GPEA Newsletter

April 2016 Volume 21 Issue 1

GPEA Information Survey

Below is a link to a short survey with some general questions. This is designed to give your GPEA leadership some insight into topics relevant to our membership. Do not read too much into the questions as they are primarily fact finding only. It is, however, important that you answer all the questions thoughtfully.
GPEA Survey

Please take a few moments to take this very short general survey for the GPEA. ALL responses are anonymous and for GPEA use only.

GPEA Election - Tuesday April 19, 2016

This year you will be voting on several officer positions as well as the updated and amended GPEA Bylaws and Constitution. We were long overdue for a completely amended set of Bylaws and Constitution. The MEA Governance committee approved our changes in March and now the membership must vote on the final changes. You MUST be a member in GOOD STANDING NO LATER than Saturday, April 16th to vote on the GPEA Bylaws and Constitution and for the officer positions . Please call MEA Local 1 at 1-800-930-4950 to make your dues current.

Major changes in the GPEA Bylaws and Constitution are as follows:

"Members in good standing" is now substituted for "dues paying member" in the entire document.

Pg.6 & 10 speak to "Election by Acclamation" (if someone is running unopposed they can be declared the winner by a vote of the executive board) and Electronic Voting. Electronic Voting also clears the way so "absentee voting" is no longer a problem. If we remain with the current method of voting - there is no provision for "absentee." To be clear - we have the OPTION to choose electronic voting - we don't have to do it if we decide against it.

Pg. 8 & pg. 9 speaks to some legal terms regarding an impaneled bargaining team and clarifies that we can develop our own voting procedure as long as it follows MEA guidelines (good standing, open nominations, anonymous, oversight committee, etc.)

Below is the link to the entire document:

Your ballot will reflect a "Yes" or "No" vote to change and update the GPEA Bylaws and Constitution on Tuesday, April 16th.

Executive Board Nominees:

Candidate Biographies:

Office of the President

My name is Mike Rennell and I am the current VP of Rights and Responsibilities. I would like to tell you a little bit about myself.

Personal Information:

-Father of four- three graduated from South, one currently at South

-Teacher in the district for eleven years

-Have taught at Parcells, North, and South

-Double certified in science and social studies- have taught 13 different courses

-Head AR at South

- Class of 2016 advisor, Quiz bowl coach, past girls golf coach

Previous occupations:

-Small business owner with complete responsibility for profitability

-Regional manager for restaurant chain responsible for over $30,000,000 in sales and profitability, and analysis of budgets to ensure profitability goals were achieved

Qualifications for President

-Current VP of Rights and Responsibilities

-Negotiator for current LOU for sick leave

-Negotiator for the last contract

- Negotiated, along with the team, for the modification of the pre-existing “formula” that was added to the contract in 2010.

-Previous experience enables me to evaluate and provide oversight to ensure the district follows the agreed upon budget plan and meets those targets

- We made concessions that have significantly improved the financial condition of the district, and we need to make sure we reap the benefits of those concessions, as well as working to get some of those concessions back.

-We need a strong leadership team, and I will work tirelessly for all the members of this district

Why I want to be President

-Continue to unite our union through union building activities and through communication

-Continue to strengthen trust between the Executive Board and the general membership

- We need to work collectively over the next few years, not only for the GPEA, but also to elect candidates who are teacher friendly, both at the school board level, and state legislature.

I can be reached at or by phone at 313-715-0555. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

Vice President Negotiations

Name: Christine M. Geerer

Position: Vice President for Negotiations and Crisis

My primary goal, as Vice President of Negotiations and Crisis, is to work closely with the President of the GPEA to foster a collaborative, business partnership with the Board of Education and Administration. Looking ahead to future negotiations while keeping an eye on the past, I will begin laying the groundwork now to move our GPPSS educators into the most advantageous bargaining position possible. As a long time Federal, State and Local advocate for public education I am keen on keeping our teachers up-to-date on legislation as it affects us in our professional lives here in the Grosse Pointe Public School System. As you may be aware, recent legislation has limited our ability to negotiate. One of my major focus areas includes monitoring and interpreting current and future legislation and encouraging and enabling GPEA member input to effect change. It is critical to monitor any changes in district funding and expenditures with the goal of preventing future pay cuts. Lastly, I will ensure that the MEA is providing us with the full support and legal counsel to which our members are entitled.


