MTA President Anne Wass has called to order her last Annual Meeting of Delegates today, with more than 1,000 members gathered at the Hynes Convention Center for the association’s 165th meeting.
Wass, who will step down as MTA president in July, was honored with the Louise E. Gaskins Lifetime Civil Rights Award at the meeting’s prelude, the Human and Civil Rights Awards Dinner on Thursday.
“Anne has that rare and special quality of overall goodness and sincere interest in people and their issues,” wrote former Braintree Education Association Pres. Kathleen Harrigan in her nomination. “She opens her heart to people. As a teacher, she would pay particular attention to students in her class who struggled to learn or were social outcasts. …Her classroom atmosphere was one of respect for one another and she did not tolerate unkind words or actions.”
Harrigan, who serves as Wass did on the association’s Equal Opportunity Council, also recalled that Wass and former MTA president Kathleen Roberts were made honorary members of the NEA American Indian/Alaska Native Caucus for their many years of work on behalf of Native American students.
“[Anne] is credited and remembered for overseeing the implementation and monitoring of MTA’s equal Employment and Affirmative Action Plan,” Harrigan recalled, and for speaking out nationally at the NEA RA in support of gay rights.
Another former MTA president, Mary Gilmore, was presented with the Kathleen Roberts Creative Leadership Award. Her nominator, Gaskins, listed vision, enthusiasm, commitment, compassion and loyalty” among Gilmore’s admirable qualities.
“Early on, I had the personal experience of these qualities and her support of diversity,” Gaskins wrote. “She flew with me to Washington to present me to the NEA Board of Directors as the first Ethnic Minority Director to represent Massachusetts and to make sure there were ‘no snags.’”
Annual Meeting Schedule
Friday, May 7
Saturday, May 8
- Booths open for VOTE (Voice of the Educator in Education), the Massachusetts Child, Early Childhood Education Organizing Campaign and MTA Benefits sponsors. Computers will also be available to allow delegates to send a message to Senators Kerry and Brown in support of the Keep Educators Working Act.
- Annual Meeting opens with leadership reports, keynote speaker Scott McLeod, and a check presentation for Reading Matters.
- Early Childhood Education Organizing Campaign presentation
- Issues Forum
- Consideration of Bylaws & Resolutions
- Report from the PR/Organizing Committee
- Speeches by Candidates for MTA Offices
- Teacher of the Year, Friends of Education and President's Awards
- New Business Items
- Election Results