Teachers Union President Retires
Sherri Wood may be packing up, but she says the battle over the education reform laws isn’t over. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
BOISE, Idaho -- Big changes are coming to the state’s teachers union.
The head of the Idaho Education Association is retiring after six years as president.
Wood says her biggest battle as president has been the education reform laws.
"The legislation that passed this year was mean-spirited,” Wood says. “The legislation that passed this past year did not have to happen."
The IEA launched a campaign when the education reform laws were introduced, saying they silenced teachers’ voices. They organized marches and paid members' way for them to show up to hearings.
The IEA was then criticized when teachers used school email for the campaign against the laws and students walked out of classes.
"The Idaho Education Association - our members are responsible for some things - but everything we’re not responsible for,” she says. “There were many things that happened in this legislative session the IEA did not have anything to do with.”
Wood says that looking back, they wouldn’t do anything differently.
“Our members came in to testify, patrons came in to testify, we worked the system as available to us. And that’s the reason why the process – when folks were not listened to, that’s when the decision was made to go to the next step.”
The IEA’s next step is to recall the reform laws next year. The referendum vote will be on the ballot in 2012.
“I see great kids, I see teachers working against all odds,” she says. “I see great things happening and I just hope that with all the stuff that’s happened that they’ll carry on.”
Penni Cyr, a teacher from Moscow, starts next Monday as the new president.