I have a lot of mixed emotions as I finish my third and final year as your Guild President, some I’ll keep to myself, and some I will share here.
I’ve said this many times during my tenure, but a reminder, this job is not done alone. I may be the face, but my Exec is the body, heart, and soul. I have been served by a kind and compassionate executive committee who have helped me in more ways than I can count. I do not have all the answers; for example, I should know our contract backwards and forwards, but I rely not only on the search feature of the PDF, but I also lean on my fellow Exec members to help me with finding persnickety parts and with interpretation. I am beyond grateful to have served with these amazing colleagues: Julie Gamberg, Juliann Wolfgram, Cindy Pollack, Caroline DePiro, David Hassett, Mike Scott, Roger Bowerman, Maite Peterson, and Andres Cruz, who will all continue their roles in 2023-2024 with your next fearless leader, Rich Kamei. I also have deep appreciation for past Exec members John Fuhrmann, Rich Cortes, Nune Yeganyan, and Nare Garibyan. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! I’m the only part of Guild leadership that is changing next year, so know you are still in incredible, capable hands.
Our negotiations team is FIRE. The pandemic kept our negotiations team and our stellar Chief Negotiator, DOCTOR Caroline DePiro (make sure you congratulate her when you see her next!) extremely busy keeping all of us safe. Keeping us safe and well was A LOT of work which caused quite a backlog of reopeners. This fall and spring, that backlog has been addressed and then some. I not only want to recognize our team Mike Scott, Jason Bender, Denise Leong-Brattain, Cindy Pollack, John Lynch, Roger Bowerman, and Paul Vera, but also the District’s team and chief, Vice President of Human Resources, Brittany Grice. Thank you for making faculty a priority, for helping us negotiate through some really gnarly issues, and for being open to some of the best interest-based negotiations I’ve seen in our system.
I’m humbled by the volume of work that so many of our colleagues do to make our campus an all-around awesome place. Sitting in on every Board of Trustees meeting since June 2020, I’ve seen just incredible presentations on the work that our colleagues do on the behalf of our students and to make us better teachers. I cannot WAIT to participate in more professional development that is NOT union related so please keep offering it!
But… tired (not technically an emotion, but felt nevertheless).
As many of you heard at the April membership meeting, after this summer, I will not be returning to Guild Exec as Past President, which is tradition. I’m not a super traditional person (I mean, you have seen me, right?) but it’s not because I’m trying to buck the tradition just to buck it, but I sincerely need a break and to refocus on my little and slightly neglected art history department. I’m thrilled to be getting a new full-time colleague and believe my energy is best served guiding a new member of our GCC family through their first year of tenure and developing new curriculum for our students. Don’t worry. I’ll make sure they become a Guild member.
If you ever pass a darkened classroom in the Tongva building, peek in and you might see me waxing poetic about Baroque artist Artemesia Gentileschi, grossing students out about Michelangelo’s poor hygiene, or discussing representations of power then and now with portraits by Hans Holbein and Kehinde Wiley.
I wish you all a restful, relaxing, and rejuvenating summer.
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