SRPs from across the state gathered this past weekend to discuss their superpowers and how they would rise to the challenges they’re encountering in today’s schools.
"SRPs Rising" was the theme of the 44th Annual NYSUT School-Related Professionals Leadership Conference and during the 3-day event at downtown Albany’s Hilton, sessions addressed basic issues as well as strategies for building power and respect in their workplaces.
“No matter how tough the times, there’s nothing tougher than SRPs,” Ron Gross, second vice president of NYSUT, told the audience during Friday’s opening session. The conference welcomed 204 participants from 63 different locals, including 84 first timers.
Conference workshops tackled kitchen safety, blended first aid, contract negotiation, effective communication, student engagement, and professional development. Sessions also included numerous opportunities to earn CTLE hours.
During dinner Saturday night the group honored NYSUT SRPs of the Year, Lois Emerick, cafeteria aide and member of North Babylon Paraprofessional/Cafeteria Aide Chapter, and Rosemarie Thompson, school counselor and member of the United Federation of Teachers.
“The members that I represent work tirelessly every day without getting much recognition," Emerick said in her awards video. “I’m extremely passionate about the job and also about how the union can help shape and change us to become better individuals and to provide a better service.”
“We are those dedicated folks behind the scenes who really hold up the school,” Thompson said.
Sunday, NYSUT SRPs presented a donation check totaling more than $3,000 to the NYSUT Disaster Relief Fund to help fellow members impacted by hurricanes, fires, floods and other catastrophic events. The group also collected and donated more than 325 new books to the Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES.