GEA works to unite staff, community


Nadia Hernandez

Cynthia Karabush and Andy Levin wear their matching GEA shirts to show their unity within the community.

Members of the Grayslake Education Association have come together to showcase their unity through wearing red shirts each week.
The GEA has set goals in order to become stronger and unified within the community. The shirts with the phrase “Better Together” helps to showcase their unity.
“The red shirts worn by teachers and support staff were designed by a staff member at Central. Staff members are wearing the shirts as a show of unity and as a reminder that teachers, staff, administrators and community members are stronger when they are united in providing high-quality education to all students in District 127,” said biology teacher Susan Remshak.
Teachers from both North and Central work together as a part of the union. President of the GEA, Chris Hoguet, believes in the power of unity, instead of sticking to their individual schools.
“The Grayslake Education Association is a union made up of nearly all teachers and support staff members at both North and Central. We believe in working together with each other, administrators, our community, and our students to create the best educational experience for our students as possible,” Hoguet said.
Unions work together to achieve a goal of some sort. The GEA and the administration work together for the good of the schools.
“Before any formal meeting, we will all go out to eat just to break the ice. It really helps build a relationship There’s a lot of respect that they have, and they keep things very professional,” said associate superintendent Dr. Michael Zelek.
Communication between the GEA and District 127 administration is vital in order to gain perspective and be able to create positive change.
“Through each and every experience, I learn to rethink how I present ideas because people will need to hear it in different ways,” Zelek said.
The GEA does many things on behalf of staff.
“The executive board of our union is responsible for collecting and paying dues to our state and national affiliates, communicating with staff, meeting regularly with building and district administration, and negotiating working conditions and salaries for all union members,” Hoguet said.
Many teachers across the nation have taken extreme actions to spark change. In Los Angeles, teachers went on strike due to unfair salaries given to teachers.
“It’s important to know that individual school districts are controlled at a local level. There are no state-wide or nation-wide laws about school salaries,” Remshak said.
As president of the GEA, Hoguet has tried to become an influential leader and look to the future.
“I’ve tried my best to listen to the concerns of employees, communicate effectively and respectfully with the administration, and become more involved with district-wide activities rather than focus solely on North,” Houget said. “I’ve participated with many other employees, administrators, and community members on a District Improvement Team to try to make our district even better in the future.”