A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to be the keynote speaker at the PSEA House of Delegates business meeting. While I have had several speaking engagements since becoming the 2018 PA Teacher of the Year, this was by the far the most rewarding of them all. There is something incredible about standing in front of a room filled with 600 teachers who are just as driven to further the profession, stick up for each other and advocate for workers rights.

Throughout the speech, I told my story of union involvement, leadership and the motivation I had to continue. I challenged my colleagues to find a young person who is passionate about education and driven to pursue their career, foster them, almost in an apprenticeship format, and help them rise in local leadership. Involving young people in the collective bargaining process ensures the future of local education associations and PSEA as a whole.