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Ellington Teachers Strengthen Connections, Build Union’s Future

CEA President Sheila Cohen (center) joined members of the Ellington Education Association including Vice President Amy Bernabe and President Mark Mahler for the union’s fall social.

Sometimes teachers only think about their union when it comes to matters governed by their contract, but leaders of the Ellington Education Association (EEA) are trying to change that.

“We don’t want to just be ghostbusters—the people you call when there’s a problem,” says President Mark Mahler. “A union should be a big group that supports each other, united by a common cause.”

That’s why EEA is giving members an opportunity to relax and get to know one another better. EEA held its first social of the year at the City Sports Grille in Vernon.

“It’s a chance to come together to bond and build camaraderie,” says high school building rep Kim Reilly.

Mahler says that, even though the Ellington district is on the smaller side, with only five schools, not all Ellington Education Association members know one another.

“A lot of teachers changed schools this year because of redistricting, so this social provides a good opportunity to see friends from our old schools,” says EEA Vice President Amy Bernabe, who organized the event. “It’s a great morale booster to have an event like this. We especially reached out to all our new teachers so that they can meet people and have fun.”

Bernabe adds, “Building this camaraderie among union members also carries over to strengthening our connections in the work environment.”

The EEA started hosting socials last year, holding one in the fall and one in the spring. They plan to continue the tradition and hope more and more members will attend with each social.

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