I am proud to be a member of PEI, and impressed with the quality of “action” that takes place through the organization. Between your support for Lynnville-Sully’s transition for our independent Local, your support in the bargaining process, to the Leadership Seminars and Annual Conferences, I feel like I am a part of something where I can be heard, and action will take place based on those thoughts. Beyond those benefits, I have not even mentioned the Liability Insurance, Legal Representations, PD Awards and Scholarships, etc. And did I mention the $240/year?! This is an outstanding organization!
Jeff Corbett — Lynnville-Sully
I was completely taken aback by an unexpected situation last year but I have learned a lot from having experienced it. I am glad I had PEI there to help me through it. Those issues from last year have now blown over and everything is going well again this year. I tell everyone I can about PEI and how well my situation was handled.
Kory Staff — South Tama
Your promptness and concern is rare these days. You give immediate feed back. I cannot thank you enough!
Clear Creek Amana
I also wanted to let you know again how wonderful it has been to have your group with me during this whole process! I had immediate feedback on several items, in person support at meeting and consultations, and good advice along on the way. I am so glad I am a member of such a great group of people at PEI. Thanks again for all the help you have given me over the past few months.
I cannot express enough how much I appreciate Jim Hawkins and Jodie Nation as Senior and Executive Directors of PEI. The support, encouragement and advice were invaluable that I received from these very passionate people. I truly have been blessed through the work of PEI.
The BOEE has dismissed the case against me thanks to your assistance. You were very supportive from conversation one and made me feel like I wasn’t alone and that you truly cared about what happened to me.
Nodaway Valley Community Schools
I want to thank you again for talking sense to me and getting me through a difficult period this fall. I took your advice and spoke to the people involved and things have worked out better than I could have imagined! Thank you for everything.
PEI was a breath of fresh air for me as it offered me the opportunity to focus on student learning while belonging to a professional organization on a more local setting. I do not have to belong to a national group with an agenda I don’t support. With PEI I have found this freedom. Iowa’s state motto is “Our liberties we prize, and our rights we will maintain.” PEI embodies this freedom.
PEI has provided me with a support system of like minded professionals. The step of faith of a few in Indianola has developed into a strong group of teachers willing to stand up for what we believe is right for children and educators as well.
PEI has allowed me to have a voice in issues like RTW. Jim and Jodie work long and hard to keep members informed of issues that matter to us. They have encouraged me to take a stand for what I believe is right.
Indianola Community Schools
Without PEI there wouldn’t be a choice for us individuals that disagree with the way ISEA/NEA is heading. I appreciate the fact that PEI works for education in Iowa. I don’t agree with the NEA getting mixed up with other political and social issues that aren’t related to education. Why would I give my hard earned money to an organization that has an agenda outside of working for the rights of its teachers? I also appreciate the fact that PEI listens to each of its members and asks for our input, regardless of our political affiliate. PEI has affordable dues, they provide protection for me, they are responsive to my needs and local situations and they don’t support any specific candidate in politics. They let me use my own mind and make informed decisions.
Curt and Susan Seehusan
Mason City Community School District
I am very grateful to PEI for the positive ideals and philosophies that this organization stands for. I can with great confidence belong to this organization knowing the integrity of my membership finances are going towards the positive ideals I support both morally and of good conscience. PEI not only has shown to me that it is holding forth the torch for how it positively supports its members but also for what is best for the students we teach.
PEI and its director, Jim Hawkins, were very professional and knowledgeable when PEI came to my assistance in a legal matter between the school district and me. I so appreciate the time and concern PEI had for me and the situation I was in.
Thanks PEI, Directors, and Staff for all your support.
Tony Weiler, Teacher/Coach
Winterset Community Schools
Having a professional organization such as PEI supporting me as an educator and coach is a reassuring feeling in this day and age. PEI serves educators, not special interests. Their only focus is making our educational system more functional and as a member I feel that I have a voice in the future of education.
Cory Willis, Social Studies
Pleasantville Community Schools
I want to thank Jim, Jodie and PEI for all of the timely information they provide to help keep me aware of what’s going on (it is no small chore to keep me aware of what is going on). Because of their efforts, I was able to keep up with “fair share” in the legislature, and as a result of that I was drug into the world of e-mail and now know the names of my representative and senator. The section of the PEI convention July 18th dealing with de-certification may prove to be very valuable in the near future if “fair share” happens to pass this session. PEI’s presence at the straw poll helped open the eyes of some independents that didn’t know about PEI as well as open the eyes of some NEA members who didn’t know about NEA’s social agenda.
