TEA’s student affiliate STEA has once again been recognized among the top three student programs in the nation with the highest membership.
“We are extremely proud of our student members who go above and beyond their demanding school work load to grow professionally and mentor others as aspiring educators,” said Rhonda Thompson, STEA coordinator and member of TEA’s Instructional Advocacy staff.
STEA success is built on a strong network of chapters at education colleges throughout the state, a robust professional development program centered around two annual student conferences and a rich history of service projects across the state and beyond.
After attending an STEA training, student member Ruth Tan wrote and received a grant that resulted in engaging an entire school and its community of more than 170 families last year.
“Ruth’s work gained national attention which led to her being selected to share her leadership story in front of 2,000 NEA members during the 2018 NEA Leadership Summit,” Thompson said. “That’s just one example of how driven young educators can be – if we open the door and give them the tools to succeed.”
Before the 2018 TEA Representative Assembly, STEA members helped build Azafran Community Park in Nashville. Student members often participate in school service projects statewide, help fundraising efforts for schools and students in need, and expand their perspectives on public education throughout the country during national meetings and projects surrounding the NEA Representative Assembly.
“STEA is one of the most important things you can do for your future career because it brings you into the world of education before you enter the classroom,” said Savannah Huff, STEA President and student at Tennessee Technological University. “Thanks for STEA, I have so many connections that opened me up to opportunities which I never thought were possible. I now have a wonderful support system all across the country.”
Former STEA members credit their professional success to the program and remain active in promoting public education as members of TEA.
“I have learned so much over the years and I haven’t even reached the classroom yet. STEA taught me how to build a portfolio, build relationships with staff and leaders in the building, and represent myself professionally,” said CarVaughn Page, English Education major at Tennessee State University and president of the TSU STEA chapter.
“We are taking charge of our profession so we can be in control of our future as educators. If we don’t do it, public education as a career and calling may become extinct, but we won’t let that happen.”
Pictured above: Ruth Tan and Azaria Mays of STEA.