Course Descriptions

Course Tracks

Course Levels

Course Level 101

Beginning or aspiring; appropriate for those new to the content or are just learning.

Course Level 201

Building on current skills, but not experts; appropriate for leaders and members who currently “do the work” of the union.

Course Level 301 

Experienced leaders and members; appropriate for those driving the agenda—not just in their local, but the larger union movement.

Leadership Development Track

Technology and Tools for FEA Leaders

Monday, June 8th 1:00-3:00pm

Instructors: Tim Benton and Karen Sorrell


In this session, local union leaders will learn about the technology resources and tools available for you and your local affiliate. Participants will learn about FEA computer and software availability, including mass email communication platforms along with the various Microsoft Office tools available.

What Every Local President Needs to Know

90-minute sessions held June 8-12 from 2:30pm-4:00pm

COURSE LEVEL: 201 & 301

This training session is for local presidents with two or more years of experience who have attended a new officers’ training during Summer Academy in the past. During the session, experienced participants will learn the importance of following their governing documents, election guidelines, money-handling procedures and other elements of running your union business.  Best practices for interacting with staff, ways to manage their office, and other experienced leader tips to help make them and their local successful.  Discussion on COVID-19 logistics, stress & bargaining.

Public Speaking

Tuesday, June 9 — 9:00am-11:00am and 1:00pm-3:00pm

Instructors: Sharon Nesvig


Educators talk to groups of kids all the time, but addressing a roomful of unfamiliar adults is a whole different ballgame. This class offers tips and practice sessions that will help you become more comfortable with speaking in front of a school board, at a legislative committee meeting or in other settings where your words can make a big difference for students and colleagues. Learn how to stay on message, keep an audience engaged and maybe even win listeners over to your way of thinking.

New Officer Intensive Training (NOIT)

Monday, June 8 — 9:00am-12:00pm
Tuesday, June 9 — 9:00am-1:30pm
Wednesday, June 10 — 9:00am-3:15pm

Instructors:  Charley McClaren, Elizabeth Peterson


So, you were elected as a new officer of your local— now what?

Begin this year-long journey with 3-days of intensive training to build your personal leadership skills – from identifying your top strengths, to building productive teams. You will learn how to increase your level of influence with your members, district, and community, as well as, increase your skills in having tough conversations, running effective meetings, and dealing with challenging situations. We will also highlight tools available from FEA and our national affiliates.

Emerging Leaders

Monday, June 8 — 9:30am-2:30pm
Tuesday, June 9 — 10:00am-2:30pm
Wednesday, June 10 — 10:00am-3:00pm

Instructors:  Nicole Sipka, Kerr Fazzone, Thomas Lentz, Frank Peterman


The purpose of this training is to help active members build their skills to become future leaders in FEA locals. The training will focus on enhancing personal and professional skills to actively engage others, in both our worksites and local organizations, who are passionate about preserving public education and creating a more vibrant union. Participants will explore FEA structures and resources available to support emerging leaders, along with the history of collective bargaining/action in Florida. Participants will learn about themselves through the True Colors Personality Spectrum including communication styles; will practice effective collective action for membership development, organizing and mobilization; and will discover how they “fit” as agents of change within the union.

Organizing Track

Secrets of Success New Ed Organizing

Starts Wednesday, June 17 and runs every Wednesday through the months of June and July from 4:00pm-6:00pm

Instructors: Floyd Cox, Lauren Byers, Frank Peterman, Thomas Lentz, Blanca Sotelo, Charley McClaren


Local teams will learn about available resources, strategies and tactics to recruit, activate, and mobilize new educators in their districts. Including outreach prior to start of school, partnering at orientation, organizing conversations, identifying issues and interests and ways to follow up and engage. Teams will have the opportunity to work in groups to develop their plans, budgets, etc. with the focus of back-to-school season.

Note: Locals participating agree to implement NEA New Educator Campaign; ideally, teams of three to four will include at least one early career educatorLocal unions participating will be eligible to receive grant money to implement your designed plans, and attendees must have the authority to execute written plans. Please contact Mary.proud@floridaea.org or Jason.joespeh@floridaea.org for more information before you register participants.

Social & Racial Justice Is Union Work

Tuesday, June 9 — 10:00am-11:00am

Instructors: Michael Monroe, Elijah Armstrong, and Cristal Cruz


Participants in this session will develop shared language and explore the relationship between our organizational mission, vision and values, and social and racial justice to gain greater insight on why “social and racial justice is union work.” Participants will examine the impact of social and racial inequalities, and better understand the levels of racism and their negative outcomes within institutions and systems. Together we will engage in learning why a race equity/justice lens is critical to our work and how to apply it. This interactive and engaging session also will support participants’ ability to set social and racial justice goals and will provide the tools and resources to engage in constructive discussions about race and inequity across identity groups, as well as begin to lead on organizing for change in our schools and school communities.

