the election and our responsibility as educators…

Please consider the following: download

First, a lil announcement about an event this Thursday 10.20 – Come to your OEA legislative reception on October 20, 2016, at the Sheraton in Cuyahoga Falls. At this event, we hear from local candidates about their views on public education and enjoy some light hors d’oeuvres and drinks (at your cost, drinks only, I think, those me might be included as well, but i digress, if there is a cost I will buy…:-)).

And now the heart of it all…I feel compelled to speak to you regarding the upcoming election. Remember, there is NOTHING about your professional life that is not directly impacted by politics and elected officials. I understand this is a touchy subject for some, however, I feel compelled to point out a few things and offer some food for thought. First, a point of self-disclosure: Generally, I am not quite this pointed in my remarks regarding politics to such a broad audience. I feel, though, that our profession hangs in the balance a bit. I don’t think I am the boy crying wolf here. True, I am a little more ensconced in all this than others as I attend things all around the state that speak to the issues that follow. With that said, I hope that I have earned some measure of trust the last few years and that you will consider my remarks. I am not drinking ALL the Kool-aid from these meetings, but it’s important that you have a brief history of what has transpired here in Ohio to provide some context about things that directly impact YOU and your day.

Let’s think back to about 2010. Here in Ohio, republican governor John Kasich was elected to office, voted in by many of our members around the state of Ohio, either directly, or indirectly by not voting. When the republican governor took office, he cut taxes to the upper classes and put a strain on communities.

YOU got a pay freeze that you will never get back.

Under this administration YOU also got OTES, SLOs, Value Added, and a host of other strains put on YOU as an educator.

Let’s also not forget the Charter School drain that has siphoned off billions in public money here in Ohio from taxpayers into the pockets of private companies…local tax money that should be supporting YOUR students and OUR schools. Those students then end up back in your classroom, often far behind your current students, only to then to figure in to your evaluation at some point. Check Nordonia School here

YOU also had the fear of Senate Bill 5, and the de-funding of all public unions, including police and fire fighters.

All since 2010, under a republican administration here in Ohio.


During this time, Ohio developed into a state with four cities with the highest rates of child poverty in the top 14 in the U.S. Youngstown was rated first. Poverty impacts education…period! Check out the OEA Commission on Student Success to better outline a comprehensive vision for Ohio’s schools.

With all this said, I want to be clear: We need to support candidates that support public education, whether they are Republican or Democrat, and OEA–and I–has done just that. The organization supported R candidate Frank LaRose here in Summit County; he understands the dynamics of public education. I have talked with him in person.

I am not intending to vilify an entire party. However, our state’s history speaks volumes.

Fact: The R side of the spectrum tends to favor privatization of public life and accountability through testing period. There is currently a bill in the Ohio senate (dominated by R) that seeks to have every government agency “prove” it is worth the funding it receives. How will state parks prove their worth? How will ODOT prove itself? If these agencies cannot meet some as of yet unknown metric, they will be eliminated, likely opened to the highest bidder in the private sector. We as educators surely know the meaning of this. What happens to those jobs and tax payers? All while we are still forced to pass tax levies to support schools? Threatening, fear-based politics, plain and simple.


A President Trump will double-down on all this–he has said so. He wants to create more Charter Schools, and deplores your right to bargain collectively. He has said so. In every state where they have “right to work” the median wages have gone down. He will appoint members to the Supreme Court that will surely vote to take your collective bargaining rights away. When that happens your wages will go down over time as well. Your retirement and health care also will be impacted. On top of all these obvious reasons that impact your profession, there are all the other comments and remarks made by this candidate. The media has covered all of those things enough. Ask yourself, do we want this to be the model for our students? Just this week there was a forum on “The Trump Effect” in our public schools…bullying and things of this nature are on the rise within our buildings around the state of Ohio.

I have heard our own members here and around Ohio say things akin to “I don’t like either candidate.” This is not really about the CANDIDATE–it is about the IDEAS SURROUNDING the candidate. On the whole, Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party have been tireless champions for students and education in recent years. Their values on social justice and the like mirror what we deal with in our classrooms every day.

Is any of this perfect? Far from it.

But your future and the future of public education hang in the balance.

