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CEA-Retired on the Frontlines of Victory

Many members of the CEA-Retired spent another election season advocating for school board and city council candidates recommended by local units and the CEA. Races were contentious in many places this year due to the increased interest and involvement from various fringe organizations, who supported candidates who ran on divisive issues rather than issues that benefit Colorado students. Despite the many challenges, when we fight, we win!

In the Denver Public Schools Board election, CEA-R member Margaret Bobb spent time volunteering her support for the four candidates recommended by the Denver Classroom Teachers Association. Her hard work, along with many others, paid off and all four were elected. In Aurora and Cherry Creek, we saw the same positive outcomes. Their school boards will be represented by majority pro-public education directors. CARE members Eliza Hamrick and Marilyn Kemp canvassed tirelessly to bring their candidates to the finish line.

JCEA-Retired members pitched in in Jeffco to help Jefferson County Education Association’s recommended candidates win. Lorraine Bowen, Karen Coleman, Julie Friedemann, Dale Gatz, Andrea Luethge, Diana Bliss and Kris Kraft completed a wide variety of activities from phone banking, canvassing, and postcard writing to sponsoring fundraisers and donating money. Jefferson County has not forgotten what happens to a school board when the right people are not elected. BVEA-R supported the Boulder Valley Education Association’s recommended candidates by writing post cards.

Even though retired members worked hard in Greeley and Adams 12, the outcome was not so good. They will be faced with challenging school boards for the next few years. Despite the setbacks, we do not give up. We fight back and we fight back harder. Fighting for public education is what our organization is all about and it will be a fight for the foreseeable future. Those of us who spent years in schools know this, and even though we are no longer in the classrooms we will continue to fight for our friends who are still doing what is best for every child every day.

Lori Goldsein is a retired special education teacher and president of CEA-Retired.

How will you fill your bucket when you retire?

Often when an educator approaches retirement, they contemplate what they will do with the rest of their lives. How will they fill their buckets? Will they continue to advocate for public education? Will they still have a desire to interact with children?

When I approached retirement, I was given a great deal of advice from those who had retired before me. “Don’t worry about what you will do when you retire, it will find you.” Sure enough, it did, and I am just as busy in the world of public education as I was while I was collecting a paycheck. The difference is that it is on my terms. I get to get involved when I want and the way I want. So what have been the options? What options might you consider when you retire?

The first thing I did was join CEA Retired. It’s a one-time thing, less than a year’s dues for an active teacher. It keeps my member benefits intact and opens up many opportunities to stay connected. If you are fortunate to associate with a retired local, your dance card is set.

I like to take opportunities to give back to the profession. I like to do things that advocate for teachers in the classroom, help teachers in the classroom, and join teachers in the classroom for various organizing activities. I enjoy going to the capitol and lobbying for the profession. What better person to do that than a retired educator?

Pre-COVID, and hopefully next year, I regularly give of my time to go into a classroom on a regular basis to help small groups or individual students in their learning. The students I work with enjoy the lady with the white hair coming in every week to work with them. Many of my fellow CEA Retired friends visit the same school. We add a community feel to the culture.

And then there are the state-wide rallies; whether it is protesting a visit from the former Secretary of Education or rallying together for better pay for educators, I’m happy to put on a red shirt and join the masses. I join my non-retired friends and former colleagues and flock downtown.

I may be off the payroll, but education will always be in my blood. As a CEA Retired member, it’s nice to have a group of people that feel the same way I do, in a professional manner. It fills my pro-public education bucket and keeps me young. I hope you will consider joining us when you retire. In case you didn’t know, you can join when you are 45 and pay in four easy installments. Then it is done, you are a member for life.

Needless to say, I still leave time for a round of golf or a day on the slopes during the week, other perks of being retired. Those fill my bucket too.

Lori Goldsein is a retired special education teacher and president of CEA-Retired.