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This year, leaders were able to choose between 11 innovative and timely training programs covering a range of topics including: bargaining skills for a strong voice at the table; communications tools and strategies for new and traditional media; an Emerging Leaders track for newly elected chapter leaders; how to use Member Benefits to help build a strong chapter; “Beyond Test Scores: Why Social Emotional Learning and Continuous Improvement Matter,” presented by experts from CTA’s Instruction and Professional Development department; community engagement and coalition building; school finance and school district budgets; economic justice; member engagement focusing on how to recruit, retain, and engage members; and a track for Charter Educators organizing for a stronger voice in decisions that impact their students, professions and schools.

During his address at General Session, CTA President Eric Heins kicked off Summer Institute and inspired attendees with a heartfelt and powerful address. Acknowledging the forces set on destroying public education and our right to stand together in unions,  Heins called for unity and led a thunderous “I’m sticking with the union!” chant with hundreds in the room.

While the days of Summer Institute were chockful of intensive trainings, there were plenty of chances to meet up with peers and continue to network, build on skill sets, and have fun!

Throughout the week, folks had the chance to meet with elected officials to talk about issues facing their students and communities, join a 5k fun run/walk (planned and coordinated by leaders in the Member Engagement Strand!), take a post-training trip to the Santa Monica promenade, and test out their luck at Casino and Karaoke Night. The Communications and Member Engagement Strands also hosted a “Meet the Press” evening with Mike Myslinski, featuring journalists covering education in various mediums including: Howard Blume from the LA Times, Catherine Gewertz from Education Week, Jade Hernandez from ABC 7 in Los Angeles, Carla Javier from KPCC, and Jonathan Serviss from KNX radio.

Summer Institute closed with a keynote address from California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who gave a heartfelt thanks to educators in the room: “I say thank you teaching me, nurturing and pushing me and letting me be here. The majority of low-income students in our state are out-earning their parents. There is nothing like an education. That kid was me.”

Interested in learning about Summer Institute? Check out these resources:


Main photo caption: Yurii Camacho, Maria Aguilar and Maria Cardenas in the Member Engagement Strand at Summer Institute. Photo by Cyndi Menzel.

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