All nominations for positions in the RTA Officers Election 20-21 have been submitted and accepted. The 5 RTA Officer positions are uncontested as are all positions in the following 7 departments: Primary, Intermediate, Junior High, Home Hospital teachers, School Instructors, RRTA, and RPPP. Contested candidate statements can be found here.

Ballots will be emailed April 22 to members in the following departments only: Special Ed, Special Services, Per Diem Substitutes and Senior High.  Voting closes on May 11 and election results will be reported at the RA on May 18. The results will also be posted on the RTA website.

Candidate for RTA President

ADAM URBANSKI

RTA Office Held/Committee served on

(City-Wide and Building Level)

RTA President; AFT Vice-President; NYSUT Executive Committee; NYSUT Board of Directors; Director of Teacher Union Reform Network. AFT/NEA/NYSUT Delegate; RTA Student Discipline Committee; RTA Federal Projects Committee; RTA Public Relations Committee; RTA Faculty Representative.

Candidate Statement:

I am grateful to you for the privilege to serve you as RTA President.  If re-elected, I pledge to continue to represent you with dignity, strength and professionalism.  Together, we will continue to build a more responsible and responsive union, a more genuine teaching profession, and more effective public schools for all our students.

Candidate for RTA 1st Vice-President

JOHN PAVONE

RTA Office Held/Committee served on

(City-Wide and Building Level)

RTA 1st Vice-President, Chief Negotiator, Legislative Coordinator, Health Care Liaison

Candidate Statement:

Solidarity is more important than ever.  With the reopening of buildings despite that they are not fully ready or safe we must stand together.  We have known that working together and supporting each other is the best strategy to gain the power we need to keep schools safe and keep the integrity of our profession.  As 1st Vice-President, I will continue to work to build upon our strength and protect your rights. 

Candidate for RTA 2nd Vice-President

MARGARET SERGENT

RTA Office Held/Committee served on

(City-Wide and Building Level)

RTA Secretary; Co-Chair Grievance Committee; Chairperson – Health and Safety Committee; Watchdog Co-Chair Committee; Negotiations Committee; Union Leadership Chairperson; Living Contract Committee; Service Fund Chairperson; RCSD Health and Safety Committee; Labor Council Chairperson; Labor Day Parade Chair; Calendar Committee; Political Action Member; Action Committee Member

Candidate Statement:

As your 2nd Vice-President, I will continue to advocate for your health and safety as well as represent you with integrity, honesty.  I promise to be your voice for issues that are important to you individually and all members. 

Candidate for RTA Treasurer

AIMEE RINERE

RTA Office Held/Committee served on

(City-Wide and Building Level)

Negotiations, Grievance, Labor Management, Leg/Pol Action, Budget Review, Finance, Rochester Teaching Academy, Producer Rochester Teacher Care Video, Membership Chair, NYSUT Local Action Plan Chair, NYSUT/AFT Delegate, NYSUT Union Leadership Institute Graduate, NEA Women’s Leadership Institute, NYSTRS Delegate

Candidate Statement:

The strength in our union is ensured when we all work together for the betterment of us all.  Whether that is fighting for safe opening of schools, protecting the health and safety of our members, enforcing our contract, being the voice of teachers, or handling questions that arise from our day to day, I am committed to continuing that work for our members.  It has been my honor to serve our members.

Candidate for RTA Secretary

MATT LAVONAS

RTA Office Held/Committee served on

(City-Wide and Building Level)

RTA Secretary, Negotiations Committee, Executive Council, Grievance Committee, RTA Social Media Specialist, RTA Website Developer, Public Relations Chair, Action Committee, Technology Committee, RTA Service Fund Trustee, Rochester Teachers Care Video series, Former 16-year Building Rep & Intermediate Chair

Candidate Statement:

In these tumultuous times, communication with our members has been key, especially with the current RCSD administration’s lack of transparency.  The ability to be flexible and adapt to challenges that we have encountered is paramount to keeping our union strong and stable.  I have worked to provide clear communication to all members through the RTA website, social media, or ZOOM meetings with hundreds of members.  I will continue to work and fight on behalf of members to keep us safe, continue to build solidarity, and continue to move our union forward to put us in a better position for the future. 