Organizing for the Common Good (for beginners)

Monday, June 22 through Wednesday, June 24 10:00am–12:00pm and 1:00pm–3:00pm

Instructors:  KB Bower Rutgers University, Center for Worker Innovation, Frank Peterman


Come learn about building non-traditional partnerships and develop a community engagement plan. You will learn how to engage community members around your bargaining demands and how to build transformational relationships with community groups. We also will teach you how to power map your community.

Gearing Up For 2020

2 days, Monday Morning at (TBD) - Tuesday Evening at (TBD)

Instructor:  Stephanie Kunkel

COURSE LEVEL: 101, 201, 301

Legislative and electoral work are two sides of the same coin! Gearing Up for 2020 will help train local unions to develop a strong local legislative advocacy but, more importantly, develop political mobilization programs that will secure electoral victories and turn them into concrete legislative gains.

Gearing Up for 2020 training topics will include:

  • The legislative process
  • Effective legislative conversations
  • Making VAN work for YOU
  • Candidate recruitment and viability
  • Recruiting and retaining volunteers
  • Political message training
  • 10 rules for talking to members about politics
  • Do’s and don’ts of political communications in schools
  • Motivating underperforming members to vote

Growing a More Inclusive Union

Monday, June 8 — 1:00pm-3:00pm

Instructors:  Marcelino Rivera, Elijah Armstrong, NEA


How do we become a more inclusive union? In this session, participants will explore, discuss, and engage with each other on what it means to be intentional in our organizing, in identification of emerging leaders as well as in our recruitment, retention and engagement efforts. Join us during this interactive session to further develop goals and identify strategies to create a more equitable and inclusive union.

United Faculty of Florida Virtual Summer Training Series

Sessions start at 2:00pm EST on Mondays and are scheduled for one hour. Courses are specifically designed for Higher Ed members. No registration is required. Speak to your UFF staff person for more information.

Instructor: UFF Staff


  • May 18: AFT Online Membership Forms          
  • May 25: No training (Memorial Day)
  • June 1: Building a Crisis Action Team
  • June 8: Preparation for Collective Bargaining
  • June 15: The Bargaining Process at the Table                
  • June 22: Impasse: Bargaining in Crisis              
  • June 29: Post-Bargaining: Agreement and Ratification

Best Practices for Running a FEA-Retired Chapter Election

Tuesday, June 9 — 10:00am-11:00am
Wednesday, June 10 —10:00am-11:00am

Instructor:  Renita Bates


This session will help you develop the basics for running a successful retired chapter election. This workshop is designed for FEA-Retired members who are in charged with running chapter elections.  We will cover basic procedures in elections and discuss ways to make your retired chapter successful and fun.

Advocacy & Bargaining Track

The Nuts & Bolts of Bargaining

Thursday, June 11 — 1:30pm-4:00pm

Instructors:  Tony Gentile, FEA Central Panhandle Service Unit Director & Angela Dawson, FEA Southern Bargaining/Advocacy Specialist


Are you a new (or nearly new) bargaining team member?  Are you a little overwhelmed by the task of negotiating for hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of members?  Join us and learn about the foundations of bargaining, preparing for negotiations, internal and external communications to support your efforts – and more! Join us for a training designed to get YOU ready to bargain better contracts and represent your members to the fullest!   

For Mutual Aid and Protection: Member Advocacy Skills

Thursday, June 11 — 9:30am-12:00pm

Instructors:  Tony Gentile, FEA Central Panhandle Service Unit Director & Angela Dawson, FEA Southern Bargaining/Advocacy Specialist


Participants will learn about the rights employees have in the workplace as well as the legal and contractual rights union representatives have to help members in need. Join us to learn and develop skills to represent members, respond to accusations and complaints, and address contract violations through the grievance process. Come ready to learn and have some fun!

Building Resiliency: Creating Safe and Affirming Environments for LGBTQ Youth

Thursday, June 11 — 9:00am-11:00am

Instructor:  Ian Siljestron, Equality Florida


This session will equip participants with evidence-based strategies and best practices that ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) students are safe, affirmed and on track to graduate school successfully. In this session, you will learn the approach and strategy that school districts across Florida are using to address some of the unique and pressing concerns of our youth, including LGBTQ-affirming resources and materials, LGBTQ liaisons in schools, and developing a common language so as to ensure all youth are afforded the same protections in school.  

