ATPE is proud to bring you this series of posts from our staff members. Today’s post features ATPE Lobbyist Kate Kuhlmann.
What drew you to working at ATPE?
ATPE was a perfect career fit for me in many ways. I am passionate about public education and the profession that ATPE members have chosen. My parents are two of those members, and I have watched them affect many lives because of their commitment to public school children and exceptionalism at their craft. I am so proud to work every day on behalf of them, my many friends and family members that work in public education, and all of the other educators that make a significant daily impact on Texas public schools and the students within them.
How long have you been working at ATPE? What was your first job here?
I began working with ATPE in 2008 when I joined a Texas law firm that did contract governmental relations for ATPE in Texas and Washington. I continued working with ATPE doing federal advocacy when I moved to Washington, DC, to work for another law firm. That firm had since begun working with ATPE (and still does!) as ATPE’s contract governmental relations team covering federal policy. It was in 2014 that I officially began working at ATPE as a lobbyist. So I’ll say that I have been working with ATPE for over eight years and at ATPE for three!
What is the most important thing you have learned while working here?
The effectiveness of educators when they get involved as advocates for their profession, students, and local public schools. As we are in the early weeks of another legislative session and the very beginning of a new administration in Washington, the importance of on-the-ground educator advocacy is at its peak. Proposals that would affect your school’s funding, your students’ access to great public schools, your retirement, your rights, and so much more are all on the move and accompanied with plenty of support in the Texas legislature and in Washington. It is an honor to spend my working hours fighting on your behalf while you do the important and difficult work of educating our school children, but using your voice to support that work is invaluable. My colleagues and I will do all we can to amplify your voice and ensure it is heard, but we can’t replace the value of your direct involvement when it really counts–I assure you the impact is huge!
What is your favorite part of working for ATPE?
The people! There is a special place in my heart for educators, and I work with some of the most competent and fun colleagues. The people I get to work for and with are good and impressive people from whom I continue to learn. That is pretty great.
Share something fun about yourself that members might not know.
I have immense love for my alma mater, Texas Tech University, and the San Antonio Spurs…or maybe that isn’t such a surprise to those that have spent any amount of time in my general vicinity!
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