Candidate for Primary Department Chairperson

CARRIE GILROY

RTA Office Held/Committee served on

(City-Wide and Building Level)

RTA Building Representative, 2017-present, RTA Legislative Committee, 2017-present, School #5 Building Committee, School #5 School-Based Planning team, School #5 Diversity Committee, Mindful Educators Committee

Candidate Statement:

My name is Carrie Gilroy and I am running for the position of Primary Department Chairperson.  School #5 has been my hone school for 20 years, where I have taught K, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades.  I currently teach Kindergarten and continue to work primarily with our ENL population.  As Primary Chairperson, I support trusting teachers with greater professional autonomy, a diverse, anti-racist curriculum, smaller class sizes and increased instructional support in reading and math, and enhanced social-emotional PD opportunities, including mindfulness education.  As Primary Chair, I will hold monthly department-wide meetings to hear your concerns and develop solutions together, while also advocating for our Primary Department on the Executive Council.

Candidate for Primary Department Vice-Chairperson

ALISON STEIXNER

RTA Office Held/Committee served on

(City-Wide and Building Level)

My name is Alison Steixner, and I am running for Primary Department Vice Chair.

I have worked for the RCSD for 22 years, 13 of which have been in primary.  I have served on the Building Committee, Diversity Committee, MTSS Team, PBIS Team, RTA Building Rep, School Based Planning Team at School #5.

Candidate Statement:

I support a diverse, anti-racist curriculum, minimal testing with more professional autonomy, and a whole-child learning approach to primary education.  As primary vice chair, I will advocate for more support at the primary level, including smaller class size, reading and math support, and developmentally appropriate curriculum.  I will offer a greater voice to the primary teachers, and keep open lines of communication between our primary team and the union officers. 

Candidate for Intermediate Department Chairperson

JASON VALENTI

RTA Office Held/Committee served on

(City-Wide and Building Level)

Rochester Rotarian; SBPT-13 years; BC-2 years; schools #8 & #39 Building Rep; Intermediate Dept. Chair; Committees: Action, Grievance Advisory, Health and Safety, Legislative/Political Action, Rules and By-Laws; Representative to Committee of 100 (2x); Presenter at New Teacher Orientation (3x); Delegate of NYSTRS and Rochester & Genesee Valley AFL-CIO

Candidate Statement:

I am running for Intermediate Dept. Chair because I have the experience and work ethic required to best serve our union.  During my 19 years in the district, we have faced many challenges.  The ones today are unprecedented.  I am dedicated to helping our union not only survive these times but come through stronger. 

Candidate for Intermediate Department Vice-Chairperson

JERRY WIEPERT

RTA Office Held/Committee served on

(City-Wide and Building Level)

RTA Representative; former member of Political Action Committee; former member of Vote/Cope; current member of Rules and By Laws Committee; current member of Nominations and Elections Committee.

Candidate Statement:

I believe that the voice of all intermediate teachers needs to have a clear and unbiased voice representing them.  Intermediate teachers face a difficult task in being the bridge from primary to secondary instruction and as it is evident with a surprising lack of curriculum support and services.  My goal is to support the intermediate chair and help intermediate teachers receive equitable trainings and support at the district level.  

Candidate for Junior High Department Chairperson

THOMAS ROSSITER

RTA Office Held/Committee served on

(City-Wide and Building Level)

This is my first year as a RTA Rep for Roberto Clemente School #8.  I am also elected onto my school’s SBPT.

Candidate Statement:

Throughout my teaching career as a middle school math teacher, I have seen the power of the union, and I believe that I will bring a fresh perspective to the Executive Council.  As a math teacher, I’m a natural problem-solver.  In my capacity as a building rep, I regard open, honest, conversation, member engagement and creative problem solving highly.  I would be honored to use my skills and continue to grow in my role as a unionist in the position of Junior High Department Chair of the Rochester Teachers Association. 

