VEA members wrapped up 2015’s three-day convention Saturday in Hampton by passing new business items calling for better accommodations for special education students and those who work with them, policies that protect educators from the misuse of electronic devices in the classroom, and ongoing information and training on changing systems of teacher evaluation.
Delegates also left the Hampton Roads Convention Center with a clear destination: the State Capitol on April 18 for the Put Kids First Rally. “We’re tired of hearing the empty talk of politicians when it comes to public education,” Philip Forgit told the crowd. “So we’re going to do some talking of our own on April 18. When they see all of us there, it’s really going to change the conversation.”
Educators and education advocates who took home awards at Friday night’s awards banquet were also announced. Winners were:
· Tonya Hutchinson of Hampton, the 2015 ESP of the Year;
· Kerry and Glenda Eans of Wythe County, who received the Fitz Turner Award;
· The Loudoun, Prince William, and Amherst Education Associations, which received VEA Community Advocacy Awards, as did the Radford SVEA chapter, which will receive their award at the SVEA convention in April;
· The Floyd County, Greensville, and Loudoun EAs, which earned A+ Awards for Membership Growth; and
· The Chesterfield and Loudoun Education Associations, which earned VEA Activism Awards.
Below, SVEA President Sabrina Hayes, a student at Old Dominion University, spoke from the floor in support of the Put Kids First campaign.