©2019 by helena education association.

April 7, 2020

Autobiographies are hyperlinked.

President nominees:

Jane Shawn

Kim Stout

1st VP nominees:

Carrie Brown

Maria Foot

Jonna Schwartz

CHS seat nominees:

Reg Hageman

Zach Harris

HHS seat nominees:

Shannin Preshinger

Deb Sargent

February 12, 2020

January 28, 2020:  Todd Watkins gave his budget report to the Board of Trustees.  His report can be found in the Board's Work Session Agenda dated 1/28/20 or go here:


His report is the last six pages and his recommendations are on the last two pages.  One Trustee asked if the budget problems were the effect of the teachers' salary scale, or the loss of students to East Helena--Todd didn't know the answer to this question.

January 30, 2020: Budget Summit.  We had two parts to our conversation: one a report by Business Manager Janelle Mickelson that showed us enrollment projections and how these are estimated; the other a report by Human Resource Director Stacy Collette about staffing numbers and costs that come out of the general fund.  We learned a lot that day, but felt we needed more information as we move forward.  We do know that we will have a reduction in POSITIONS at...

December 20, 2019

Programs are over, parties are done, and now it's time for the real fun to begin!  I hope everyone enjoys this nice long break--whether you are traveling to see family, hosting a dinner with friends and neighbors, or just putting your feet up and reading your new book--I wish you a joyous and restful Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, and New Years!  (I hope I didn't forget any celebrations!)  Relax, make merry, and I'll see you back refreshed and ready to go in 2020!


December 9, 2019

Happy Monday!

The ongoing bargaining team met on Wednesday.  Some key points:

--We are considering lowering the number of years that we will grant new hires for teaching experience, from 10 years to five years.  This will help save costs from the general fund.  

--Hard to fill positions may have to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

--We looked at leave time taken: 70 fewer sick leaves day and 111 more professional days taken for the same period, first quarter, 2018 and 2019.  We are collecting this information for a wider discussion around training and grade level meetings.  Question:  would you give up a "choice" PIR day for an added required day in our calendar that was devoted to in-district training?

--We are looking at the cost of all the district testing and computer programs--are they still the best, is there a better, more cost efficient option out there?

--We are looking at the number of students in high school classes, cost effectiveness vs c...

November 25, 2019


Thank you for everything that you do each and every day on behalf of our students, our families, our district, and our union.  You have the most important job in the world--and often the most demanding.  Every day you come to school and something amazing happens--that "aha" moment when your student "gets it"; that day you finally break through to the child who has been resistant; that minute that your kiddo gives you a hug and says "I'm glad to be here!"  

You probably don't hear it often enough, but I know that so many people out there think it: Thank you!  Thank you for what you do.  Thank you for what you give up to do what you do.  Thank you for caring about children.  Thank you for caring about education.

Enjoy your well deserved holiday break.  Safe travels to those of you who will be on the road.  Enjoy your family and friends.  Happy Thanksgiving!


November 20, 2019

Results of HEA Bargaining Survey

November 18, 2019

394 Respondents (out of 593 members) 66% of membership

Many people have said that an increase to the salary scale is the most important item for bargaining. Is this true for you?

58%      Yes, an increase to the salary matrix is a must

28%      I would be great with my salary step increase and a $1000 bonus

18%      No, I think the salary matrix is fine as is

Would you be interested in seeing a new salary scale for existing employees?

23%      Yes

40%      Maybe

37%      No

Would you be interested in seeing a new salary scale for new employees?

30%      Yes

52%      Maybe

18%      No

Would you be interested in a salary scale that is higher for those with advanced degrees (as opposed to the stipend system now in use)? (More like a traditional steps and lanes scale.)


November 8, 2019

Congratulations to those folks who were able to take advantage of the Retirement Incentive offered this fall. I wish every one of you the best as you move into the next chapter of life--whatever that may be! I know that HSD is losing very talented and dedicated educators. On behalf of the HEA, I want to thank you for your years of service to our students, our school district, and our union. You will be missed!

HEA and HSD has been working on a new transfer form (thank you Kelly Elder!) which will be available online soon.  We anticipate that there may be quite a bit of movement, so make sure that you start thinking about where you would like to be next year.  If you are even considering a possible move, or have a dream job in mind, make sure that you put in for a transfer, even if that particular position is not currently open--you never know, it just may open up.  As soon as the transfer form is live, I will let you know by email.

Bargaining season is upon us.  Our first meeti...

October 23, 2019

If you missed the MFPE Educators Conference this past week, make plans for next year!  Great sectionals, fabulous dinner--where several of our own HSD1 teachers were recognized, and fun catching up with friends and colleagues from around the state.  Maybe you even want to offer a sectional of your own!

MFPE's Regional Meeting is tonight, 5:30-7:00.  Come out to Helena College and find out what is going on with your state union.  Food and drink provided!

Bargaining continues on November 6th.  Please send any ideas that you have for bargaining to any committee member or to me.  Make your voice heard!

Thanks for everything you do in the Helena School District!  Jane

September 24, 2019

The HEA Board of Directors met last Tuesday.  There was a lively discussion about guest teachers, the lack thereof, and how to solve the problem.  If you have any great suggestions, bring them to your building rep!

The COPE Board voted to support our own HEA member candidate, Melissa Romano, in her bid for Superintendent of Public Instruction!  We donated $340 to her campaign on behalf of HEA.

Helena Vigilante Runners are sponsoring the Helena Sun Run on October 5.  The beneficiaries of this fundraiser are Helena's new elementary schools.  Check the calendar for a link to their website.

The MFPE Educators Conference is fast approaching.  Register for the Belgrade conference at MFPE.org.  Remember that 0--5 year union members go for free, union members pay $30, and nonmembers pay $100--registration must be completed by October 15.  There are a ton of sectionals to choose from.  All non-tenured HEA members can receive a $50 travel stipend from HEA--just submit proof of attendance....

September 12, 2019

Hello Colleagues!

September has already been a busy month!  It is exciting to see you all back and doing your thing!  

Rep Council had its first meeting on Tuesday.  We have about 50 educators and 25 paraeducators new to the district this year--please welcome our new colleagues.  Paraeducators are using the AESOP system for guest paras, so help them out on the system if necessary.  Nominations are open for the Elementary Board of Directors position, due by Sept. 25.  Also, if you are a non-tenured member heading to the Educators Conference in Belgrade in October, you can be reimbursed for $50.00 in travel expenses by providing a copy of your sectional transcript to me.  

Check out the website calendar to stay up to date on what's happening--including Angel Fund fundraisers and HEF activities.

Thank you for all you do for our students each and every day!


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