April 21, 2022 – National Education Association (NEA) President Becky Pringle and Illinois Education Association (IEA) President Kathi Griffin visited Collinsville High School (CHS) on Thursday, April 21, 2022 to learn about the Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 Kahoks Teaching Kahoks initiative.
The two met with district administrators and Collinsville Education Association (CEA) leadership to discuss how Kahoks Teaching Kahoks was conceptualized to grow future teachers from current students, with an emphasis on developing and recruiting minority teachers. They toured the current Collinsville Area Vocational Center preschool program where high school students work and earn dual credit in Early Childhood education.
CHS/CAVC teachers Shawn Geppert and Akiya Perry described the history of the preschool program and how it will be expanded next school year to include courses and opportunities for high school students to explore career opportunities in elementary and secondary education, too. Kahoks Teaching Kahoks also includes scholarship and professional development opportunities for CHS students who want to pursue a college degree in education and return to the district to teach.
CUSD 10 Superintendent Dr. Mark B. Skertich talked about local support for the program and funding that includes payroll deduction, as well as contributions from local businesses, alumni and teachers. NEA President Becky Pringle commended the district for involving current teachers in fostering the next generation of professional educators. She said the program is an example for school districts and vowed to stay in touch to see how Kahoks Teaching Kahoks evolves over the next few years as students graduate and continue their training.
IEA President Kathi Griffin said Collinsville’s efforts fit with initiatives across the State of Illinois to incentivize students to become educators. “We love our profession and want to encourage the next generation to follow in our footsteps,” she said.
CEA leadership representatives Stacey Lauenstein and Emily Thoman hosted the NEA/IEA delegation for their visit. CHS Assistant Principal TaRael Kee provided background information about the district’s Equity and Diversity Committee and how its efforts lead to the creation of Kahoks Teaching Kahoks. CAVC Director Joe McGinnis gave a quick tour of the vocational center, talked about its many programs, and provided context for the new education curriculum and courses students will be able to take starting next school year.
The National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA’s 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.
Rebecca S. “Becky” Pringle is an American teacher and trade union leader. She is the President of the 3 million-member National Education Association, the largest professional employee organization and labor union in the United States.
The Illinois Education Association (IEA) is an association of more than 135,000 members composed of Illinois elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty and staff, educational support professionals, retired educators and college students preparing to become teachers.
The Collinsville Education Association (CEA) represents over 480 certified employees in Collinsville Community Unit School District #10.
Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 comprises 13 schools, serving 6,100+ students PreK-12 in Madison & St. Clair Counties in southwestern Illinois.