Dean campaign announces ‘Educators for Dean’

Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean is announcing the formation of a “Educators for Dean” group as the Democrat moves in to the general election phase of the governor’s race.

Dean as mayor and in his time since leaving office has been a supporter of expanding charter schools in the city, a key factor in his failure to land the endorsement of the Tennessee Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union, during the primary (the group’s nod went instead to House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh). Dean is now trying to shore up support among public education advocates as he faces off against Republican businessman Bill Lee.

“Tennessee has made significant progress on public education under Governor Haslam and Governor Bredesen,” Dean said in a release. “We need to continue that progress by ensuring every community in Tennessee has the resources it needs to be successful. This includes raising teacher pay and better supporting the professional growth of educators so that we can be competitive in attracting and retaining the best and the brightest teachers.”

Here’s the full release from the Dean campaign:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 8, 2018) — As teachers and students across Tennessee start a new school year, the Karl Dean for Governor campaign today announced the formation of Educators for Dean.

The group, which is composed of education professionals with a variety of experiences from communities throughout the state, will provide counsel to the campaign on education issues and help promote why Dean is the best candidate to improve educational opportunities in Tennessee.

“Anne’s mother was a teacher and our son taught in Memphis City Schools before going to law school. We know that educators who are in the classroom every day have the greatest insight into what’s working well in our public school systems and what’s not,” Dean said.

Early in Dean’s campaign, he held teacher roundtable discussions in every region of the state as part of his “Jobs & Family” tour. Dean said listening to the ideas and concerns of educators is something he will remain committed to doing in the Governor’s Office.

“Tennessee has made significant progress on public education under Governor Haslam and Governor Bredesen,” Dean said. “We need to continue that progress by ensuring every community in Tennessee has the resources it needs to be successful. This includes raising teacher pay and better supporting the professional growth of educators so that we can be competitive in attracting and retaining the best and the brightest teachers.”

Dean’s education platform also includes expanding access to vocational and technical training programs, similar to what was done in Nashville while he was mayor with the development of career academies in each of the high schools. Dean also supports expanding access to high quality pre-K programs across Tennessee.

“Mayor Karl Dean is the rare combination of a leader with a proven record of commitment to public education and the expertise to know what will help move students and teachers to new heights. He is a grounded, forward-thinking individual who is open to new approaches in education and understands the ripple effect of bettering the system from the bottom up. He is willing to listen to teachers—those in the trenches—and realizes that they need quality resources to provide the best education for our future citizens—the students of Tennessee,” said Penny Ferguson, a Maryville teacher and founding member of Educators for Dean.

As Mayor of Nashville, Dean made education his No. 1 priority, protecting funding for public schools even during the depths of the Great Recession. As soon as the economy allowed it, Dean began investing heavily in Nashville public schools, increasing the school district’s overall budget by 37 percent and providing more than $600 million in capital funds, mainly for school building renovations and expansions.

“As mayor, Karl Dean supported initiatives that were beneficial for the students and the educators which in turn made Nashville a better place to learn, live and work. As an educator, I believe the goal is to leave people better than you found them and that is what Karl Dean will do for the state of Tennessee,” said Jolinea Pogues, Shelby County special education teacher and founding member of Educators for Dean.

Co-Chair of Educators for Dean Penny Ferguson, Maryville, Teacher
Co-Chair of Educators for Dean Jolinea Pegues, Memphis, Teacher

Other founding members of Educators for Dean include:

