May 18, 2024
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COURTESY PHOTOS/Angela Reyes

Angela Reyes, first grade bilingual teacher at Dillman Elementary, attended the Texas Classroom Teachers Association Convention. Pictured are District 17 TCTA representatives, delegates and presidents of their local CTA chapters.

Angela Reyes, first grade bilingual teacher at Dillman Elementary, attended the Texas Classroom Teachers Association Convention Feb. 10-11. L to R: Angela Reyes (District 17), Susan Vermillion (District 18 – Midland), Christina Johnson (District 16 – Amarillo) and Terrill Littlejohn (former TCTA president – Midland)

COURTESY PHOTOS/Angela Reyes

Angela Reyes, a first grade bilingual teacher at Dillman Elementary, recently attended the Texas Classroom Teachers Association Convention in Austin along with 200 other educators from across the state.

Attendees met with representatives of Texas legislators including legal assistants to discuss teachers’ priorities.

“We talked about TCTA, about what’s really important to us teachers across the whole state of Texas,” Reyes said.

The teachers’ priorities include higher salaries as well as better and less expensive health insurance.

“The schools also feel that a lot of our students need access to better mental health care,” Reyes said. “We’re definitely fighting for the students. Safe schools and library books are also big issues. We also support a 13th paycheck for retirees. We still believe in being a voice for those teachers also.”

However, she said, TCTA is not really on board for school choice.

“This is a system of vouchers that takes money from public schools to fund private schools,” she said. “We don’t really support that.”

The Texas Classroom Teachers Association, founded in the 1920s, is one of the largest organizations to speak for teachers in Texas.

“TCTA focuses on the classroom, on the rights and benefits of teachers and instructional staff including librarians, educational assistants and custodians,” Reyes said.

TCTA retains about 70 attorneys to counsel teachers for legal issues.

“We’ve been ranked the number one lobbying team to our policy makers,” Reyes said.

Previously a District 17 Director at Large, Reyes was elected as the new District 17 Director for the Council at the convention.

“I’m honored to be a voice for our Lubbock area including Muleshoe, Levelland, Martin and Tahoka,” she said.

Reyes credits retired teacher Alice Liles, a former TCTA president, with acting as her mentor.

“She encouraged me to be active in TCTA,” Reyes said. “She told me to be the voice.”

Reyes, who grew up in Farwell, has lived and taught in Muleshoe for seven years. She and her husband of 30 years have four grown children with three still at home.

“We were at the Kalahari Resort in Round Rock, and I took my family. I can’t leave without them,” Reyes said.

Gail M. Williams

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