As a young, optimistic, naive teacher I found myself paying high union dues with no clue what I was actually a member of, what I was supporting, or how those dues were used. I joined because I was unaware of any other organizations and those who did not belong were not looked upon very well. Years later, I realized PEI was out there and checking into it, I found it to be what I describe as a clean organization. What I mean by that is that PEI doesn’t make political choices for me, but rather supports the issues that I, as a teacher, am passionate about. Education should be about what is best for our kids. Whenever we get into a dilemma at our school, our principal always reminds us about the bottom line question: “What is best for the students?” PEI thinks in those same terms. I have never been interested or tuned in to politics. However, my experiences have taught me that politics enters in to our education system. Whether we like it or not, we have to pay attention to what is going on at that level. Tunnel vision can lead to disaster. PEI does a great job of filtering what is going on so I can use my time to address what is relevant to my situation as an educator.
Winterset Community Schools
As a former Superintendent (25 years) and Christian, I have always been a strong supporter of PEI. My daughter is a member. I am in hopes that more people with my views (conservative) will begin to serve on boards and recognize that professional organizations such as PEI, which focuses on meeting the needs of kids rather than themselves, would help re-energize those educational professionals.
PEI is truly what it says it is: Professional Educators of Iowa. Professional educators are concerned about the education of the children they serve. They make decisions that are in the best interests of students. PEI supports and encourages professional educators without taking up unrelated political agendas. Thanks P E I for being the only true organization for the professional educators of Iowa!
Jack Darland, Jr.
Cedar Falls, IA
I have never been prouder to be a member of a professional organization than when I read the current list of scholarship recipients. Two staff members from my school, neither who are a part of PEI, were recipients. I continue to truly believe that I am a member of PEI, a professional organization, dedicated to the advancement of kids, education, and ALL educators. Your policy of recognizing educators rather than just members speaks volumes to the recipients and to the public. Thanks for reinforcing my faith in this organization.
Upon entering education after the service in 1973, I joined the local, state and national educational organizations and even served as treasurer for a few years in my local. The local was and still is composed of fine teachers.
While in the local organization, I got interested in what was going on in the national and soon discovered their attitude toward abortion which was in support of it. It was not the attitude that I supported so I did not join after that discovery.
And then along comes PEI and they supported the children totally which I understood upon going to one of the first meetings. I sat down for lunch with the leaders and what to my wonderful surprise was that they said grace before the meal. I became more endured to them with that example. (There is a God.) And there is no support of abortion— This is one of my main reasons for staying.
As time went on, I realized how low the dues were and that they did not support any PACs. I remember how the usual state association started that with the bait and switch technique—-we will take your dollar for PACs and if you do not agree, ask and we will give it back. Soon it was in the dues and growing.
Today I still join for the additional reasons:
- Much better insurance (Insurance is the main reason I initially joined any one, and still a strong reason today)
- Low dues and flexible joining
- I choose whom I can support in public office
- Excellent Leadership with service to the members
William M. Grothus
Pleasant Valley Community Schools
When I started teaching 25 years ago, I was invited to join ISEA/NEA. With each passing year, I started to pay closer attention to the state and national unions’ political stance. That is when I came to the conclusion that the union no longer represented my values. In 1999 my husband heard Jan Mickelson on WHO interview Professional Educators of Iowa’s director, Jim Hawkins. I was encouraged to find out more about the organization. Professional Educators of Iowa gave me a choice, a choice I could not pass up. It offers better benefits than IEA/NEA. More importantly, it is not politically driven. The focus is on better education for Iowa’s students. I am proud to say I am a PEI member.
Creston Community School District
PEI shares my strongly held belief that the children should remain the priority in education. When you join the teacher’s union a majority of your union dues are used to support non-educational issues such as pro-gay and pro-abortion rights! When our state legislature attempted to take away my right to work without association with the union, PEI fought a battle to be proud of! With PEI, I get better protection, more professional representation, and I am not supporting political and social agendas that I simply don’t agree with! PEI is an easy choice for me.
Sheryl Leonard, NBCT
I joined PEI because I am a dedicated teacher. I view the student as the most important part of education and do not think it revolves around the teacher. I believe in the “right to work”! I am an independent person and believe in making career decisions for myself. PEI provides me with the independence earned as a professional. I appreciate the group benefits which includes reasonable dues, insurance, and legal representation. I am proud that it is politically nonpartisan.
Vicki Logue, Health Sciences
Norwalk High School
In my 30+ years of teaching, I have not lost my primary focus: Students first. My introduction to Professional Educators of Iowa was an ideal fit with this philosophy that, as professionals, our best interest is to place our children first, without political partisanship and misdirected appropriation of dues towards non-educational and controversial agendas. The added bonus of PEI membership has been the unparalleled liability coverage and legal representation that are necessary in our profession. All this – and more – with the support of dedicated and personable PEI staff!
Iowa City, IA
After our decertification from the union, PEI was a tremendous help as we established ourselves as an independent education association, Professional Educators of Pomeroy-Palmer. PEI continues to be a resource and support for us as a professional organization and for us as individual educators focused on what’s best for students.
Pomeroy-Palmer Community School