ATPE is proud to bring you this series of posts from your board members. The ATPE Board of Directors is made up of 20 regional members, who are elected by their constituents; four state officers, who are elected annually by the entire House of Delegates at the ATPE Summit; and the most recent state past president. Board members were sent questions via email, and their responses will be posted to the ATPE Blog in the order they were received. Today’s post is from Region 16 director Dawn Riley.
How and why did you get involved in a leadership role at ATPE?
A teacher friend at the local level convinced me to serve as an officer for ATPE, and that year I was able to go to the ATPE convention and attend the House of Delegates for the first time. I was in awe, wonderstruck at the fact that I was a part of an organization that really did lobby on my behalf and on the behalf of the students that I teach. I was hooked from that moment on and knew that I wanted to be more involved. My leadership roles progressed naturally from the local, regional, and state levels.
What is your favorite part of serving on the ATPE board?
I enjoy getting to hear the latest information from the lobby team and serving on the committees that we are appointed to, but I have learned so much from serving with my fellow board members from the other regions. Our state is so large and our regions are so diverse, yet when we meet together as a board, we focus on the common good of all the members of ATPE. We all have different ways of approaching problems, unique personalities, and assorted background agendas, yet when we gather for our board meetings, we use all of that for the collective good of our organization. I watched this transformation actually unfold this last year, and it was amazing to witness. It has been an honor to work with all of the other board members, officers, and staff members, and I treasure their friendships.
How has being on the board helped your region?
Hopefully, my regional officers feel that they have been kept up to date on what is happening at the state level and that we are getting that information out to our local officers. I have to also tip my hat to Chana Jones, our regional representative, who is doing a great job keeping everyone informed of what is going on in ATPE.
What advice would you give to others who might be interested in serving on the board?
You need to do it! It has been a very rewarding experience and I have certainly learned so much. Don’t be intimidated by your lack of background knowledge, you will catch on quickly.
Can you share something fun about yourself that our members might not know?
I am a licensed scuba diver, an avid country western dancer, and I enjoy cooking, traveling, reading, and hunting. I have recently started repainting and repairing furniture. I love searching for old discarded items at Goodwill or garage sales and refurbishing them into new treasures. I seem to always have paint in my hair or under my fingernails, and it has become quite a joke that if you stand still in my house, watch out—you might just get painted a different color.