college or university?  Financial planning is also crucial for a new up-and-coming chapter.  Chapters that have been inactive for any amount of time may have limited funds.  In this case, it is important to apply for a SOAR or CLASS grant.  Pay careful attention to the due dates of the application!  If the SVEA chapter has a bank account, it might be inactive or frozen if it has not been used in some time.  Schedule a meeting with the chapter’s bank to ensure that the account is active.  Furthermore, you need to have a rough idea of what you want to do each month of the year.  As you create a calendar of events, make sure to spread out socials, volunteer activities, and professional development activities throughout the months.
Potential volunteer work requires special planning. It is important to establish relationships with potential community service agencies and coordinate events for members to attend well in advance.  Members of the Student Virginia Education Association LOVE kids, so make sure the projects involve kids! Also, if there is any memorabilia that needs to be ordered, do it during the planning stage.  The University of Virginia chapter had to revive its chapter in the fall of 2012. Before the school year even started, the co-presidents did all the planning together, drafted the SOAR grant together, and ordered all memorabilia such as cups, pencils, silly bands, and t-shirts.

After planning out the year, the new goal is to attract members; a chapter is worthless without motivated members.  Conduct numerous membership drives, advertise, speak at education classes, and make a website: do anything to get the name “SVEA” out there.  This year at the University of Virginia many steps were taken just to attract new members.  The first action taken involved conducting a fall membership drive.  The co-presidents attended the Activities Fair to pass out flyers (which were drafted during the planning stage) and offer future members to sign-up to receive more information.  Another way to gain members is though advertisement.  Be aware of how your campus advertises.  For example, at the University of Virginia, students often chalk the sidewalk and hang a bed sheet in the amphitheater so students walking by will notice.  However, if your school usually advertises through fliers, find the best spots to hang them on campus!

Once potential members have shown interest, the next step is to reel them in.  The best way to do this is to make the meetings fun.  Do not spend one hour lecturing them; the members will be miserable.  The keys to a great meeting are food and games.  Food is the best way to draw members to a meeting, so make sure the members know food will be provided!  In the beginning of every meeting, play a few icebreaker games that will get the members energized and excited.  At the end of every meeting, have a raffle (this is a good way to make sure members will stay until the end of the meeting).  These steps can ensure that every chapter knows how to entice and excite members.

The final step is to keep the members active and involved.  This is tricky, because not every member has a lot of time to devote. Make sure your chapter offers many volunteer opportunities with a range of time commitments.  As previously mentioned, it is best to have opportunities that involve kids because all future teachers love children!  To keep members active, follow the steps of keeping a meeting interesting and create bonding opportunities for members through socials!  The closer the members are, the stronger the club. Although volunteer work is an important part, the SVEA is still a professional organization.  Provide the members with workshops that interest them.  While you are completing all the aforementioned steps, keep the records organized in your chapter standards binder, and be sure to bring the binder to the convention in the spring! 

If you want a more detailed description of how to run the BEST SVEA chapter, CLICK ME!!

Welcome Letter from your Board of Directors 2012-2013!

Ready for a new year as part of SVEA? So are we! Take a minute to read a welcome letter from your President (click on image to maximize).

George Mason University SVEA Reactivated!

The GMU Chapter SVEA had their first organizing meeting in May 2012 with Tami Sober (VEA Staff). The newly activated chapter generated ideas of organizing, recruitment, and activities.The Manassas Education Association, Fairfax Education Association, and Prince William Education will assist the chapter and foster a partnership. 

The new GMU Officers are:
President - Allie Forkell
Vice President - May Awad
Secretary - Amanda MacIntosh
Memebership Committee Chair - Kathleen Pine
Chapter Advisor- Eva Nolan

President Forkell states "George Mason's SVEA is starting off and cannot wait for the Fall 2012 semester! We are especially excited to work closely with the NVCC SVEA chapter since we are close and can involve the community. Our new members and board are very motivated to start reaching out to more students and our community. We are thinking outside of the box and cannot wait to be more involved!" 


Attention SVEA members and all college students:
You may have heard on numerous news programs, the interest rates on Stafford Loans (which most students have) are set to DOUBLE on July 1st if Congress does not take action to extend the lower rate. We encourage you to cyber-lobby congress.


The fixed interest rate on federal subsidized student loans, held by nearly 8 million college students, is set to double on July 1 – from 3.4 to 6.8 percent. President Obama has asked Congress to block the rate increase. This week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) introduced the “Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act” (S. 2343). Learn more.

Take Action Today: Tell Congress to act now to stop student loan interest rates from doubling.

And in case you missed this on Jimmy Fallon...Obama Slow Jammin’ Student Loans: 


July 24-26, 2012

In a year when we’ve seen teacher evaluations tied to student test scores, weakening of educators’ due process rights, and continued assaults on public education funding, it’s time to come together!  We no longer have the luxury of being too busy to address the dismantling of public education as we know it. If you are sick and tired of higher stakes combined with fewer resources, join over 300+ of your colleagues this summer to develop the skills we need to strengthen the movement to Take Back Our Profession! 

We are hoping many emerging SVEA leaders will join us at the Reggie Smith Organizing School and learn how to help us take back our profession!

The conference registration fee for SVEA is  $25.00. 

$25.00, includes two nights lodging (single dorm room), all meals, conference fee and materials.

 Keynote speaker Michael Gecan
Michael Gecan, an organizer with 35 years of experience and the author of Going Public: An Organizer's Guide to Citizen Action, will talk about how ordinary Americans accomplish extraordinary change-not by playing the victim but by wielding power against power. Gecan contends that in a world of power politics, where decisions are based on mony rather than moral, ethical or research-based principles, we must stop making speeches about what politicians and administrators "ought" to do, and instead spend our time building the power to create change. He's written a manual for those who want to learn what it takes to make it happen. Come hear his pragmatic and profound approach to organizing!

Registration deadline is June 22, 2012

More details click here


Lawmakers in Richmond were prepared in January to end the
practice of Continuing Contracts.

● Every teacher who had already passed their probationary
period would have been subject to firing, with no reason
given, every 3 years when their “term contract” ended.

● The probationary period would have been increased to 5 years.
VEA’s lobby cadre, which includes representatives of every region in the state, and
thousands of individual members went to work.

● Thank you to those who made thousands of phone calls and sent thousands of emails
to legislators urging defeat of these bad bills.

● After fighting for and winning amendments protecting teachers already under
contract, we kept the pressure on and eventually succeeded in killing the bills in this
legislative session.


Legislation attacking Continuing Contracts will be back next year, as will bills to cut your
retirement benefits.

● We stood together this year and beat back their efforts against educators! We need
to be ready to do more of the same next year to protect our rights. What can you do?

Become a VEA Cyberlobbyist today! Visit www.veanea.org/home/521.htm

● For more information, contact VEA 
VEA: (800) 552-9554 
How House Bill 576 & Senate Bill 438, Currently Before the State Legislature, Will Impact Virginia’s Future Teachers

This year identical bills have been introduced in Virginia’s state legislature that will impact Virginia’s future teachers.

The following is a brief explanation to share with pre-service teachers and colleagues so that students and professors can contact their state legislators and ask them to oppose these bills.

The McDonnell Administration wants to eliminate continuing contract for teachers completely but faces constitutional difficulties. Therefore what most likely will happen if HB576 and SB438 passes, will be a two-tiered system where current teachers will be grandfathered in and new teachers entering the profession will face the following:
  • New teachers entering the profession will have to complete 5 years of probationary service, an increase from the current 3 year probation.
  • After a 5 year probationary period if a teacher receives a “Continuing Contract” it will last for 3 years. After those 3 years are up a teacher could be denied a new 3-year term contract without a hearing or a proof of cause. In other words, there is no due process and a teacher could just be told she or he will not be given another 3-year term. The bill specifically reads: “no reason is required to deny a new term contract.”

 Improving teacher evaluation and professionalism is a laudable goal. But putting teachers on term contracts subject to renewal without good cause does not improve the teaching profession or benefit Virginia students.

Please contact your legislators and urge them to vote NO on HB576 and SB438. You can identify and locate your legislators (and send them a pre-written letter if you choose to do so) by using the following link

The bills may be up for a full vote any day so act now!

New SVEA Chapter is reignited at the Northern Virginia Community College Manassas Campus.  New SVEA members pose here with the Manassas Education Association President Kellie Blair-Hardt