Dear fellow members,

It’s hard to believe it’s only been a week since our schools began to close to students. Through it all, I have been at times overwhelmed, worried, and frustrated. But you know what? I’m also feeling proud, grateful, and not-the-least-bit surprised at the spirit of community, solidarity, and generosity of educators all over this state.

Whether it’s our bus drivers and food service workers making sure food is delivered to hungry students or teachers finding ingenious ways to engage their students in learning, Vermont-NEA members are stepping up and doing what they always do – helping their neighbors and fellow Vermonters in a time of need.

I want to encourage you all to continue the amazing work you’re doing, and the amazing ways you are finding to support our communities. At a time like this, all of us need to pull together. But we must do so in a way that does not put others – especially students – at risk. Your safety and the safety of all must be paramount in all that we do.

We will continue to do our part to ensure those working people on the front lines – doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians, grocery clerks, and others,  including you – are protected and have the safety equipment they need to carry out their vital jobs.

As you are going above and beyond – safely, of course – we’d like to hear from you. Please feel free to send pictures of you and your colleagues along so that we can share these stories with each other and with others. Along with the pictures – which you can email to our communications director by clicking here – please tell us who’s in it, the local association, and a brief summary of what’s depicted in the picture.

I would also encourage you to stay up-to-date with the latest by clicking here. On that page, which is updated frequently, you can find guidance on how best to stay safe during this unprecedented period of uncertainty.

Again, thank you for being there for your students, your schools, your communities, your family – and, most especially, one another. Together, as a union and as Vermonters, we’ll see this through.

In solidarity,

Don Tinney

Vermont-NEA President

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