August 2008: Jim Hawkins
Jim Hawkins is director of the Professional Educators of Iowa. He offers us this summary of his work:
Professional Educators of Iowa (PEI) is a professional organization focused on students and advancing the professionalism of educators. PEI is a non-profit, non-partisan, professional organization serving current, retired, and future educators including teachers, administrators, and school support personnel, as well as those in higher education, all of whom are valuable and contributing members of the school community. PEI promotes teachers as professionals who perform a valued public service. PEI does not engage in non-education political activity that may violate members' personal beliefs. PEI takes positions on education issues after surveying members and receiving a majority vote in support or opposition.
PEI had a presence at the Straw Poll, and three of the biggest county conventions - Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Waterloo. I served on the Polk Co. Central committee and participate in the Public Interest Institute forums held each month at the RPI headquarters.
While PEI does not give endorsements, we are the professional association for teachers who do not want their money spent on the politics of the ISEA/NEA.