21 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving from TRTA and TRTF!

Dear Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) Members and Supporters,

This is the time of year to reflect and appreciate those who are a special part of our lives!

The TRTA Board of Directors and the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF) Board of Trustees are so very thankful for the time you spend volunteering for TRTA and the donations you have made to help fund TRTF’s many charitable programs.

Your work and endeavors have made this a successful organization that gives a voice to retired educators as well as active educators still working in the school systems, and helps us provide assistance to retired educators in need, current classroom teachers and tomorrow’s educators! Your unwavering support has also meant that more than 400 educators—retired and active—could begin the recovery process after Hurricane Harvey through grants provided by TRTF’s Disaster Relief Fund.

Educators are the foundation for everything good that happens in our state. We know that educators make things happen. Your patience, love, knowledge, dedication and generous spirit make Texas great!

However, we also know that for all the good we do, the appreciation and salary is not commensurate. We know that the future holds many questions about health insurance for our retirees, and concerns about making ends meet.

Fortunately, that does not hinder what we have and want to give to others. Your Texas Retired Teachers Foundation does what its name implies. We are the base, the underlying structure that supports our members and future members too!

How the Foundation Can Help

If you or a retiree you know is in need of financial assistance this holiday season, please email the Foundation’s “A Helping Hand” program at TRTF has assisted many retirees with home repairs, dental work, hearing aids, medical bills, space heaters and much more! Likewise, if you or a retiree you know could use some financial assistance as a result of Hurricane Harvey, please call 1.800.880.1650 or send an email to to request an application.

If you know a classroom teacher who is hoping to fund a great project for his or her students and is wondering where to find the money to accomplish this goal, have them apply for one of our thirty available Classroom Assistance Grants. Download application here. Each grant is worth $500!

If you have a grandchild or other family member who is about to graduate from college and plans to teach for the very first time in the fall of 2018, let them know about our Beginning Teacher Scholarship program. We may be able to assist them in paying for certification tests or supplies for their first classroom. TRTF has 15 scholarships to give in 2018. Download the application here. Each scholarship is worth $750!

Donate Today

If you believe in the legacy of public education in Texas, and want to show your support through a tax-deductible donation to any of our Foundation’s amazing programs, you may donate online today! You may also call and donate over the phone with a credit card at 1.800.880.1650.

The third quarter issue of The VOICE also featured a special article about the Foundation, along with TRTF’s annual appeal letter and donation card. You can mail in your donation using the pre-paid envelope included with your issue.

There are more than 80,000 members of TRTA. If we all give a little, we could do a lot! Foundation Month is your opportunity to make a difference for a colleague that could use help, create an opportunity for classroom teachers and students, or help open the door for a new teacher brimming with youthful enthusiasm to teach young minds.

Thank you for the opportunity you have given all of us to serve as your TRTA representatives. We are all deeply grateful to our members for everything that they do to support this great organization.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Tim Lee

TRTA Executive Director

Jamie Larson

TRTF Board President

Thank You

The Inside Line is a free service of TRTA, provided to you to keep you informed on current issues and events that impact your life.  If you value this service, please consider becoming a member of TRTA by clicking here. If you are already a member, thank you!

Be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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20 Nov

TRTF Making a Difference: Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson’s favorite moments as a teacher come when a student succeeds in an unexpected way. She refers to these as the “little accomplishments,” and she sees them every day. Wilson is a teacher at Georgetown’s Jack Frost Elementary. She works with pre-kindergarten students who have disabilities, and she’s been helping special education students for 15 years.

Among the new skills the students learn while working with Wilson is how to move their bodies. Specifically, the students learn how to use their gross motor muscles like their arms and legs.

Wilson uses a wide variety of games and toys to teach the students. However, many of these toys can be expensive, and moving them from one place to another can be cumbersome.

“Last year, we were doing our gross motor stations as a whole group in the cafeteria,” Wilson said. “But with construction at our school and just different schedules this year, we aren’t able to go all to the cafeteria. So, we wanted a way to transport, originally, all of our things to the cafeteria easily.”

The Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF) was able to assist Wilson in her pursuit of simplifying this process. Wilson obtained a $500 Classroom Assistance Grant from TRTF, which she used to purchase a gross motor cart as well as bouncy-balls, a ring toss set, a hop-scotch game and a Velcro ball catching game.

Wilson has seen the children fall in love with the new toys, and sees the toys as an opportunity to improve the children’s long-term prospects in education.

“Gross motor games are just fun,” she said. “Research has shown that gross motor abilities are very strongly linked to academic abilities later in life.”

Wilson believes people should donate to issues that are most important for them, and for her, that is early childhood education.

“I feel like the earlier we can get these kids working on their skills and building them up, the more successful in their lives they are going to be,” Wilson said.

Donate to help more teachers like Sarah Wilson through TRTF’s Classroom Assistance Grants programDonate here today!

Thank You

Thank you for donating to TRTF! Your contributions truly help change lives!

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16 Nov

Governor Names New Trustees to TRS Board

On Wednesday, November 15, 2017, Governor Greg Abbott announced the names of the three new trustees who will fill open positions on the Board of Trustees for the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS).

Governor Abbott has appointed Jarvis V. Hollingsworth, James “Dick” Nance, and Nanette Sissney to the TRS Board of Trustees for terms set to expire August 31, 2023. Additionally, the Governor named Hollingsworth chair of the board, replacing current chair David Kelly, who has served since 2007. Additional information about other trustees serving on the board can be found by clicking here.

The following information appears in a news release made available by the Governor’s office:

  • Jarvis V. Hollingsworth of Missouri City is a partner and member of the Management Committee of the law firm of Bracewell LLP. He is a former regent of the University of Houston System, where he served in many capacities, including chairman of the Board of Regents. He is a former trustee of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, where he served in many capacities, including as chairman of the Board. He is a member of the American Bar Association, Houston Bar Association, State Bar of Texas Foundation, and the State Bar of Texas and previously served on its Board of Directors. Additionally, he is former treasurer of the Houston Bar Foundation and a member of the United Way of Greater Houston’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society. Hollingsworth received a Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and served for several years on active and reserve duty in the United States Army. He received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Houston.
  • James “Dick” Nance of Hallettsville is retired from Pasadena ISD after 35 years of service. He is a former member of the Texas Athletic Directors Association, Greater Houston Football Coaches Association, and the Texas High School Coaches Association. Additionally, he is president of the District III Texas Retired Teachers Association and former president of Pasadena South Rotary Club and Lavaca County Retired Teachers Association. He is former secretary of the Hallettsville ISD Education Foundation and a former member of the Hallettsville Lions Club and the Hallettsville ISD Strategic Planning Committee. Nance received a Bachelor of Science in education, a mid-management certificate, and a Master of Education from the University of Houston.
  • Nanette Sissney is a school counselor and former high school teacher with Whitesboro ISD. She is former state president of the Texas Classroom Teachers Association and former member of the National Council on Teacher Retirement. Additionally, she is a volunteer for Christmas Angel Tree and Ministerial Alliance and chair of Whitesboro Santa’s Breakfast. Sissney received a Bachelor of Arts from Texas Woman’s University and a Master of Education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University.”

James “Dick” Nance is a member of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) and the Lavaca County RTA local unit, where he serves currently as Immediate Past President. He will fill the position left vacant after the passing of beloved TRTA member and friend Anita Smith Palmer, who passed away in January of 2017. Nance was appointed by the Governor from three retired member candidates who were nominated by retired TRS members.

The Board of Trustees of TRS, the trustee of all plan assets, is responsible for the general administration and operation of TRS, and is authorized by law to adopt rules for the administration of TRS and the transaction of the business of the Board.

Congratulations to all who were named to the TRS Board! TRTA is looking forward to continuing our positive work with the TRS Board of Trustees. The next meeting of the TRS Board of Trustees will be held on December 14 and 15 in Austin, Texas.

Thank You

The Inside Line is a free service of TRTA, provided to you to keep you informed on current issues and events that impact your life.  If you value this service, please consider becoming a member of TRTA by clicking here. If you are already a member, thank you!

Be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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