  • Michelle Bancroft, Nashville, Teacher
  • Murray Benson, Nashville, Kindergarten Teacher
  • Tricia Berry, Nashville, Teacher
  • Sam Brobeck, Memphis, Teacher
  • Vicki Brown, Cordova, Teacher
  • Alana Brown, Cordova, Administration Assistant
  • Amber Buchanan, Madison, Teacher
  • Marees Choppin, Nashville, Spanish Teacher
  • Kathleen Cucci, Nashville, Teacher
  • Ashley Cunningham, Nashville, Science Curriculum Designer
  • Shannon Davis, Jackson, Academic Coordinator
  • Betty Frost, Jackson, Retired Professor
  • Glenda Glover Nashville, University President
  • Rachel Godfrey, Nashville, 7th Grade Math Teacher
  • Katie Hoffmeier, Nashville, First Grade Teacher
  • Mary-Owen Holmes, Nashville, High School History Teacher
  • Tara Hunter, Lakeland, Assistant Principal
  • Brittany Iams, Nashville, Math Curriculum Design Lead and Teacher
  • Marcus Johnson, Memphis, Teacher
  • Dinah Johnson, Arlington, Shelby County Retired Teacher
  • Tressa Jones, Memphis, Educator
  • Quandrea Jones, Memphis, Teacher
  • Jennifer Kimball, Nashville, Third Grade Teacher
  • Sarah Leach, Nolensville, Teacher
  • Stein Lee, Memphis, Teacher
  • Liz Malugen, Nashville, School Administrator
  • Kathleen Marshall, Nashville, Teacher
  • Sam Mattson, Memphis, Teacher
  • Soya Moore, Bartlett, Educator
  • Steve Nelson, Nashville, Science Teacher
  • Lagra Newman, Nashville, School Administrator
  • Elizabeth O’Shea, Nashville, Retired Teacher
  • Treesa Olickal, Nashville, Teacher
  • Jolinea Pegues, Cordova, Teacher
  • Elizabeth Ponce, Nashville, Teacher
  • Curt Rakestraw, Memphis, Teacher
  • Lucie Rhoads, Nashville, School Administrator
  • Caroline Rhodes, Nashville, School Administrator
  • Roderick Richmond, Memphis, School District Administrator
  • Cheryl Ross-Williams Cordova, Instructional Support Advisor
  • Mattie Smith, Cordova, Administrator
  • Amanda Smithfield, Nashville, Librarian
  • Teresa Standard, Nashville, School Administrator
  • Erika Sugarmon, Memphis, Teacher
  • Shaina Tey, Nashville, Teacher
  • Kait Troy, Nashville, School Administrator
  • Deadre Ussery, Lakeland, Educator
  • Wanda Woodruff, Cordova, Teacher
  • Valerie Young, Brighton, Teacher
  • Todd Dickson, Nashville, Administrator
  • Mary Mitchell, Crossville, Educator
  • Dr.Terrence Brown, Memphis, Educator
  • Dr. Gregory Pearson, Memphis, Educator
  • Denille Pugh, Nashville, Educator
  • Sarah Cooper, Morristown, Educator
  • Jamie Petty, Chattanooga, Educator
  • Timothy Ware, Memphis, Educator
  • Kim Ware, Memphis, Educator
  • Jessica Peccolo-Donnell, Jackson, Educator
  • Jessica Hubbuch, Chattanooga, Educator
  • Anne Duvall, Memphis, Educator
  • Jean Webb, Cookeville, Retired Teacher
  • De-Mi Woodfork, Memphis, Behavioral Specialist

12 Responses to Dean campaign announces ‘Educators for Dean’

  • Janice Spillman says:

    What is Mr. Dean’s position re: Charter Schools now?

  • MarLE says:

    Raising teacher pay…….how perfectly predictable! I don’t believe he would even know what a teacher makes nor more importantly, what their total compensation (retirement to grave) actually is. If you don’t know that how do you know we need to raise pay? And please stop with the “best and brightest”. You don’t need the brightest in every classroom. Home schooled children prove that daily. You need teachers who love learning, who are excited to develop potential and who genuinely love working with children. Brightest has nothing to do with that.

