Education Austin Executive Board Candidates
The Certified members who submitted nominations for office, in order of receipt, are below.
My name is Traci Dunlap, and I’m running for reelection to Education Austin’s Executive Board. I’m a Kindergarten teacher at Maplewood Elementary, and work site steward for my campus. I have experience as an Executive Board member, was previously co-chair of Education Austin’s Pre-K organizing committee, and have served on our union’s consultation team. I’m a long-time member of Texas AFT’s legislative committee, and work with Education Austin’s member organizer group. After completing the year-long Ruth Ellinger Labor Leaders School, I became a delegate with the Austin Central Labor Council, and am currently the vice-president of the CLC. I also serve as a regional vice-president for the Texas AFL-CIO. I have consistently advocated for my fellow employees, our students, and our profession at the School Board, City Council, and the legislature, and pledge that I will continue to show up to serve and represent our membership. Solidarity forever!
Special Education Teacher
Hello, my name is Mario Piña and I am seeking re-election to the Education Austin Executive Board. I have been a proud union member since 2013 and have served on the Education Austin Executive Board for multiple years. While on the board, I have served on the dual language committee, members meeting committee, and as the region 11 President for one of our state affiliates the Texas State Teachers Association. I have represent Education Austin on this board for the past 4 years and was elected to the TSTA Advisory board. Locally, I have participated in multiple campaigns to promote respect, raises, and positive changes. I support not only the rights of certified employees, but as well as our classified staff. I firmly believe that without their support, students and communities would not get the help that they deserve. I hope to continue the important work that we do.
Special Education Teacher
Hello union siblings!
My name is Kynan Murtagh. I’m a social studies teacher at Travis ECHS, and a passionate advocate for workplace democracy. In my role as a economics teacher and my campus’ student equity council sponsor, i have brought to bear my formal economics education on the lives of both students and colleagues. i have had the pleasure of teaching students who go into non-unionized workplaces, and have helped some of them navigate complex and distressing conflicts. During COVID, my colleagues and I gained experience navigating the district’s and our campus’ power dynamics. I wish to being those experiences to the executive committee of Education Austin, as I believe a union with leadership firmly committed to democracy and the actual on the ground experience of our members and the communities we’ve served is a powerful force for the social good. Thank you for your consideration!
I am an educator with 16 years in the classroom teaching HS Art. I have a deep love for public education and believe it is vital to have a strong public education system to meet the needs of all students. I have served on the Education Austin Board for the past three years and have seen both the struggles and the successes that can be achieved through the work we do. I hope to continue to serve and be an advocate for my fellow teachers, certified and classified staff as we push for change in a system that is in need of reform.
I’m Jake Morgan, an English Language Arts teacher at Bowie High School and member of the EA Organizing Committee, and I have decided to run for Executive Board to be a stronger voice for those at my campus and across the district. Times are very hard in Austin ISD right now, and there are many reasons to be upset. My vision for the union is one of strength and solidarity: a solid voice for those who are hushed at every turn.
When workers are denied their dignity and humanity, they must turn to each other, and I want to be standing right there next with my colleagues and community. My involvement in the “At What Cost?” Campaign taught me two things: there is a long way to go with this district, but there is a way to make ourselves heard. Our union is very much alive.
I am currently in my 18th year at Austin High School, where I teach ESOL and AVID classes and direct our ballet folklórico program, but I have also taught various levels of Spanish and sheltered English classes.
In Education Austin, I am a current member of the Executive Board, and worked with my fellow members and Ed Austin staff to help our membership us weather the pandemic—as safely and as well-paid as possible. I served on the Leadership Committee and on last year’s Certified Grant Committee through which we awarded grants to help some of our classified members through difficult times. On my campus, I serve on our Ed Austin leadership team, which represents our members’ intersts to the administration, keeps our members informed about Ed Austin iniciatives and actions and advises members facing individual work issues. Additinally, I am the contact person for our school’s custodial team.
I’m Bree Rolfe, an English teacher at Bowie High School where I’ve worked for nine years. I’ve been a union member since 2017 but became more involved over the last two years. I’m currently a member organizer and running for the Executive Board because I have seen firsthand how Education Austin has used collective action to better the lives of students and staff. During the pandemic, it was empowering to witness what can be accomplished when we work collaboratively on productive solutions. I’m committed to leveraging our united voices to make our district reach its full potential. I am eager to foster greater participation and voice from our current members and to recruit new members. As a campus leader, I’ve worked hard to recruit and create a culture where staff feels empowered to make systemic change. I’m inspired by the prospect of doing this work on a larger level. After 16 years in education, I deeply understand we’re stronger together. Our Executive Board has the honor of steering our power to create a district worthy of our students.
Dual Language Teacher
My name is Carmela Valdez and I teach kindergarten dual language at Perez Elementary. I have been honored to serve on the executive board for the past several years. In the last few years I have been a part of writing and passing dual language policy for the district, advocated for teachers and students’ safety when returning to school during a pandemic, and helped lead my school towards adopting culturally sustaining pedagogy with a bilingual writer’s workshop and a cannon of children’s literature. There is more work to do! We need to continue to fight for better representation and equity for our most vulnerable students. There are still many language inequities for our multilingual students. We have the privilege to walk alongside amazing students and staff every day. Together we are stronger! Together let’s make AISD a better place to be.
Special Education Teacher
I have been a teacher for 7 years with the last 6 been in Austin ISD at Martin Middle School. I am running to be on the executive board in hopes of getting more members involved in our union. I believe we have a strong union and our strength is in our members and with that in mind we need to utilize our members and get them as involved as possible. I hope that as a member of the executive board we can help encourage/facilitate our members to increase their activity with the union.
I am currently the Audio/Visual teacher at Austin High School, where I have worked for the past eighteen years. Before working in that position, I was a TA in Special Education for seven years and a Special Education Resource teacher in Social Studies for seven years. I have been a proud member of Education Austin since I started working in AISD. I am running for the position in order to contribute my time, energy and ideas to an organization for which I have a deep respect.