Lance Campbell will be busy with more than class prep for his Social Studies students at East Stanislaus High School in the 2015-16 school year. Campbell is the newly elected President of the Oakdale Teachers Association. A position he sees as both a welcome challenge and an honor.
This year marks Campbell’s 15th year as an educator with Oakdale Joint Unified and he has been an educator a total of 18 years.
“I didn’t know what to expect, when I initially applied I was nervous,” Campbell said of applying for his position at East Stan 15 years ago. “I decided it wouldn’t be that different. Things have changed so much over the years … positive change.”
The OTA president shared he first got his feet wet with the teachers association 12 years ago as a Site Representative, a position he maintained on a frequent basis. Three years ago he was invited to join the Negotiating Team as an alternate, when a space became vacant.
“Last year I became the lead negotiator,” Campbell said.
A tumultuous year to be given the task, as Oakdale teachers spent a large part of the school year dissatisfied with the contract salary increase the district offered. Salary negotiations continued for the better part of the 2014-15 school year.
“We knew people weren’t happy,” he shared. “We knew what we were getting into.”
As the Lead Negotiator, Campbell shared he recognized his position was to present and represent what the District continued to offer and maintain the teachers’ best interest in regards to a contract.
Campbell attended a four-day California Teachers Association training this summer to help prepare for his newest hat with OTA. The four-day training hosted in San Jose was attended by CTA Presidents from throughout the state of California.
“I think more than anything what I took away from it is, I was more prepared than I thought I was,” he said. “I consider it an honor to be a member of this district and to serve our teachers as the association President.
“My major goal this year is, I know tensions were high last year. I’d really like to smooth things out,” he said. “Hopefully we can all move forward, because obviously we still need to negotiate but do so without tension.”
As the newly elected President, Campbell shared he looks forward to having a large overall impact on the Teachers Association, not just restricted to salary negotiations. As the OTA President, that piece will no longer include him. Adding he knows that class size and balance is an ongoing concern of teachers and he looks forward to aiding in finding the solution which suits all involved.
“I really believe overall administrators, certificated staff and those in the classroom really do have a concern for the needs of our students,” he said. “I think everyone works really well together.”