Local Leader Spotlight: Cassie Queen
Get to know Cassie Queen, who is the Vice President for Paraprofessionals in the Indian River Education Association (IREA) and a paraprofessional at John Clayton Elementary School in Frankford, Delaware. Queen is a long-time member of IREA's bargaining team and is a strong advocate for the creation of a paraprofessional mentorship program in the district. IREA represents over 850 teachers, specialists, and education support professionals across the District's 15 schools.
... on why she chose a career in public education
"I have always enjoyed teaching children, ever since I was young."
... on what has helped her grow as an educator
"I have learned many strategies over the years while teaching students that come from very unique circumstances. This has allowed me to be much more effective as a paraeducator."
... on how she first got involved with her union
"I was asked to sign up when I was hired. I joined the negotiation team the next year and have been on it ever since. In 2018, I was asked to also be a building rep for our school. Once I attended the first meeting, I was hooked! I became interested in all the things our union could do to help staff and students."
... on why she became a local leader for her union
"In 2020, our VP for Paraeducators retired and I took over for the remainder of her term. During that time, I felt drawn to make our local more “present” with our members. I wanted us to be stronger and more active. After I attended my first NEA ESP Conference, I felt a spark and found my voice. My goal to have a stronger “Local”, so IREA can continue to make a difference in the daily lives of educators and students."
... on what is most rewarding to her as a leader
"I enjoy talking to members and knowing that I have a direct impact on making positive changes to help educators be more successful and in turn making students more successful."
... on the local association win she is most proud of
"We are currently working with our HR Department to create a highly-essential Mentoring Program for Para Educators in Indian River."
... on what she wants potential members to know
"There is no time like the present to join your local! We need your voice to make changes that will impact your working environment every day, as well as the lives of students.."
... on what she wants current members to know
"We are stronger together, so thank you for being part of a team that will continue to work diligently to become stronger and more active every day."