April 2024

KEA’s 152 Delegate Assembly A Success

President Campbell calls on delegates to help promote, protect, and strengthen our public schools

The 152nd KEA Delegate Assembly was held virtually April 4-5 with delegates attending from across the Commonwealth. The theme for this year’s assembly was Promote, Protect, and Strengthen Our Public Schools.

The highest elected governing body of KEA, the Delegate Assembly conducted the business of the association, including adopting the 2024–25 KEA Legislative Program and 2024–25 KEA Program and Budget. Delegates attending heard comments from Governor Andy Beshear, Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman, and NEA Secretary/Treasurer Noel Candelaria.

In addition, delegates received reports from the multiple standing committees, KEA Retired and KEA Aspiring Educators, KEA Executive Director, and KEA Governance. The delegates were also given a comprehensive report of the 2024 Legislative session. KEA awarded over $50,000 in scholarships to active and aspiring educator members.

KEA Teacher of the Year and KEA Education Support Professional of the Year winners were announced during the 152nd KEA Delegate Assembly. The KEA ESP of the Year and the KEA Teacher of the Year award recognize the outstanding personal accomplishments, advocacy, dedication, leadership, and professionalism of our friends and colleagues. This year’s awards were given to two amazing and well-deserving individuals. Allison Slone, Special Education Teacher and KEA member from Rowan County, KY was awarded the 2024 KEA Teacher of the Year and Marcie Viox, Transportation Specialist and KEA member from Boone County, KY was awarded the 2024 KEA ESP of the Year. Congratulations to our winners. Our honorees will be submitted as Kentucky’s nominees for the NEA ESP of the Year (Marcie) and NEA Teacher of the Year Awards (Allison).

In his remarks to delegates, KEA President Eddie Campbell challenged delegates to join him as fellow KEA leaders to carry back to their schools, districts, communities, towns, and cities a commitment to “promote, protect, and strengthen public education. We must do all three of these things to ensure that every child, regardless of their background, regardless of zip code, has the opportunities provided from a great public education,” said Campbell.

It must be us—the leaders and members of KEA—who are driving the narrative of the precious gift public schools and public educators provide to our students. It must be us who are telling the stories of the success and innovation in our public schools, the stories of the all-embracing child services provided by our public schools, the stories of the learning and growing and thriving that happens every day in our classrooms. KEA, it must be us telling our stories and promoting public education.     

“We must also protect. Protect public education from the forces of neglect, from the erosion of funding, from the shadows of inequality. We must defend the sanctity of our public schools as temples of knowledge, diversity, and tolerance. We must shield our students from the winds of adversity, ensuring that their journey of learning is not impeded by barriers of poverty, discrimination, or neglect. We must be the expert voices in the room in all policy discussions and decisions. We must be active and engaged in the political process because every decision that impacts our students, educators, and public schools is made by an elected group. We must be involved in electing decision makers who will help make our public schools the greatest in the world.  

“We are also called to strengthen. As KEA leaders, we must strengthen public education by building bridges where walls once stood, to light a beacon of hope in the hearts of those who have resigned to the darkness. We must invest not just in textbooks and technology, but in the human spirit, in the boundless potential of our youth. But we cannot do this alone. We must build coalitions of supporters across the commonwealth. As educators, we are among the most trusted individuals in our communities. We must leverage that power, leverage that influence and partner with parents, with business, with community organizations in every community to help us strengthen our public schools.”