FEA LEADS Professional Development Track

The Flying Classroom

Thursday, June 11
Course #1: 9:00am-10:30am
Course #2: 2:00pm-3:30pm
Classes close at 25 participants

Instructors:  Capt. Barrington Irving, Hannah Maharaj


Imagine a global journey combined with a cutting-edge digital curriculum that makes science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) practical and applicable in the lives of students, K-8. This session is limited to 25 participants – must be a K-8 STEM educator or coach. 

Captain Irving will discuss an expedition he has been on and then we will have participants complete an activity based on the expedition. In a follow-up session, participants will explore how to connect the activity to their classroom and seamlessly integrate literacy, mathematics, science, arts and other key subject areas to their STEM+ virtual expedition content. Items to note about this experience:

  • 1 hour virtual session with Captain Irving & team to learn about the concept and complete an engineering design challenge related to the concept discussed.
  • 1 hour virtual follow up session on integrating other subjects into the virtual expedition taken with Captain Irving.
  • We will need to send an email to participants, so they know what materials they need, etc.

Education Staff Professional Summit Track

Computer Skills: Excel Basics & Intermediate

Wednesday, June 10 — 9:00am-5:00pm
Class closes at 23 participants

Instructor:  Mykel Gurule

COURSE LEVEL: 101 & 201

Microsoft Excel is the most commonly used spreadsheet application. Learning how to use Excel is an investment in both your personal and professional life. Excel makes it easy to monitor financial performance, such as business profit or loss, calculate payments on large purchases, plan a budget or stay organized with checklists. Learn the basics with hands-on computer learning in a supportive environment with your colleagues.

Computer Skills: Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Publisher

Thursday, June 11 — 9:00am-5:00pm

Instructor:  Mykel Gurule

COURSE LEVEL: 101 & 201

Ready to dive into some useful advanced topics within Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Publisher? This is the course for you! Microsoft Word training on creating tables and charts to using mail merge and other templates. Microsoft PowerPoint will cover how to customize design templates to working with media and animation settings in your presentation. Microsoft Publisher training will cover the main components of the software to empower you to create your professional looking handouts and flyers. Learn with hands-on computer learning in a supportive environment with your colleagues.

Computer Skills: Microsoft Teams / SharePoint

Friday, June 12 — 9:00am-12:00pm


Instructor:  Mykel Gurule

COURSE LEVEL: 101 & 201

This half day course will engage students with the basics of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft SharePoint technologies.  Student will learn about accessing SharePoint Sites, navigating SharePoint Sites, uploading documents, and searching for documents and content within SharePoint.

Within Teams, students will receive an overview of Microsoft Teams, converse and Share in Teams, call and Meet in Teams, collaborate with Office 365 Apps and Teams, work with Shared Documents in SharePoint, edit documents in Office Online, collaborate on the SharePoint Site and work with OneDrive for Business.

Interpersonal Communication for Education Staff Professionals

Tuesday, June 9 — 10:00am-11:30am
Thursday, June 11 — 10:00am-11:30am

Instructors:  Tammy Whitaker, Brit Wegmann, Michael Petty


Communicating effectively is key to any successful person and any growing organization.  During this workshop participants will learn and practice current ways to communicate with their members and potential members in person and online.  Different methods and tools will be modeled to help local leaders build stronger relationships with their members, potential members, as well as their school district.  Participants will learn strategies to use to repair relationships and/or communication channels that have broken down.

Florida Teacher Pay Sinks in National Rankings

New data released today shows Florida’s average teacher pay dropped from being ranked #48 in the nation last year to #50 (out of the 50 states and D.C., only West…

Read more about Florida Teacher Pay Sinks in National Rankings

Statement Re. State Board of Education Meeting: “Teachers and education staff are tired of being vilified.”

Today, the Florida Education Association released a statement following the state board of education meeting held in Winter Park.“FEA, our members and their local unions fight every single day to…

Read more about Statement Re. State Board of Education Meeting: “Teachers and education staff are tired of being vilified.”

Statement on Signing of SB 1746: “Florida’s leaders continue to stand in the way of workers fighting for better life.”

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis’ signed into law an anti-worker bill (SB 1746) sponsored by Senator Blaise Ingoglia (R-11) that would place additional mandates on any person seeking to join their…

Read more about Statement on Signing of SB 1746: “Florida’s leaders continue to stand in the way of workers fighting for better life.”

FEA leadership: We stand united for our students

Let us say first, we are honored to lead this organization and to have you as a member.

Read more about FEA leadership: We stand united for our students

Help for kids who are hurting

Through Steve’s Club, Cori Lake Walls wants to ensure no grieving student goes unnoticed or unheard

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$1,200 worth of turkeys and a lot of love

Lakisha Ayers-White and her student volunteers provide supplies for Thanksgiving dinners with all the trimmings to dozens of union families

Read more about $1,200 worth of turkeys and a lot of love