The final CTA State Council of Education meeting of the school year this weekend was filled with emotion as members expressed their gratitude for outgoing President E. Toby Boyd and excitement for the incoming officers team led by CTA President-Elect David B. Goldberg.
Boyd steps down in late-June (due to term limits) after four years at the helm, guiding CTA through unprecedented challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic. His calm leadership has been a reassuring constant for CTA’s 310,000 members during tumultuous times. In his final report to State Council, Boyd thanked educators for their strength and dedication in the face of extraordinary circumstances.
“They say that what doesn’t destroy you makes you stronger and I really do believe we are stronger today than we have ever been,” Boyd said. “There will be new and ongoing challenges to meet. We will continue to battle attacks on public education, on educators, on marginalized groups and on teaching truth in our classrooms. But I believe we’re in a good place to face that future. CTA is in good hands.”
Goldberg, a bilingual elementary school teacher and member of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), was sworn in as the new CTA President at the meeting’s close, along with incoming CTA Vice President Leslie Littman and CTA Secretary-Treasurer Erika Jones. Littman is a high school history, economics and government teacher and Hart District Teachers Association member, while Jones is an elementary educator and member of UTLA.
“Leadership is service, it’s not a position. So, while it is my life’s professional honor to be your president, it’s really about service,” Goldberg said. “I look forward to continuing to engage with you, to lead with you – not in a position of power over you but in power with you. Onward and upward, let’s keep building the union that we deserve and our students deserve.”
NEA President Becky Pringle joined State Council representatives this weekend, bringing the strength and energy of 3 million educators to Los Angeles, where she surprised Boyd in his last meeting as president. Pringle brought down the house with a powerful speech Sunday morning, saying that she knows CTA members will never shrink away from protecting public education and standing with courage.
“When we are up against powerful forces with you, the mighty CTA, leading the way and joining with 3 million members across this nation, our hearts will be filled, our soul will be replenished and our strength will be renewed,” Pringle said, bringing the entire room to its feet. “Our resolve will never be broken!”
Honors, Observances and Recognitions
State Council took time this weekend to recognize some CTA’s most outstanding members. Dr. Chris Cruz-Boone, a member of Kern Community College District Community College Association, was honored as the 2023 Higher Educator of the Year. Members also recognized the statewide winners of the WHO (We Honor Ours) award, as well as State Council representatives who are stepping down after years of service.
Educators were moved to tears during two powerful video presentations by the Pacific Asian American Caucus and the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues Advisory Committee (SOGIIAC). A similarly emotional video tribute to Boyd featured messages from Gov. Gavin Newsom, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and musician Gregory Porter.
The following members were elected to leadership positions:
Shelly Gupton, member of Elk Grove Education Association, was re-elected to the CTA Board of Directors, representing District E.
Mel House, member of UTLA, was elected to the CTA Board of Directors, representing District J.
Grant Schuster, member of Anaheim Secondary Teachers Association, was elected as the CTA/NEA Coordinating Director.
Frank Mata, member of Corona Norco Teachers Association, was elected as NEA Alternate Director, Seat 1.
Connie Verhulst, member of Fontana Teachers Association, was elected to the CTA/ABC Committee, representing District K.
Loretta Arenas, member of Corona Norco Teachers Association, was elected to the CTA/ABC Committee, representing District M.
Thanks for Everything
In his parting message to State Council, Boyd expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve as CTA president.
“Thank you all for allowing me to spend the past four years in this brave space with you,” said Boyd, who will be returning to teach kindergarten after leaving office. “Thank you for working side by side. Thank you for entrusting me. Thank you for the work I know you will carry on well into the future. You’re a fantastic body of educators and activists; the future of public education is in good hands.”
State Council of Education will meet next Oct. 20-22.