Last week, during the 68th TRTA Convention, members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) met at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas to conduct association business, gather with their fellow retirees, and receive information and resources to help districts and local chapters plan for the coming fiscal year.

The convention was held April 11-13 and was the first statewide association in-person event since 2019. TRTA officers and staff were pleased to see so many familiar faces and to meet many new volunteers ready to support our grassroots advocacy efforts ahead of the 88th Legislative Session that begins in January 2023.

Below are several highlights from convention that TRTA’s entire membership may want to know about!

Congratulations to Our Newly Elected State Officers!

The following individuals who were each elected for a two-year term as a TRTA state officer beginning July 1, 2022:

  • Marcy Cann, TRTA President
  • Ella Gauthier, TRTA First Vice-President
  • Frana Patterson, TRTA Second Vice-President
  • Terri Navrkal, TRTA Secretary/Treasurer

These individuals were elected by the House of Delegates. Current TRTA President Leroy DeHaven will assume the role of Immediate Past President on July 1. Thank you for your service to TRTA!

TRTA State Membership Awards Announced!

During the House of Delegates, current First Vice-President/Membership Chair Marcy Cann announced the State Membership Awards for the following districts and local units.

  • The 2021-2022 “Highest Membership Percentage Gain” was awarded to District 1.
  • The 2021-2022 “Highest Membership Gain” was awarded to District 1.
  • The 2021-2022 “Highest Membership Percentage Gain” was awarded to Red River Co RSEA.
  • The 2021-2022 “Highest Membership Gain” was awarded to Austin RTA.

Congratulations to these hard-working districts and local units!

Leroy DeHaven Announces 2022 President’s Diamond Award

TRTA President Leroy DeHaven presented the 2022 President’s Diamond Award, an honor given at the end of every TRTA President’s term, to Aransas County RTA.

Of the local chapter, Mr. DeHaven says, “Hurricane Harvey destroyed their town and meeting place. Many of the members’ homes were heavily damaged and some even had to leave to find a place to live temporarily. Their unit president passed away not long after.

Throughout all of this, Aransas County RTA rebounded and is increasing in membership!” The award was presented to Ruth Ann Sheppard, Local Unit President and Tom Weeaks, First Vice-President in recognition of their tireless efforts in the face of great adversity achieving consistent membership growth and representing the goals and mission of Texas Retired Teachers Association.

TRTA Hosts Legislative Luncheon Featuring State Officials

TRTA Executive Director Tim Lee hosted a panel during a luncheon on April 13 that featured several elected officials. TRTA expresses its thanks to State Senator Royce West, and Representatives Rafael Anchia, Giovanni Capriglione, and Tony Tinderholt for taking the time to discuss the issues that matter most to TRS retirees. Topics covered included how to win a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) and improve funding for the TRS-Care health insurance program.

TRTF Announces 2022 Scholarship & Grant Winners & Hosts Successful Silent Auction

The Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF), TRTA’s charitable partner, announced the 2022 Classroom Assistance Grant and Beginning Teacher Scholarship recipients during the organization’s first-ever fundraising silent auction.

The 2022 grant recipients will be receiving a $750 check to support their classroom projects. The 2022 scholarship winners will be receiving a $750 check to cover the cost of certification tests, as well as materials for their first-year classroom. Use the links below to view the winners. Congratulations to all the winners! TRTF wishes them all the best of luck in their future teaching endeavors.

TRTF also wishes to express sincere gratitude to the many generous districts and local chapters that donated items for the silent auction, which was a rousing success. The event raised more than $13,000 for the foundation’s charitable programs, including “A Helping Hand,” the Disaster Relief Fund, and the TRTF Tutor Program. Read more about TRTF’s programs on their website.

Congratulations E.L. Galyean Award Recipients!

TRTA also honored the association’s E.L. Galyean Award recipients for 2020, 2021, and 2022 during a luncheon on April 12. This award recognizes a TRTA member for outstanding and unusual service on the state level to TRTA and its members. The award also serves as a constant reminder of the distinctive quality of committed service rendered by Mr. E. L. Galyean, TRTA’s first Executive Director (1980-1992).

  • BILL BARNES: 2020 AWARD RECIPIENT

Bill Barnes worked in education for 37 years, beginning in 1965. He became Assistant Principal in HEB ISD in 1969, and principal of Hurst Hills Elementary in 1976. He served as Principal of Spring Garden Elementary from 1983 until his retirement. He joined TRTA in 2002 with the Hurst–Euless–Bedford RSE, where he served as Legislative Committee Co–Chair. He helped found Northwest RSE in 2008 and served as Legislative Chair. Bill served as TRTA’s State Legislative Committee Chair/Coordinator from 2008 to 2019, also serving on the Board of Directors. Bill has testified at state committee hearings and TRS board and congressional meetings, using his influence to represent the voices of thousands of TRS retirees. He also served as District 11 Legislative Chair, Second Vice–President, First Vice–President, President, and Past President. Bill represented retirees’ healthcare concerns by serving on the TRS Retiree Advisory Committee for two terms beginning in 2004. Bill is a family man, married to wife Janice for 50 years, and takes great pride in his daughter and son–in–law, Kelli and Billy, and two grandsons, Trevor and Rhett.

  • AUBREY CHERRY: 2021 AWARD RECIPIENT

Aubrey Cherry has been a member of TRTA for more than 25 years and has served in numerous leadership positions. He was the local unit president for El Paso RTA and served as District 19 President. He served on the TRTA Board of Directors from 2000 to 2012. Cherry has been described as “the epitome of a professional educator” and “a wonderful ambassador for retired teachers.” Many members may know Cherry from his work at the TRTA conventions where he and his wife, Frances, have served on the Credentials Committee. The E.L. Galyean Award serves as a reminder of the distinctive quality of committed service. Cherry is a well-deserving recipient of the award, as he has provided leadership and inspiration through his decades of service.

  • MARTHA KALLUS: 2022 AWARD RECIPIENT

Martha Kallus worked steadfastly in positions of service in every aspect of her life, particularly within TRTA. She joined her local unit Midland RTA (now ARSP) as soon as she retired. She served as District 18 President and began eleven years of service at the TRTA state level. She was the Chair of the Local Unit Support Committee for four years, Organizational Affairs Committee for two years and the Retirement Education Committee for four. She turned an unorganized series of scattered retirement education events into an organized, uniform program by educating pre-retirees of their options, obligations, and opportunities for retirement. Martha was also a TRTF trustee for seven years and was Chair of the Classroom Assistance Grants committee. She had the heart and soul of a servant and is greatly missed by all.

Thank You!

Thank you to the 818 TRTA members who participated in this year’s convention. Your dedication to improving the lives of all TRS retirees and current educators is the key to our association’s success. TRTA will provide additional information about upcoming changes to bylaws and association functions in future updates.