As the new school year begins, it is important to lay a strong foundation for the learning to come by building or rekindling relationships-with our students, their parents, and with our colleagues.

On the first day of my Spanish classes I have often used this icebreaker: I write several numbers on the board and the students guess what the questions might be for which the numbers are answers. It lets them get to know a bit about me, use Spanish right from the start, as well as review numbers and how to ask questions. The it’s their turn to write down “their numbers” and have the rest of us come up with the questions.

So here are some numbers for you get to know a bit about me, your new MEA President! See if you can guess what these numbers refer to!

  • A) 34
  • B) 2
  • C) 1972
  • D) 3
  • E) 1985
    (answers below)

And now some numbers that are important to all of us:

24,000: The number of MEA members-let’s keep this number growing! Be sure to talk to each of your new colleagues about how important the MEA is to us all and how we-and our students!-can continue to improve teaching and learning and working conditions because of our strong association!

3,000,000: The number of NEA members-which makes ours the largest union in the country. This means our members have access to numerous valuable resources for their professional as well as personal lives.

40: The number of Wednesdays in the academic year that I hope we all will wear RED for PUBLIC ED to keep the recent increase in attention on educators and students going! Let’s be visible in our communities and be sure that the great work we do every day for our students gets the respect and recognition we deserve!

2 1/2: The number of months until November-there is lots to do to help elect friends of education, people who make decisions that affect our members and our students!

12: The number of educators running for the state house-they will be great policymakers for our students and our members!

24,000: Yes, this is a repeat-but it is also the number of educators I hope to get to know directly as I travel around eh state-and it is the number of people I hope will open and read the monthly President’s messages as well as other information they get from the MEA, so we can stay connected and well informed.

While I know I will miss the excitement of opening days in the classroom-the first September in over 40 years!–I am excited to be serving as your president and to be doing all I can to make Maine’s schools the best they can be-for educators and students!



  • A) The number of days I’ve been MEA President as I write this
  • B) The number of daughters I have
  • C) The year I first taught a class and fell in Love with teaching (in Madrid while still in college)
  • D) The age (in months!) of my granddaughter
  • E) The year my husband, older daughter and I moved to this wonderful state to live in the log home my husband built in Raymond)