Dear Denver Teachers

Dear Denver Teachers,

I am sure that you may have heard a lot about the DCTA’s elections over the last few weeks. This is in part because there is a lot at stake in these elections. I hope you will take the time to read this letter about why I am choosing to leave the classroom to advocate for our Denver schools, and I hope that you will consider giving me your vote for DCTA President.

Over the last decade Denver has become a national beacon for reform policies. Our public schools are being closed and replaced by charter schools. We are in the national spotlight for all the wrong reasons. As a Denver resident I have watched as my neighborhood school, Goldrick, has been turned around, and almost all of the teachers there pushed out. As an educator, I have experienced a charter school and an innovation school co-located in my own building – on two occasions. But I have a hard time just watching such things happen. I have fought these reform policies alongside the community and teachers invested in these schools. I’ve worked alongside the community who fought the co-location at Abraham Lincoln High School in 2016. I have fought alongside parents trying to keep Gilpin Montessori open, and will continue to do so. I marched on the sidewalks outside of DSST College View, demanding that the profiteers who operate DSST be financially transparent to the taxpayers and community. I have picketed alongside Chicago teachers who were on strike for the same things I am fighting for now.

The truth is, across the nation, a strong teacher’s union is the only thing that has been able to successfully fight back against these attacks on our public education. I love my students, I love my school, but if DCTA does not begin to fight back, I don't know how much longer public education will last in Denver.

If elected I commit to take bold action against education reforms that harm children, their families, their communities and their teachers. I commit to lay everything on the line and fight for each and every one of our schools. Each and every one of our students. I will follow in the steps of our fellow teachers across the nation in demanding the schools our students deserve.

Our students deserve bold action, but I can’t do it without you.

Please vote for me for DCTA President.

In Solidarity,

Tommie Shimrock

Special Education Teacher
Henry World School