Marietta Education Association active

Each month, an article from Marietta City Schools has appeared in this spot highlighting a different school or topic that is part of the education system with our school district. My name is J.D. Benson. I have served as president of the Marietta Education Association since 2013, and would like to share with you some of the important work that our association does to ensure the success of Marietta City Schools.

Marietta Education Association is made up of 180 members who work together to provide the best education possible for the young people of our district. Marietta City Schools serves approximately 3,000 students in six buildings which include four elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Marietta Education Association is comprised of teachers with a wide range of knowledge and experiences, from those who are just beginning this journey to those who have dedicated many years to the children and communities they serve.

Marietta Education Association works in collaboration with district leadership to ensure that the needs of all students, teachers, and employees of our school system are being met. Our district is driven by a District Leadership Team and each building has a Building Leadership Team. Marietta Education Association is a part of those teams in making decisions that affect all stakeholders. We collaboratively work together to make decisions regarding the running of the district and the education of its students. Some examples of our collaborative work can be seen in the professional development that our teachers do throughout the school year, our school calendar, and curriculum design.

The Marietta Education Association works closely with both administration and community members in a variety of ways to ensure that our school district is attentive to the needs of our students and their families. As members of the community ourselves, we recognize the responsibility inherent upon us to work collaboratively with all concerned to maintain high standards regarding education and academic life and issues.

Because we not only serve the community of Marietta but are also community members ourselves, the Marietta Education Association works in supporting our community in various ways outside the realm of academia. Some of our members own businesses in Marietta; many serve on committees such as the Sternwheel Committee and others; we shop in downtown stores; we eat in local restaurants; we live in the community and we are active citizens of Marietta. We love our town, our district, and our fellow community members, and it is important to our association that we do what we can to support the families of our town. Here are a few ways our Association supports the community. Each year our association helps support our local Bantam League Summer Baseball program by sponsoring a team. Each year we sponsor the Marietta Police Shop With A Cop program. Each year we participate in the Washington County Fair Parade distributing pencils and suckers to parade goers. Finally, each year our association awards a scholarship to an Marietta High School senior who is going to work towards becoming an educator.

Our association also works hard to support our members — the teachers who work so devotedly to provide the best education possible for our young people. Marietta Education Association stays current with legislative laws and mandates, and works closely with administration to problem solve implementation of such. We honor and recognize the professionalism of our teachers with such programs as New Teacher Orientation for teachers new to our district, and our yearly Spring Fling to show our appreciation for those of us who have served our students and are ready to retire. We ensure that our members are held to high professional standards and collaborate with administration in making sure that evaluatory tools are both fair and effective. We support our teachers in their professional development, and help guide our members through the processes by which each teacher maintains updated and current licensing, thereby affording our students the benefits of leading edge instruction. We work closely and successfully with our administrators to make sure that our teachers are treated as the professionals they are.

I have had the privilege of serving as president of the Marietta Education Association for many years. I have worked with several administrators as well as with the teachers whose interests I’ve served. It has always been my goal that we in Marietta City Schools work together with the focused goal of serving our students’ best interests, as well as their families, and thereby help to make our community strong. It is with a strong sense of gratitude and happiness that I can say that those with whom and for whom I work have made my role as president a satisfying and successful one. I am thankful for the support of our administration and our community, and am happy to pay it forward by working hard to make sure that Marietta Education Association supports our teachers. If you get a chance, take some time to make sure you thank a teacher!

J.D. Benson is president of the Marietta Education Association. Education Corner appears occasionally on Opinion.