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TVEA Spotlight at the Governing Board Meeting

Good evening,

I am pleased to share the TVEA Spotlight for May 2022.

Both TVUSD and TVEA have expressed interest in exploring the issue of 2022-23 compensation this month in hopes of a timelier settlement than we saw for 2021-22. TVEA has sent our members a preview of the member feedback tool we will disseminate Friday to compile input for upcoming negotiations.

In reviewing the agenda tonight, and specifically the Personnel Listings, TVEA is pleased to see an expected conversion in the status of thirty-six (36) of our bargaining unit members from Temporary to Probationary status effective July 1. It is reassuring to see the district take action to retain and invest in our newer employees.

May is back to being extremely busy time for TVEA, yet at the same time a rewarding month as it is a time to recognize teachers and students for their outstanding efforts.

Our Leadership Council has completed its selections for our “Advocacy Series” Awards. These awards are based on our conviction that our members are Dedicated and Committed Advocates for Teaching and Learning. Our 2021-22 Recipients are:

DEDICATED: Brian Balaris, Susan Nelson High School Teacher and TVEA Bargaining Committee Chair

COMMITTED: Amy Eytchison, Temecula Elementary Teacher and TVEA Secretary

ADVOCATE: Julianne Dickinson, Great Oak High School Intervention Specialist and TVEA LCAP Committee Chair

PROVEN LEADER OF STUDENT SUCCESS: Kelly Maxey, Vail Ranch Middle CTE Teacher and TVEA Political Action Committee Member

Additionally, last night TVEA Elementary Executive Board Member Anastasia Bortcosh and I presented twenty-two TVEA High School Graduating Senior Student Scholarships at the Temecula Valley Dollars for Scholars Awards Night.

Finally, I had the pleasure of representing TVEA at the Crystal Apple Awards on Sunday May 1st hosted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The church honored ninety-one (91) of our high school teachers who were nominated by students for making a positive impact on their life.

One teacher from each comprehensive high school received the 2022 Crystal Apple Award. Congratulations to TVEA members Luke Leatherman, English-Language Arts Teacher at Chaparral High, Michelle Ingram, Math Teacher at Temecula Valley High, and Natalie Vargas, World Language Teacher at Great Oak High.


On a personal note, this is my final TVEA Spotlight to the Governing Board. My retirement from TVUSD has been submitted and approved for June 10th.

I want to thank everyone for their collaboration over the last eight years while serving as TVEA President.

Delegated to act as the chief spokesperson and advocate for our nearly 1300 educator members has surely been a challenge, yet also an honor and quite rewarding as well.

In terms of what I would want the cabinet, board, and community to know on my way out the door, serving as TVEA President was only one role I played in the district. Nearly 80% of my thirty-five years was spent as a History-Social Science Teacher at Temecula Valley High for ten (10) years and then at Chaparral High for seventeen (17) years.

During that time, I had many opportunities to grow as an educator by serving students and staff such as Coaching both Boys and Girls Basketball for twelve (12) years, serving as a TVUSD Mentor Teacher in both Social Science and Community Service Learning, representing my Social Science Department as Chair, and Teaching Advanced Placement Government and Politics for eleven (11) years. In that time of preparing students for the AP exam, I sought to enrich the curriculum by emphasizing the collaborative study of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights through a competitive mock hearing simulation called “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution”. It was especially rewarding to see students grow both intellectually and in their personal confidence through the study of analyzing these founding documents. Five times our AP class won regional Riverside/San Diego Area Championships and qualified to compete in the California State Finals in Sacramento.

Temecula and Temecula Valley Unified have been good to my family over the last thirty- five (35) years. My wife Rosemarie, who is a teacher in Hemet, and I raised our two daughters here. They are both graduates of Chaparral High and are now successful young women who both graduated from University of California schools and have subsequently earned Masters’ Degrees.

In closing, I had an alternative opportunity to take a job in Orange County in 1987 where I was raised, yet as the poet Robert Frost wrote in the “The Road Not Taken”,

“Two Roads Diverged in a Wood, and I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.

(Certainly the road to Temecula is much more traveled as we speak today!)

Thank you.


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