Doorway to leadership - open at the knock

Our Point of View, by MEA-MFT President Eric Feaver
July-August 2014

Want to be a leader of women and men personally and professionally dedicated to public education and public service?

Want to be a leader of folks just like you working hard every day, all over Montana, doing work that matters?

Want to grow into leadership roles in state government?

Want to be the next superintendent of public instruction?

Maybe someday, governor?

If you want to be a leader, to work with other leaders from across our state and nation, to deliberate, debate, and decide on issues good for all …then you can.

Just get active in MEA-MFT. Become a member/leader in our union.

It's as simple as that!

Need proof?

Read this issue of MEA-MFT Today. It's all about MEA-MFT member/leaders past, present, and future who have worked and will continue to work together to build the largest, most progressive union in Montana and add significant value to our state.

Need further proof?

Fourteen members served in the 2013 state legislature. Do you think their engagement with MEA-MFT may have played at least some part in their elections?

Seventeen members are right now running for the 2015 legislature. Many of them will be elected or re-elected. Three additional members are hold-over senators. MEA-MFT members almost always make GREAT legislators.

Four members are right now serving on the seven-member Montana Board of Public Education. The Board of Public Education is constitutionally empowered to make the rules that govern our public schools, teacher preparation, licensure, and professional development. How do you think they got in position to be appointed?

Three members constitute half the membership of the Teachers’ Retirement Board of Directors. Do you think these member/leaders make a difference in the administration of the retirement pension plan we helped amortize and save in the last session? Hmmm . . . how might they have gotten on board?

Or how about our member who serves on the nine-member board of directors of the Montana Public Employee Retirement Administration? Do you think her appointment just fell on her head?

Then there is Denise Juneau, our superlative superintendent of public instruction, the third member in a row of great member/leaders to serve as the most important leader of p-12 education in Montana. Remember Nancy Keenan? Remember Linda McCulloch, now Montana secretary of state?

And how about Angela McLean? Teacher. National Board Certified. Served on the Board of Public Education and Board of Regents which she chaired before Governor Steve Bullock smartly chose her to be the first MEA-MFT member to be our lieutenant governor. Do you think her appointment was just dumb luck?

MEA-MFT member/leaders lead this state.

Many of our members choose to lead from within our union. They run for and hold offices locally; accept appointments to local, state, and national union committees; serve as delegates to our state and national representative assemblies; design and provide member specific professional development; sit on our board of directors; become state officers…doing all these things to position our union as the leader in full-throated defense and promotion of quality public schools and damned good government service for all Montanans.

MEA-MFT is rich with member/leaders, as these pages attest. But we always need, and are looking for more leaders. What about you? Engage yourself, and when you do, opportunity to do more will come knocking.

When it does, open the door, and say YES!