Friday, September 5, 2008

ISEA President Chris Bern to Visit LC

originally posted on August 26, 2008

ISEA President, Chris Bern to Visit LC September 8-9, 2008
in the SWUU Arm of His ISEA President's Tour

You're all invited to help us welcome our new ISEA President to LC early next week.

Many of us in ISEA have had the honor of working with Chris on a variety of levels within the Association. Not only is he an awesome ambassador for our profession, a thoughtful planner, and an articluate speaker, he is a wonderful, upbeat person. A real people's person, he puts our students, our schools, our colleagues and our Association first.

A former Southwest Iowa Uniserv Unit president, Chris is truly one of us in so many ways. Some really thoughtful, member-driven, changes are in store for the ISEA.

Veteran Knoxville High School math teacher, Chris Bern, will visit LC on September 8-9, 2008 while doing his annual ISEA President's tour. His ambitious plans include visiting districts in each of the 19 uniserv units in the state. He will also be a guest of honor and a keynote speaker at the local leader's meeting in Council Bluffs next Tuesday evening and in Clarinda next Wednesday meeting. All of our Association Reps and members to attend this meeting on Tuesday evening. Enjoy a free dinner and a meeting with your colleagues from Southwest Iowa.

We are busy booking Chris in as many buildings and classrooms as possible.

Chris is trained by the NEA in its national Anti-Bullying and Anti-Harrassment training and does a wondeful job offering this training for students and education professionals. He can speak to the important of civics and involvement in elections or Election 2008. Rest assured, that he will not advocate for any one candidate. He could speak to students about the importance of communication skills (speech, writing, reading) to advance one's career. He could teach a math lesson, read a book to an elementary classroom, visit with teachers durng planning periods, and more... Our potential is unlimited. Let's use this opportunity to show off your classroom. We're trying to work with the Non-Pareil to get some strong media coverage for Bern's visit.

Amongst Bern's first accomplishments as ISEA President was in organizing and working for the ISEA Iowa Disaster Relief Fund for our colleagues who were devastated by the flooding and tornado disasters of last spring and this summer. To date the fund has raised $40,000.00 for our colleagues and schools that were damaged in the disasters.

Chris has already taken "the show on the road"
and given our organization, members and communities another strong professional face. Bern's Blog will document his travels and experience. Check it out at

Chris Bern, a veteran Knoxville High School math teacher, has been elected president of the nearly 33,000-member Iowa State Education Association (ISEA). He was elected April 4, by nearly 400 delegates attending the ISEA annual meeting in Ames.

Bern, who has served as ISEA vice president for the past two years, defeated Jean Seeland, an elementary teacher from Waterloo; and Bruce Jensen, a retired elementary teacher from Moulton-Udell. He will replace current ISEA President Linda Nelson who will return to teach at Carter Lake Elementary School in Council Bluffs next fall after serving two, two-year terms.

Bern began his career teaching junior high math in Woodbine. He moved to Knoxville in 1988 where he has taught at the high school, alternative high school, and middle school levels over the years. Bern has also been an Association activist throughout his career -- first as president and chief negotiator in Woodbine and now in Knoxville where he has held virtually every leadership position including two, two-year terms as president.

A member of the ISEA Executive Board since 2002, Bern spent 11 years on the ISEA Resolutions and New Business Committee and served as its chairperson. In addition, he has been a member of the ISEA-PAC Central Committee since 1994 and has been involved in several political campaigns. On the national level, Bern has been a member of the National Education Association (NEA) Resolutions Committee for the past six years and he is a certified trainer for the NEA's program on school safety and anti-harassment issues.

Bern graduated in 1977 from Buena Vista College in Storm Lake with a degree in mathematics. He will take a leave of absence from his teaching duties to serve a two-year term which begins in June.