Huajilla Members at TRTA State Convention

Dubberlys and Hansons in Austin for TRTA State Convention

Huajilla Unit TRTA members Ken and Nola Hanson and Sam and Irene Dubberly recently returned from the 62nd Annual TRTA State Convention in Austin.  Among the activities of the convention were appearances from several elected state officials.  Ken Hanson served on a panel presenting membership information at one of the breakout sessions while Irene and Sam attended other sessions on Tuesday morning, then attended the TRTA  House of Delegates meeting attended by almost 1000 delegates and guests where Executive Director Tim Lee gave an update on legislative issues relevant to TRTA retirees.

The highlight came on Wednesday morning as hundreds of red-shirted TRTA members descended upon the grounds of the state capitol before inundating the capitol building in search of their elected senators and representatives.  The Hansons and the Dubberlys , along with several other district members, visited with District 53 State Representative Andrew Murr, who took time from his committee meeting to graciously allow his constituents a short session to discuss education and retirement issues.  The Huajilla Unit contingency presented Murr with a complimentary membership to TRTA.  The Hansons and Dubberlys also visited with Senator Carlos Uresti’s staff; Uresti was in a committee hearing and was unable to spend time with the delegates.  In appreciation for the work that they have done in support of public school teachers and administrators, to better the education of the children attending Texas public schools, and to assure that retired teachers receive a pension and insurance that will meet their growing needs, the Huajilla unit members presented Mr.  Murr, Mr. Uresti, and their staff with jars of Park’s Huajilla Honey, donated by Devine’s David Park.

The Texas House and Senate chambers took time to recognize the Retired Teachers Association adorning the galleries in a sea of red.  Senator Joan Huffman proposed the adoption of Senate Resolution No. 486 recognizing the Texas Retired Teachers Association Day at the State Capitol.  Several Senators, among them Senators Campbell, Lucio, Uresti, Hinojosa, Rodriguez and West, added their own testimonials to the importance of the teachers who influenced their lives. Senator Huffman took the opportunity to announce the Senate’s addition of $760M to help the retired teachers’ TRS Care retiree health insurance program.  Prior to assuring the passage of the Senate floor resolution, Senator Patrick added his own words of respect for the retired teachers.

The TRTA Red Shirt Rally continued on the grounds of the capitol complete with an ice cream social; several elected officials’ staff took the time to visit with the members on the capitol grounds. The TRTA convention adjourned and will meet in Houston on April 10-12, 2016.

(A side note:  While wandering through the halls of the State Capitol and its different "extensions," I (Irene) had to ask directions to the Gift Shop, so I stopped a nicely attired young man for directions. "Sure," he said.  "Just go down this hall, turn left..." and I found myself staring at this young man's face, thinking, "I should be listening to what he's saying instead of staring at his face," at which time the young man turned back to me and said, "Oh! Hello, Ms. Dubberly!" Lo, and behold it was former Hondo High School student Michael Garcia who is working for a lobby firm in Austin.  What a wonderful surprise and how proud a moment for this teacher to see a former student in a successful career.)