Local Leader Spotlight: Maddie Geller
Learn more about Maddie Geller, who is the Membership Chairperson for the Red Clay Education Association (RCEA) and a reading specialist at Lewis Dual-Language Elementary School. RCEA is the second-largest local association in Delaware, representing over 1,200 teachers and specialists across the district's 30 schools.
... on why she chose a career in public education
"I chose a career in education because I have always been passionate about literacy. Our society revolves around literacy and I can help students learn the skills they need to navigate our modern world. There is nothing more magical than when a student reads their first word, sentence, or book."
... on how she first got involved with her union
"I chose to become a union member because I come from a union family. My dad is a proud member of the IATSE, an entertainment industry union. In October, he celebrated his 50 year union anniversary! I saw how the union helped provide my family with secure employment, worker representation, and competitive pay and benefits. To me, it was a no-brainer."
... on why she became a local leader for her union
"I chose to take on a leadership role in order to give back to fellow members. I take great pride in representing union members at my building, and I felt that I had the time and motivation to help RCEA as a whole. As membership chair, my ultimate goal is to stabilize, increase, and organize our membership as the largest school district in the state."
... on how public education has changed for the better
"I have seen exciting changes when it comes to foundational reading skills. My district has adopted a more explicit phonics curriculum, and I have already seen improvements in student performance and confidence."
... on what public education needs to fix going forward
"Going forward, I think we need to continue focusing on honoring teachers’ time. Teachers deserve more time to do our jobs well! Our contractual minimums are no longer realistic."
... on the local association win she is most proud of
"I am most proud of being part of the contract negotiation team that helped secure a fourth grading day written into our contract. We heard constantly from our members that they need more time for grading and administrative tasks."
... on what she wants potential members to know
"The union is not a mythical high-level organization - WE are the union! Add your voice to the thousands of other educators who have come together as members. When we come together, we can advocate for our working conditions, grow professionally, and protect our students’ learning conditions."
... on what she wants current members to know
"Please continue to engage with your building representatives, executive board, and school board. Do not be afraid to speak up and speak out on issues that impact our profession. When we come together, we can continue driving positive change."