01/23 Newsletter: KMJ Interviews ACE Leader


ACE Organizing Committee member Kristin Heimerdinger Joins KMJ’s Afternoon Drive Show hosts Philip Teresi & E. Curtis Johnson to answer the question: Is ACE the Answer?

Recently, ACE member leader and Buchanan High School Teacher Kristin Heimerdinger joined KMJ’s Afternoon Drive show hosts Philip Teresi & E. Curtis Johnson to discuss how Clovis Unified School District educators are building a union as well as how the effort is leading to lasting positive changes throughout the district for both educators and students.  

The invitation to be on the show allowed Kristin to share our vision and mission with the greater Clovis community. Our vision centers on the belief that the needs of our students are better met when educators’ voices are heard and included in the district’s decision-making process; we are committed to engaging all educators throughout the Clovis Unified School District so that we may together address the barriers that keep our students and ourselves from finding success. 

It was also an opportunity to discuss the issues that we know matter most to Clovis educators and continue to drive us to organize and work toward positive change throughout the district. These issues include fair compensation, lower class sizes, and better resources to support our students’ learning needs.

I know for a fact that if you asked a lot of Clovis Unified educators, would you rather have more materials for your classroom, a smaller class size, better behavior support for your problem students or would you have a pay raise? There are a lot of teachers who would absolutely pick some smaller class sizes and some better support for behavior students.

In the interview Kristin also addressed the circumstances behind educators making the decision to come together to form ACE and how we are choosing to move forward with continuing to build ACE in a thoughtful way that focuses on taking the time to engage all Clovis educators.

I very much felt that I was a valued member of the decision-making process my first 18 years in the district, and that started to change over time where teachers were not included in the decisions that were going to affect them, or they were included, but in a very cursory way… We’ll let you come to the committee meeting, but we’re gonna go ahead and do what we want anyway, and so that was really the beginning of ACE. It was just a lack of a meaningful employee voice.

The interview also provided an opportunity to dispel the idea that CTA does not welcome conservative educators.

We’ve got lots of teachers in the central valley who belong to CTA, and they belong to a GOP caucus of CTA, and they would love nothing more than to get Clovis unified educators on board because we could then get more of that conservative voice, so part of the reason that CTA looks the way it looks is because it’s in California and we all know California is largely a blue state and that conservative views often get overshadowed so we would love nothing more than to have our conservative educators join us so that they could help move the needle politically, and get their views actually represented.

We encourage you to listen to the interview for yourself and to reach out to us any time in order to learn more about ACE and how we can work together to address the issues that are challenging our profession and our students throughout the district.