It isn’t often that we get to write the accolades of our best friends for public consumption, but that is what I am doing. Becca Ritchie deserves your vote for REA president for so many reasons; a few you may not know about. Yet.
The job of local president is not well understood by many people; in fact, no one really knows how massive it is until you’re in it but based on my years of organizing alongside Becca, no one, I mean NO ONE is better prepared.
Becca knows more about education policy than anyone can fathom. She is so well connected to the movers and shakers in truly wholesome ways. Becca has said ‘I’m not a schmoozer.’’ to which I often answer ‘that says why you SHOULD be REA President’. She’s right, she’s not a superficial schmoozer. She’s really truly the kind of leader that stands BESIDE people giving them the resources, the confidence, and the perfect balance of accountability and encouragement to make you realize the potential you didn’t know you had.
Together Becca and I have organized many events that educate the public about public education. Each time we go through the planning stages, she is the constant, the rock, the knower of all and the one person everyone counts on. That is who she is.
Becca has more respect for democratic unionism than anyone I’ve ever met. And I know a lot of unionists! It would be impossible to count the number of times she has reminded a room full of committed educators that the union CAN and SHOULD hear from them. That their voice is what is missing from the conversation on a broader stage.
Becca is the union; in the face of negativity she calmly navigates back to doing the right thing for the right reasons.
Becca is the kind of teacher that pulls on your heart strings in the movies, except she is for real. She builds up the kids who need it most, in every way possible. Beyond facilitating a compassionate classroom, her building leadership is unparalleled. Becca works tirelessly on leading young people to discover their history and the struggles of social justice movements. She teaches tech skills, masterfully, but always in the context of BEING THE GOOD in the world.
Becca is a leader who never stops connecting people and ideas to better the teaching profession AND our democracy. She listens better than most adults ever could and when she responds it is always with integrity and honesty. I wish I knew how many times she’s made a Google Doc to compile amazing ideas, or a survey to make sure every member of a team has an opportunity to be heard. That’s who she is; she is the coordinator of so many passionate and overscheduled people already, it is time she shows the world what an ORGANIZED local teacher’s union can be.
Becca is the kind of leader REA needs right now; giving her your vote is the right thing to do for our students and our profession.