Candidate for Special Education Department Chairperson

MAUREEN DOOHAN

RTA Office Held/Committee served on

(City-Wide and Building Level)

Special Education Chairperson, Health & Safety Committee, Building Committee, SBPT, RTA Building Representative

Past: Nominations & Elections, Grievance Committee

Candidate Statement:

Education constantly changes.  Through all of these challenges in the past year we have demonstrated expertise, creativity and resilience.  I became the Special Education Chairperson and Executive Council member several years ago, striving to make myself a more active advocate for my fellow colleagues.  This commitment includes meeting with our union and district officials to work collaboratively in identifying issues and enacting change regarding topics that affect Special Educators. 

I look forward to continuing in my role as Special Education Chairperson.  I’ll continue to speak out about the systems and processes that affect us.  As a full time Special Education Teacher I understand the challenges we face.  I will explore and develop more ways to effectively and efficiently communicate with you and I thank you for your continued confidence and support.

Candidate for Special Education Department Secretary

ANNETTE PENNELLA

RTA Office Held/Committee served on

(City-Wide and Building Level)

I have been an RTA Representative for over ten years, in three different schools.  As an RTA Rep I have served on multiple School Based Planning Teams; facilitated two Building Committees and most recently, a member of a School Safety Committee.  Currently, I serve as an RTA Rep at Franklin Upper School. 

Candidate Statement:

If you elect me as the Special Education Department Secretary, I will use this opportunity to open communications between and among Special Educators across the District.  I will be sure to have concerns addressed at relevant meetings and communicate results accurately. 

My goal is to serve.  Vote for me!  Annette Pennella for Special Education Department Secretary. 

Candidate for Special Education Department Alternate Representative

JAMIE KLOTZ

Candidate Statement:

No Statement submitted.

Candidate for Special Services Department Vice-Chairperson

CLAIRE LABROSA

RTA Office Held/Committee served on

(City-Wide and Building Level)

RTA Alternate Representative for School #29, Building Committee, SBPT, Restorative Practice Team, Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action Committee

Candidate Statement:

I am a passionate advocate for my students, their families, the RCSD Community, and our colleagues.  I believe that as educators we are responsible for nurturing the whole child, and this includes valuing their home cultural life as well as their academics.  In addition to the roles above, I have helped run an after school yoga club, worked with community organizations to increase funding and support for our schools, led building level PDs on the topic of ELLs, and participated in the BRIDGES Pilot to help newcomers and SIFE students transition to high school successfully, and much more.  I look forward to serving as a Vice Chair of the Special Services Department and amplifying the voices and interests of the members. 

Candidate for School Instructor Department Chairperson

KIM NADRITCH

Candidate Statement:

No Statement submitted.

Candidate for School Instructor Department Vice-Chairperson

JOHN HOUGHTLING

RTA Office Held/Committee served on

(City-Wide and Building Level)

RTA Representative 1999-2005, Served on School Based Program 2001-2005

Candidate Statement:

I promise to work hard to fortify representation for the School Instructors Unit.  I will work in unity with the other reps in assuring that the SIA will not be forgotten in its attempt to remain a unit of respectability.  As the son of a former chairperson of the unit, it is my hope to bring job security to the remaining members of the SIA until they choose to retire. 

Candidate for School Instructor Department Secretary

EILEEN BAUERSCHMIDT

Candidate Statement:

No Statement submitted.

Candidate for School Instructor Department Representative

JEFFREY OURIEL

Candidate Statement:

No Statement submitted.

Candidate for RPPP Department Chairperson

TERI KENYON

RTA Office Held/Committee served on

(City-Wide and Building Level)

Chairperson RPPP, Building Committee, Health & Safety Committee, Shared Governance, Reopening Committee

Candidate Statement:

Rochester Preschool-Parent Program (RPPP) has been a part of RCSD for 70+ years.  Our team approach (Teacher, Adult-Family Educator, & Para Professional) has been such a successful model that it has been copied by many preschool programs nationally.  Our high-quality program has been nationally recognized for many years and our relationship building model has been shown to be extremely effective.

