I am honored to have the privilege to serve as your OREA State President.
We are an association with a rich history. The National Retired Teachers Association, our parent organization, was founded 70 years ago to protect financial security for retirees and to foster collaboration and volunteerism. We are working towards these same goals today. Guided by our motto "to serve, not to be served," OREA members give back to their communities thousands of hours of volunteer service each year. As students return to the classroom, so do many of our members giving of their time by tutoring, mentoring and supporting both students and staff. OREA members can also be found advocating for important issues or volunteering at various civic and church events.
We are also an association of change and renewal. For many years OREA members have greeted visitors at the Criterion Schoolhouse on the grounds of the Oregon State Fair. At our convention last spring, we learned that the schoolhouse was in need of repair with an estimated cost of $28,000. Five of our members stepped up, accepting the challenge to raise the necessary funds to complete the work. With a $10,000 loan from Unit 1 and nearly $5,000 raised in donations, the roof has been replaced and other repairs are underway. In August our Executive Board voted that OREA would take a leadership role in the repair and sustainability of the Criterion Schoolhouse. Words can not express our thanks to those who have worked so hard on this important project
Communication at all levels is crucial in any organization. This year units can earn a communication award in addition to the Unit of Distinction Award. An appreciation award will be given to a member for exceptional service at the state level; and an award for a non-member who has contributed greatly to education in his or her local area will also be presented. The criteria for these new awards will come out soon.
Our 2018 convention is scheduled for May 21-23 at the Shilo Inn in Klamath Falls. Unit 5 is excited to host you; and preparations to make it a fun and rewarding event are well underway. Mark your calendars now for our 2018 state convention.
Together we can make a difference. I look forward to working with you to strengthen our units and our state organization.
My best wishes for a successful and rewarding year,