Please consult your Ohio Schools magazine this month for all the candidates up and down the ticket that support public education. Two come to mind–Ted Strickland for Senate and Casey Weinstein. I have interviewed Casey personally. He is a great candidate if you live in his district.


Get involved. Attend the legislative reception mentioned above. If you live in Portage County, attend the canvas opportunity with other OEA members mentioned to the left (I am also working on one of our own as well, if we can pull it together) so please stay tuned for that). Invest in your future…in OUR future.

Thank you for your time.


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welcome back –


so this post is long over due…was waiting until after our first executive meeting in sept. but we skipped that one to go do some phone canvassing for the upcoming election…here we are and it’s October, so long over due…

wanted you all to know that NHEA is a a 5 star local this year…how do you earn that you ask – well, we have done the following:

sent reps to both NEOEA Rep assemblies – sent reps to both OEA assemblies – sent members to NEOEA workshops – send a rep to Uniserve council – have 25% contribution to FCPE (THANK YOU) – and apply for at least one mini-grant application –

if you were counting we actually received 6 STARS!! – i think we were one of only 4 schools in NEO that received this rating…

much was discussed at our first exec meeting – make sure you attend your 10 minute meetings this week…

just a lil food for thought – more to come…

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spring is in the air…

downloadanother school is sort of winding down I suppose as we all engage in the state tests and the like, NHEA hopes that all is going well for you…

the NHEA teacher of the year has been chosen for 2015-16 – Carol Tonsing has that honor this year – on a personal note…I have worked with Carol since I started teaching here at NHS, she and I hired in at the same time – I can honestly say she surely is a worthy candidate, she is the department head here at the HS and is involved in many other curriculum activities, not only here at Nordonia, but also regionally and even nationally…thanks to Carol for her dedication to the craft of teaching…

please take the survey that was sent out via email – you can also access it here if you like…but you will need to be logged in to your work Google account…

thanks for all your support –


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Union Fair Share Fees Explained

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been awhile…

hello everyone – been awhile since i have updated this site – but here you go…cropped-images-2.jpg

some opportunities await:

  1. please consider attending the NEOEA mega conference – it really is a good conference – I have attended the last couple/threeish years and the session are short and sweet – goes from about 9 -12:00 or so – lunch is optional – and you can get one grad hour…the date is Saturday March 12 at Corporate College (intersection of 480 and 271)
  2. Legal advice/help – if you recall last year NHEA sponsored the retirement planning guys to come for presentations to staff – this year we are arranging a legal present – this attorney is in our attorney referral program through OEA and has worked with out staff in the past he is very education/teacher friendly –  he will be coming around to buildings to talk about probate issues (wills, power of attorney, etc) and domestic law – it will be short and to the point – we will be lining this up with your building 10 minute meetings.
  3. we have another cash mob coming up at Chick Fil A – check your email for deets…download

hope this finds you well – happy new year !!

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NOV elections!!

Hello everyone…download

I trust that those of you that contributed to FCPE have gotten your little token of appreciation from me and OEA for your political action…we need to keep this momentum as we move into November – so please – PLEASE take a look at the attached information

the first link I think is one of the most important – it is the one about Fair Ohio Districts – please take a look – it is Bipartisan in nature and would change how Ohio draws district boundaries – this Gerrymandering of districts needs to come to an end – the party in control at any given time has complete power to redistrict Ohio as it sees fit…the state then lives with this completely party driven decision for the next 10 years…you can find their website here  and a nice flyer about them here along with a lil reminder to teachers about how important elections are to their livelihood!!  You are political just by the profession you choose – TAKE A LOOK.

I have also included a summary of all the issue on the ballot in Summit and Portage Counties – so check it out – there might be issues in your own communities that you SHOULD VOTE ON – so here is an easy way to inform yourself – me and OEA have done the work for you~ for those that live in Cuyahoga Co – I did not have access to that information – sorry…

well over half of all our staff got involved with FCPE – NOW PLEASE GO PUT SOME ACTION INTO PLACE – GO VOTE! – AND YES I AM SHOUTING….:-)

AND…if for some reason you can not make it to the polls – AND you did not contribute to FCPE – it is never too late to purchase a lil forgiveness…:-) – follow the donate to FCPE link to the left…it will also keep me out of your grill…and you won’t have to keep reading these reminders – a win/win for all!

