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Representative Council
President's Message

Our Strength Is Our Solidarity

Dear CUEA Members,

The 2023/24 school year is well under way!

Summer is already in the not so distant past. Hopefully, you can bring some of that fun and relaxation into your daily practice as the momentum of the year kicks in and starts to gain speed.

The beginning of the year may come with some problems, but it also comes with its successes. Master schedules at secondary may have some kinks to work out, while at the elementary level educators are reorganizing classes to either form or disband a combo. The bottom line is that you all work amazingly hard at whatever grade level you teach and in whatever area you are assigned. We are a union of TK - ATP educators! We work in general education and special education. We are not a one-size-fits-all district, nor are we a group that focuses on one single interest group. Together, CUEA is all of us coming together with one purpose in mind - and that is to do what we can for the students in our classrooms.

To me, the union’s strength is really in the solidarity of our members. As educators, we all care about our students, but we can’t help our students if we’re exhausted and stretched thin by paperwork, testing, etc. It isn’t sustainable in the long run. If we’re going to give students our best, we need to make sure we’re supporting each other and standing together as educators, too. That way, we can actually have some control over our days and the issues that get in the way.

Although we have our inherent differences, each and every voice in our association is crucial in how we do business. Few people agree 100% with any group or organization’s actions. But representative government, in organizations as well as nations, depends on people who ‘pay their dues’ and who participate in decision making. If you don’t agree with some direction the association is taking, join; become active and work to change our course. Together we are stronger and together we can continue to accomplish great things.

To that end, you will be seeing us at your individual school sites during the months of September and October. CUEA is embarking on a "Listening Tour" to gather input for bargaining. You will see CUEA leadership including our elected Executive Board members and members of the CUEA Bargaining Team. We are in the process of firming up the calendar, so please keep your eye out for when we will be meeting at your site.

You will have many hurdles to jump throughout the year, but starting the new school year is probably one of the biggest. Constantly remind yourself, as I often do, that we have the most amazing things going on in our classrooms and at schools around the district. It is obvious to me that Capistrano Unified EDUCATORS are truly vested in their students and their educational and emotional growth. We care about the whole child!

Throughout the years, I have spoken with countless numbers of people who have creative and constructive ideas to keep moving this district forward as well as valuable input to keep CUSD as one of the top performing districts in the state. To say I am filled with “joy” to continue on this trajectory and get this year underway is an understatement.

Welcome back! Have an amazing year!

Joy Schnapper
 President, Capistrano Unified Education Association

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