Sarah Sunnasy first became involved with the Clark County School District in 2001, when her oldest son started kindergarten. She served as fundraising chair for the PTA for more than 6 years and was an almost daily volunteer at her children’s school. It was there in those elementary school halls and classrooms that she found her love and passion for teaching.
Sarah’s belief in fairness, equality, and organized labor stems from the teachings of her grandfather, Nolan, who was born on a cotton farm in West Texas just before the onset of the great depression. He worked the cotton fields with his brothers until he joined the Navy during WWII and after his service, found work in the oil fields of southern California. It was there that he first joined a union, working the rigs for Atlantic Richfield.
It was through his stories that Sarah learned the true meaning of the term ‘fighting for working conditions.’ “He taught me what it means to be part of something bigger than yourself that is for the benefit of all. He is the reason that I was so proud to sign my CCEA membership form when I became a teacher. Joining the union was truly a special moment for me, and I wish Grandpa had been here to see it.”
As a current fourth grade teacher at a Title I school, Sarah understands the challenges faced by educators, support staff, students, and parents in the current educational climate. Sarah has recognized the challenges facing today’s educators and students. She is a staunch advocate for:
- Fair and equitable contracts
- Responsive health care
- Educator and student working and learning conditions
- Education legislation and increased funding for education
- Common sense negotiations and professional respect
- Equitable treatment for educators and education support professionals
- Decreased high-stakes testing
Sarah is not afraid to speak her mind. She has been interviewed by KNPR (Nevada Public Radio), the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and KLAS TV- Channel 8 regarding teaching and learning conditions, ELL students, and school overcrowding. She is a frequent attendee of local School Board meetings, and has spoken many times on various topics, including budgetary issues, healthcare, classroom overcrowding, and equitable treatment of all CCSD staff members and students.
Her involvement in both state politics and the CCEA organization have helped to bring her teaching, leadership, and negotiation skills to a high level of competence. She is passionate, committed, and has the tenacity to fight for a fair and balanced system.
Sarah has been an active and engaged Association Representative for the past six years and is a trusted source of information for her colleagues. She is currently an elected member of the CCEA Together in Politics (TIP) committee and has lobbied legislators in Carson City for increased education funding, class size reduction, revised educator evaluations (NEPF), and has spoken out against vouchers and ESAs. She has attended both the State Delegate Assembly and the National Representative Assembly where she has helped shape state and national educational priorities and policy.
It is Sarah’s view that a strong, effective union is supported by a dedicated network of educators locally, statewide, and nationally. “Public education is under attack in Nevada and across the country. We need to work together for education legislation that will curb the anti-union, pro-corporate education reform policies that are working against public education and that threaten the very foundation and spirit of public ed. We must stand united.”
Sarah’s passion for teaching is only superseded by her passion for advocating for her colleagues, peers, students, the teaching profession as a whole. “When people come together to work for a common good, they can do amazing things.”
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