Michigan Administrator Certification K-12

Michigan Teacher Certification, K-5 all subjects, 6-8 Math and Science


Master of Educational Leadership, Saginaw Valley State University, 2002

Summa Cum Laude

Bachelor of Science, Wayne State University, 1995

Summa Cum Laude

Paul Douglas Teaching Scholarship

Galileo Institute for Teacher Leadership, Oakland University, 2009-2011

Academy for Learner Diversity, University of Virginia, 1998 and 2002

Summer Teacher Institutes, Michigan Technological University, 2009 – 2014

MiSTAR Science Curriculum Team, Michigan Technological University, 2015-present

Leadership Experience

• Science Department Chair, Parcells, 2014-present

• GPPSS District Science Curriculum Specialist, 2007-2010

• Positive Behavior System Program Co-Chair, Parcells Middle School, 2011-2014

• Educational Program Leadership Committee, 2005-2007 and 2012-2014

• K-7 Science Subcommittee, 1998-1999

• Human Sexuality Advisory Board, 2005-2007

GPEA Experience

• GPEA Vice President for Negotiations, 2013-present

• Building AR, 2008-present

• District Teacher Evaluation Negotiating Team, 2011

• Negotiations Crisis Team, 2005-2006

Teaching Experience

• Science and Math Teacher, Parcells Middle School, Grosse Pointe Public Schools, 1998 to present

• Science and Reading, Lincoln Middle School, Warren 1996-1998

Professional Engagement


• ASCD National Conference, 2008 “Differentiating Middle School Science”

• Michigan ASCD Conference, 2009 “Differentiating Middle School Science”

• NSTA National Conference, 2011, 2012, 2013 “Lake St. Clair, Use or Abuse?”

• NSTA Regional Conference, 2013 “Shipping STEM to Stern”

• NSTA Regional Conference, 2014 and 2015, “Climate Change”

• MDSTA, 1998, 1999, 2000 “Project-Based Differentiation in Middle School Science”

Volunteer Work

Catechism Teacher, 3rd Grade, St. Louis Church, Clinton Township, Michigan 2006-2014

Secretary & Elementary Liaison

Name: Kim Maddalena

GPEA Positions: Secretary and Elementary Liaison

I have had the privilege of serving as GPEA Secretary for the past two years. As Secretary, I have been able to continue representing the members of the Association on the Executive Board. My reasons for running for GPEA Elementary Liaison and Secretary are simple: SOLIDARITY! I would like to continue to work for our members alongside the strong team of individuals that currently lead this district! I have had the distinct pleasure of working collaboratively and professionally for the good of our members with an outstanding group of individuals. These partnerships have resulted in the continued success of the Grosse Pointe Public School System and I look forward to being able to serve the GPEA as Elementary Liaison and Secretary using the experiences and knowledge I have gained while working with the Association.


Bachelor of Science, Eastern Michigan University

Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education, Saginaw Valley State University

GPPSS Experience:

Kindergarten Teacher, 1996-present

Social Studies Grade Level Leader, 2010-present

GPEA Experience:

Secretary, 2014-present

Vice President, Negotiations and Crisis, 2012-2014

Executive Board Member, 2011-present

Bargaining Team Member, 2009 and 2013

PAC Chair, 2011-2014

Head AR, Kerby Elementary, 2004-present

Local 1 NEA/MEA Experience:

MEA Bargaining Conference, 2012 and 2013

MEA Ladies’ Day Conference, 2011

Local 1 Bargaining Workshop, 2013

Representative Assembly (Contested)

Name: Ken Ferguson

Position: RA Delegate

I currently hold the position of TCVI (Teacher Consultant of the Visually Impaired.) In this capacity, I have served both Grosse Pointe and other portions of Wayne County. Additionally, I have provided professional development for Grosse Pointe and Wayne RESA. My union experience includes advocacy for all public educators for two decades. Before coming to Grosse Pointe, I was a teacher and consultant in the Detroit Public Schools. My Detroit Federation of Teachers union experience includes representing professional staff at multiple buildings and strongly advocating for teachers in contract disputes, disciplinary hearings and contract interpretation. I was elected to attend the Michigan AFT Convention as well as participating regularly in rallies to support public education and public educators both in Detroit and Lansing. I look forward to representing the GPEA at the local, state and national level. My goal is to provide strong support for our public educators today and in the future. My experience in the Detroit Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers allows new and fresh eyes for the GPEA and the Michigan Education Association.

