PSEA is a community of education professionals who make a difference in the lives of students every day.
Phoenixville EA member John Odell is in his second successful career after 24 years with the Army.
Pennsylvania’s public schools should be the safest and healthiest places for students to learn and grow. To make sure they are, we need the most qualified teachers, teaching assistants, school nurses, counselors, psychologists, and social workers.
PSEA is committed to making changes aimed at protecting everyone who works and learns in our schools.
Voice: September 2017
This was never part of the plan. Twenty-five years ago, I got involved, and I ended up making a lifelong habit of it.
It started innocently enough when I attended a meeting of the Home and School Association at Churchville Elementary School in the Council Rock School District, where my kids attended school.
I saw an opportunity to make a difference, and I went for it. I became president of the association, bringing parents, guardians, and other family members together with educators and support professionals to make our school the best it could be.
I could not have predicted then that I’d become president of PSEA more than two decades later, but here I am. It’s been something of an unexpected journey.
I started out on this journey because I wanted to make a difference for my kids. I kept going because I came to care so much about the many other students I encountered along the way.
That journey took me to Rolling Hills Elementary School in Council Rock, where I worked as a paraprofessional for nearly two decades. Working with students was a perfect fit for me. I had found my calling.
When the school bell rang, I knew there was more work to be done. That’s why I got involved with my local association and PSEA.
I didn’t have a grand plan. I just knew that PSEA represented people like me – the women and men who worked day and night to educate and meet the needs of our students. I knew my union – and my sisters and brothers in that union – had my back. And I wanted them to know that I had theirs.
So, I got involved – first as vice president and president of the Council Rock Education Support Professionals Association, and later as a member of the PSEA Board of Directors and as an officer.
From PTO mom to PSEA president, it’s been a heck of a ride.
I am humbled and excited to serve as your president. It is an honor to lead a union of committed professionals who make a difference in the lives of students every day. I promise to work hard for you, honor what you do, and make sure you are treated fairly and respected as the professionals you are.
I never expected the road to lead me here, but I’m so glad it did. Because, together, we can offer a legacy of great public schools to our kids and grandkids for decades to come.
That’s why I got involved in the first place – and that’s why I’m staying involved.
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