Before becoming recognized by RTA, our faculty did not receive the same compensation as any other faculty member in our district.  We fought long and hard to receive the compensation that many RCSD staff take for granted.  As your chair, I will continue to support you and fight for you.  Thank you. 

Candidate for RPPP Department Vice-Chairperson

AMY LEVINE

Candidate Statement:

No Statement submitted.

Candidate for RPPP Department Secretary

SUSAN NEAL

Candidate Statement:

No Statement submitted.

Candidate for RPPP Department Representative

PAULETTE VACCARO

Candidate Statement:

No Statement submitted.

Candidate for Home Hospital Department Chairperson

LISA SILVERSTEIN

RTA Office Held/Committee served on

(City-Wide and Building Level)

2019 – Present: Home Hospital Department Chairperson, 2019 – Present: RTA Executive Council, 2019 – Present: RTA Rep. Assembly, Summer 2020: RTA Covid-19 Safety Committee, 1997-2019 Home Hospital Department Secretary/Program Based Planning Committee

Candidate Statement:

I hope to continue to serve as the Home Hospital Department Chairperson and represent our unique teaching unit.  As we evolve, especially during this pandemic, I take care to advocate for our special needs and those of our students.  I try to accurately report the content of all meetings to help keep us cohesive, well-informed and safe.  I hope to continue to serve our unit in my current position for the 2021-2023 term. 

Candidate for Home Hospital Department Vice-Chairperson

PATRICK CAIN

RTA Office Held/Committee served on

(City-Wide and Building Level)

HH Subject Rep (2019-21), HH English Rep (2020-21)

Candidate Statement:

As the Vice Chair of the Home-Instruction Unit, I pledge to work for and with my colleagues to address any issues or concerns they may have, in a timely manner.  I also promise to address any unsafe working conditions or unfair practices by administration that my comrades may face. 

Having worked 23 years as a Home Instructor and two years as the H.H. Subject Rep, I feel well qualified to represent my colleagues and serve as Vice Chair of this unit. 

Candidate for Home/Hospital Department Secretary

LAUREN TAI-MANEIRO

Candidate Statement:

No Statement submitted.

Candidate for Home/Hospital Department Representative

HANNAH MCCANN

Candidate Statement:

No Statement submitted.

Candidate for Substitute Department Vice-Chairperson

THOMASINA FERGUSON

RTA Office Held/Committee served on

(City-Wide and Building Level)

RTA Vice Chair for per diem teachers, Building Committee Franklin High School 2000-2003

Candidate Statement:

My mission is to continue to serve the needs of the per diem substitute unit members and the RCSD students in a professional manner. 

Candidate for RRTA Department Chairperson

CHARLIE DEAN

Candidate Statement:

No Statement submitted.

Candidate for RRTA Vice-Chairperson

DR. GAYA R. SHAKES

RTA Office Held/Committee served on

(City-Wide and Building Level)

Action Committee, Career in Teaching Panel/Peer Assistance and Review Panel, ELA Advisory Committee, Junior and Senior High Department Representative, Multicultural Education Committee Co-Chair, Nominations and Elections Committee, Parent and Community Engagement Committee, PDIS Committee, Rochester Teacher Center Policy Board, Chairperson, RRTA Vice-Chairperson, RTA Delegate to NYSUT and AFT Conventions, RTA Representative at Monroe, Edison, IIT High Schools, Rules and By-laws Committee

Candidate Statement:

I am now and always have been committed to being a unionist and the concepts that undergird this work.  There is always greater strength in the collective and the possibility of working for the greater good.  In this season, rife with educational instability in teaching and learning and health and safety issues, the work continues. 

Candidate for RRTA Department Secretary

MARY ZIMMER

Candidate Statement:

No Statement submitted.

Candidate for RRTA Department Representative

KATHLEEN EVANS

Candidate Statement:

No Statement submitted.