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big thanks…

downloadI want to thank you all for your investment in public education – we rocked it in terms of our FCPE donations – we are up over 100%…!! we went from 27 last year to our present count of 129!!! – these are actual forms in hand – there are even more when you add in any online contributions!!  we met the goal i set and then some – so thank you, really!

wanted you all to know that last Saturday 9/26 i had the chance to sit down with Senator Frank LaRose – we got to talk for about 45 minutes as we “chewed the fat” about education and other social policy…i even “called him out” a bit on some recent votes he cast…hey, someone needs to…:-) – follow NHEA on twitter @nhea2013 for updates…

hope you all have had a great start to the year – i know i have…

see you soon – please stay involved in our association – it makes a difference…and let us know if you need any support – we can’t help if we don’t know.

more cash mobs are on the way – stay tuned!!


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CASH mob success

thanks to all – Pulp was or first stop on the Cash mob circuit – thanks to all that went today…pulp


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my recent article

here is something I put together with Erin Miller that was submitted to the New Leader – hope you agree…


by Nate Loman | President, Nordonia Hills Education Association Published: July 8, 2015 12:00AM

This spring, I had the opportunity to show off Nordonia Schools to a few important people in public education here in Ohio: Bill Lavezzi, the executive director of the Northeast Ohio Education Association; Kim Richards, the president of NEOEA, and Becky Higgins, the president of the Ohio Education Association. While on a listening tour of Northeast Ohio districts, the three of them stopped by Nordonia to talk with a few teachers in two of our buildings, Nordonia High School and Ledgeview Elementary.

While discussing important points in Ohio’s schools, I came to realize that we need to work together as a district and community to better the state of our schools. We need to do what is in the best interest of public education in general and our students in particular.

I see public education as a cornerstone of the democratic process and as of late I am of the opinion that public education is under attack from many fronts. It seems to me those who value public education should find common ground and begin to work together, and I would like to recommend a few ways our community can work together to do what is in the best interest of our students.

The first of these ways is what is being called “Time to Teach, Time to Learn.” This is a movement that is pushing back against all the testing in our schools; we as teachers need time to teach and students need time to learn. I know this was an issue a couple months ago as many in this community had concerns about all the mandated testing. We all know that Nordonia is not the only district in the state that is having these concerns; many superintendents and leaders around Ohio have had similar concerns, and we educators agree.

Numerous community members feel the same. At the Community Expo this past March, NHEA collected signatures from those in this community that have similar concerns. To be clear, we as teachers surely see the value of tests. However, we as educators need to trust their validity and should also be able to process those results to address gaps in achievement. These tests allow for none of this; instead they have created a “gotcha” mentality for our students and staff, especially since the results are not even disseminated to students until the following year. Today’s testing push has even garnered national attention, as USA Today ran an editorial recently about ending the “Test, Blame, Punish” mentality that has taken hold of our schools.

We also all need to take stand against the charter school movement. These schools take away billions in public money from you, the taxpayers, and have no state mandates holding them accountable like public schools do. A local daily newspaper has even done a series covering the lack of transparency in charter schools; these charter schools take nearly a billion dollars annually out of the hands of elected school boards and public districts, negatively impacting educational opportunities for our students.

I am asking that the Nordonia community members to speak out against charter schools. There is a great website called and is part of the Ohio Charter School Accountability Project. Use it to see how much money leaves our district for charter schools. At last check, these schools that score D and F on the Ohio Department of Education rating system take away $300,000 per year from Nordonia students. These charter schools include digital schools, so just because there may not be brick and mortar schools in our community does not mean we are not losing money to charters.

Members of this community want to see their tax money stay within their community and have signed a petition to make their voices heard.

One last item that we need to pressure our Legislature to fix is the school funding system here in Ohio. Our dependency on local taxes has been declared unconstitutional four times by the Ohio Supreme Court. It is time we stop taking this inequity out in our local elections and elect members to the state house from both political parties that support public education. School districts need to plan their budgets without fear of a levy failing. To be most effective, they need a clear picture of their revenue stream. We can help with that if we make our voices heard and reach out to our state officials.

Together we can make a difference. Take action for our students and teachers, and be a proud supporter of the Nordonia Hills City School District.

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