  • Kay White says:

    I was not considered a viable candidate and that was ok with me. I still made waves and I discovered a lot about the Democrat candidates. I read people well. Fitzhugh was a decent man. His biggest vice was his support for Sanctuary cities.; however, he seemed to care about others in his comments. I was in two forums where the Dems also participated. I liked him as a person. Dean, on the other hand was arrogant, barely spoke to others, is an overconfident type person who mainly cares, and it shows, for himself. Lest we get overwhelmed with either, Democrat or Republican, I would like to tell the people that Dean did embrace all of the present Governor’s policies or at least he indicated so at the forums! So with Dean like some of the Republican Candidates who were rejected by the people, we do not want more of the same! I believe that Bill Lee will know the problem. Every time he heard me speak at all events, I was “Preaching” about our Teachers and how their pay was much too low, and about the unrealistic testing, and about the need for vocational classes until at the last two months he was beginning to say so too! He got on board and realized that our teachers are suffering. Remember teachers if Mayor Carl Dean would take Federal Money given to Flood victims, what would he do to you? Think on that one!

    • MarLE says:

      In order to give teachers a large pay hike we need to do what 95% of the white-color, private sector does….no pensions. Instead give them a small 401K match and a much larger salary. Take away any semblance of job security and evaluate their continued employment on a “what-have-you-done-for-me-lately” standard in the business community. Base raises on merit only, not time on the job and note that the evaluation will be both Objective measurements and Subjective ones as well. Turn the work year into 12 months with 10 paid holidays and 2-3 weeks vacation. You think you have defectors from the profession now? Truth is that teachers are not suffering.

      • Donna Locke says:

        Well, MarLE, I’d like to see that long summer vacation you think teachers get. My husband was in public education for 42 years and never had any summer vacation time when he taught high school because he also taught SUMMER SCHOOL to make ends meet. All of his male teacher friends and some of the females did the same. Others worked other summer jobs, because it was impossible to support a family on a teacher’s salary.

        When he became a principal, my husband got 4 weeks off in the summer but still had responsibilities for the school building, and during the school year he OFTEN worked nights and weekends for school events. This was not considered overtime but part of his job. His pay was not high, but he took his school to a National School of Excellence. He earned every dime of his pension. I won’t get into the abuse he put up with as a principal. Society had begun to change at that time.

        For several reasons, we don’t get most of the cream of the crop anymore in education, but we have many excellent teachers dealing with serious obstacles to learning. We have some bad teachers, and they may be as hard to get rid of now as they were years ago. I had terrible teachers in college as well. In my experience, college was vastly overrated. Other paths to fulfillment need a boost. I’m a fan of two years of college courses mixed with vocational training. Some careers will always require more years.

  • MarLE says:

    My degree is in secondary Ed. My mother was DE’s teacher of the year. Don’t preach to me.

    • Donna Locke says:

      Don’t make statements if you can’t take a counter comment, and don’t try to dismiss 42 years of experience as you tried to do there. The more facts and perspectives the better in any debate.

      • MarLE says:

        You said your husband earned every penny of his retirement. That is not a counter to what I said. What I actually said was to give teachers the total of their compensation in their pay check, in real time, so that their pay would be greatly enhanced. Then they could, like most other employees across America plan for retirement with that money. That teachers teach summer school simply means that they work about the same schedule as other professions. That is their option.Most people work 12 months for the same reason….they can’t live on a job that has less than a full year work load. I suppose many of those “other workers” would love the option to be home during the summer but they don’t have the flexibility to accept a lower compensation to do that. So…let’s have teachers make more by getting compensated Now, rather than now & later.

        • MarLE says:

          And, of course, the “no pensions” was not to take away pensions from those who have worked their entire life under the expectation of a future benefit. It would apply for new teachers starting now and could be prorated for those at any point in their career. That is how pensions were handled as the 95% of US workers’ employers shifted away from a guaranteed benefit compensation plan. I just assumed it would be understood that for teachers it would work the same way.

          • Donna Locke says:

            My husband’s school system did a great thing by safely investing teacher’s income for retirement, so his pension is much higher as a result, though the Social Security payments are lower.

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