4/2/21 Letter to the Members & Community


To the members of the Ithaca Teachers’ Association and the Ithaca Community,

We, the Ithaca Teachers’ Association Executive Officers, retract our letter (3/18/2021) to the Ithaca Common Council regarding the City of Ithaca’s plan to Reimagine Public Safety and apologize for any hurt our letter caused. This letter showed profound lack of empathy, judgment, and wisdom.

We apologize to our colleagues, students, families, and neighbors, particularly those of color. We see and continue to learn how the history of policing as a tool of oppression causes deep community-wide wounds, and how our letter contributed. For that we are deeply sorry.

We apologize to our members for sending that letter without consulting you and members of our social justice and solidarity committees. The ITA represents nearly 600 members; each has a voice, and we did not incorporate those voices. You deserve far better.

We apologize for the ignorance within that letter. To suggest that the members of the Ithaca Police Department have been “marginalized” in recent conversations, when in fact policing and their unions have and currently uphold systemic racism and marginalize civilians — especially people of color and including people within our Ithaca community — was unthinking and impulsive of us.

The important feedback we’ve heard from our members has shown us that, as labor leaders, we need to do more to further educate ourselves to be antiracist leaders. We will do better to communicate with and collaborate with our members and allow their experiences to guide our leadership.


Ithaca Teachers Association Executive Officers

Operation Aqua – Help Puerto Rico!

The Ithaca Teachers Association is a proud affiliate of the AFT. As a social justice local, we fully support bringing clean high-quality drinking water to our fellow US citizens in Puerto Rico. It takes just $30 to provide an in-house water filter for a family. If we are able to reach our goal, we will be able provide 20 of these units to families in need. As educators and union members, we ourselves have a history of water quality issues in our schools that continue today. We fully understand how difficult it is to provide a safe and quality education for students in a school that does not have safe water. We welcome all member and community support in our campaign.



ITA leaders stand with AFT and LRC-NYS

ITA President, Adam Piasecki and ITA Social Justice Committee Chair, Brooke Burnett, spent time this summer standing with AFT President Randi Weingarten as she travels the country speaking on Healthcare, education, labor and human rights. Also, with Labor Religion Coalition of NYS Executive Director, Rev. Emily McNeil, LRC of the Finger Lakes Coordinator, Laurie Konwinski for The Poor People’s Campaign and Labor and Human Rights efforts between labor groups and members of faith groups.

We are a proud contributor…

The Ithaca Teachers Association has proudly contributed to the following community ORGANIZATIONS and events:

  • Food Bank of the Southern Tier
  • Rotary Club of Ithaca
  • Coaches Against Cancer Holiday Basketball Tournament
  • “GO” Golden Opportunity Program
  • Ithaca Public Education Initiative – Kids Discover the Trail
  • Out Loud Chorus
  • Family Reading Partnership
  • Cayuga Waterfront Trail
  • Women Swimmin’
  • NYSUT Disaster Relief – statewide and Southern Tier
  • AIDS Ride for Life
  • Ithaca High School Varsity Boys Ice Hockey Program

Apple For The Teacher Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 2014 Apple for the Teacher award recipients in the ITA!

2013 recipients:

  • Cathy Gee from Boynton Middle School
  • Janet Bowman from Ithaca High School
  • Chris Barley from Beverly J. Martin Elementary School

2012 recipients:

  • Steve Kirsch from Boynton Middle School
  • Dara Anissi from Lehman Alternative Community School
  • Judy Cogan from Ithaca High School
  • Diane Hallet from Northeast School

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 2013

October 2013 – Members of the Ithaca Teachers Association participated in the 2013 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Corning, NY on October 20th as part of the ICSD Walkers team under the leadership of Judy Fernandes. According to the event website, over 500 participants took part this year, working to raise $25,000.