LUT out in Full Force at NYSUT Leadership Conference

Friday, May 3, 2024
Picture: LUT leaders at the NYSUT Nassau Regional Office Leadership Conference: (Top row L to R) Abbey Lane Building Representative, Mirna Jewels, LUT Treasurer, Stephen Austin, LUT President, John Caulfied, LUT Recording Secretary, Jen Gorske, LUT Vice President for Political Action, John Lipani, LUT Middle School Vice President, Lee Gardner and LUT Corresponding Secretary, Joe Romano; (Bottom row L to R): LUT High School Vice President, Sal Pulice, LUT Elementary Vice President, Donna DiPalo, and MacArthur High School Building Representative, Christina Perciballi-Boyle.
On April 12-14, building representatives and officers in the Levittown United Teachers (LUT) attended the annual leadership conference hosted by the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Nassau Regional Office (NRO). This year’s conference took place at the historic Tarrytown House Estate in Tarrytown, New York.
Attended by union leaders from across Nassau County, the NYSUT NRO conference included guest speakers, breakout rooms and discussions on important topics such as communication amongst union membership, negotiations, constitutions, parliamentary procedures for meetings, developing new leaders and contract language.
NYSUT President, Melinda Person, was the keynote speaker for the conference. She spoke about her expectations for what would or would not be part of the New York State budget and the need for a shift in public education away from high stakes testing and toward alternative means of assessment. Part of her speech referenced a report by a NYSUT Task Force, and a second report by a committee formed by the New York State Board of Regents. Both reports propose alternative assessment practices and paths for graduation for public school students in New York State. [To learn more about these reports, please read the article by Elementary Vice President, Donna DiPalo, in this edition of The Levittown Teacher]. 
“This conference definitely helped me to become a better leader for our union,” said Abbey Lane Elementary School Building Representative, Mirna Jewels. “[The conference] focused on strategies for addressing current challenges facing the union and our members and we established valuable connections with other union leaders that will facilitate future collaboration and knowledge sharing.”
The conference was the final NRO Conference for NYSUT Nassau Regional Staff Director, Matt Jacobs, who is retiring this spring. After presenting the last guest speaker at the conference, Jacobs received a long, standing ovation from those in attendance. It was a recognition well-deserved and well-earned for someone who has done so much over many years to make our union larger, stronger, and more inclusive. 
MacArthur Building Representative, Christina Perciballi-Boyle, attended her first NYSUT NRO this year. In talking about her experience at the conference and being a building representative for the first time this school year, she said, “I encourage everyone to be more involved.” “You learn so much about our union and other unions and contribute to the empowerment of our entire profession.”  


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