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Message from the President

Dear Colleague,
Welcome to Frederick County Public Schools! As you embark on your career with Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) you have a busy, challenging, and exciting year ahead of you. I hope you will find this work successful and rewarding!
As President of the Frederick County Teachers Association (FCTA), I invite you to join the over 3,400 educators in Frederick County who belong to our professional organization. FCTA works to advocate, empower, and organize members to ensure an excellent and equitable public education for all students in Frederick County. From negotiating your contract and guiding you through the evaluation/tenure process, to giving you a voice on workgroups that collaborate with FCPS on professional issues, to providing professional development and organizing social events for members – FCTA is here to work with you.
The Frederick County Teachers Association offers a wide range of benefits that are crucial to your personal, financial, and professional security. A key benefit is our sick leave bank which can protect you when illness or injury strikes, and you have little or no sick leave left. The benefits of membership are among the many important reasons that nearly 90% of your colleagues are FCTA members. In fact, using the savings offered through the NEA/MSEA Member Benefits Program can help cover the cost of your association dues and more (go to www.neamb.com and check out the money saving deals and discounts offered only to NEA members)! NEA also has a student debt relief program that has helped our members save thousands of dollars on their student loans.

You are entering FCPS at a time of change in public education, but also at a time with many opportunities. Teaching and learning practices and pedagogy continue to evolve to meet the needs of our students. The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, which is legislation that is intended to transform public education and elevate the teaching profession, is at its initial stages of a 10-year implementation. There are many pieces of this legislation that require negotiation and collaboration between FCTA and FCPS. FCTA appoints members to Blueprint workgroups in addition to getting feedback from members via survey data and input from our Representative Assembly. Educator feedback into solutions for both challenges and opportunities is essential as we navigate this ever-changing environment. This coming year we will work together to provide the most optimal conditions for teaching and learning.

The strength of FCTA, MSEA, and NEA to advocate for public schools and public-school educators is found in the unity of our members. Today, more than ever, there are challenges facing public education and educators. Teachers, school counselors, media specialists, therapists, speech and language pathologists, social workers and other certificated staff need to stand together so that we have the power to meet these challenges in our community and beyond. By joining your professional association, you will have a voice in improving public education and the teaching profession.
Have a great start in Fredrick County; I look forward to meeting you, and I urge you to become an active member of FCTA and the Frederick community. Please call, email, or stop by my office if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas you would like to share.

Melissa Dirks
FCTA President


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