Name: Robert McIntyre (I)

Position: RA Delegate

I am happy to be seeking a third term as RA. Representing the members of the GPEA as an RA at the local, regional, state and national levels has been my honor and my privilege. Below is a brief snapshot of who I am:

15+ years teaching (science) for Grosse Pointe Public Schools

- South High School

- Parcells Middle School

Over the years I have witnessed and have done my best to understand the conditions that affect our membership. I take this local knowledge and translate it into being the GPEA’s voice at the regional, state and national level.

2 completed terms serving as your RA

- Two MEA bargaining conferences

- Four NEA national assembly conferences

- GPEA Executive Board

- 3-1G training

- Nine MEA state assemblies

- Michigan Liaison for Connecticut and New Mexico (I communicate with these states on voting positions and encourage them to position with Michigan on national issues)

- NEA Science Caucus

- Nomination Committees, Budgeting committees, Political Action committees, … I could go on and on.

To sum things up, the GPEA membership elects/hires an RA to be the voice of the GPEA on a larger stage. That voice represents the entire membership. It is a responsibility I consider an honor and would like to continue for two more years.

High School Liaison

Name: Barry Mulso

GPEA Position: High School Liaison

Education: BS in Education Wayne State University, MS Secondary Social Studies Education, Wayne State University

Teaching Experience: I have taught Social Studies (AP US Government and Politics, Civics, World History, Sociology, Psychology) at North for 22 years, and four years at Wayne State University. GPN Student Association Advisor 13 years, Close Up Washington Advisor 18 years. Social Studies Curriculum Committees for World History and American Government.

GPEA Experience: I have been an AR for 15 years, and nine years as Head AR,

GPEA Committees: Absentee Ballot Committee, Election Committee

GPEA Executive Board Positions: High School Liaison, 8 years.

MEA/NEA Experience: None




The Grosse Pointe Education Association will be providing a $500 scholarship to a senior student whose parent or parents are members in good standing of the Grosse Pointe Education Association. It is our goal to help a motivated young person with his or her college expenses.

Applicant criteria:

- Cover letter

- Grade Pointe Average of 3.0 or above

- A copy of the student’s transcript

- Demonstration of extra curricular activities and/or work experience

- Acceptance or plans to attend a public or private college/vocational school in the fall

of 2015

- A personal essay that responds to ONE of the following questions:

1. Is your past academic record an accurate reflection of your ability and potential?

2. Discuss your most rewarding nonacademic experience. This could include travel, a hobby, and membership in a club or organization, a cultural activity, employment, or community service.

3. What are the qualities, both intellectual and personal, of an educated person?

4. Discuss the influence of one special teacher in your life.

5. What issues do you believe will most influence education in the next decade?

6. What are an educated person’s obligations to his/her community – local, national, global?

**The cover letter, GPA, transcript, listing of activities, acceptance plans, and essay should be mailed in a 9 x 12 sealed envelope to GPEA Scholarship, 20090 Morningside Dr. Room 204a, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236.

Deadline for all applications: Monday, May 9, 2016

All applicants will receive replies by: Friday, May 27, 2016

Call for Help from Lakeview EA

The Lakeview EA is in crisis and needs support. The parties have been bargaining since December 2014 and working without a contract since 8/31/15. The parties have reached agreement on everything except - the District is demanding that current contract provisions regarding layoff/recall, placement, discipline and evaluation be completely deleted from the contract including for our members holding positions that do not require teacher certification.

Please support the Lakeview EA and join them for an informational picket on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm outside the Wheat Administration Building, 27575 Harper, St Clair Shores (just south of 11 mile road on the west side of the street - very easy expressway access). Picket signs will be provided.

Big image