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Thousands take part in walk-ins at schools statewide (+ Slideshow)


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  • Lisa Irish/ Arizona Education News Service

Parents, Students, Teachers And Community Members At Rover Elementary School In Tempe Elementary School District Take Part In The Walk-in On Wednesday, April 11, 2018. Photo Courtesy Rover Elementary School

Thousands of parents, teachers, students and community members took part in walk-ins at schools statewide on Wednesday morning before classes started to show their support for students and teachers.

The walk-ins were organized by Arizona Educators United as part of the wear #RedForEd movement to provide information and seek community and student support for their efforts to encourage lawmakers to raise per-pupil education funding to what it was before the recession and raise teachers’ salaries by 20 percent to be competitive with neighboring states.

Thousands take part in walk-ins at schools statewide (+ Slideshow) CentennialWalkIn12Cropped

Teachers, students, parents and community members greet students and parents coming onto Centennial High School’s campus during the walk-in. Photo by Lisa Irish/ AZEdNews

At Centennial High School, community members, parents, teachers held up signs reading “We Support #Red for Ed” and waved at parents and students as they drove onto the school’s Peoria campus.

“I’m involved for him,” said Jenna Ely, Future Teachers of America instructor at the school, as she held her young son’s hand on the sidewalk outside the school. “Because I’m a product of the public school system, and I want to him to attend an incredible public school system.”

A group of students at Centennial High School, including Kailey Benson, Taylor MacFarlane-West and Micah Geblis, painted a message on the rear window of their car that said “Students deserve more” before the walk-in started on the Peoria school campus.

“I have family members who are teachers – most of us all do – and our teacher Ms. Garrigan is so important to us, and we all like really believe that this is just …” said Abby Hauser, a student at Centennial High School.

Thousands take part in walk-ins at schools statewide (+ Slideshow) CentennialHighSchoolStudentsWalkin1

Centennial High School students at the walk-in at the Peoria school. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

“It’s a cause worth making people aware about,” said Cassidy Gamel, a student who finished her friend’s thought.

Christina White, a first-grade teacher at Sundance Elementary School in Peoria said their goal with the walk-in was to get parents and the community “to understand what we’re fighting for.”

“We are not OK with the state of education in Arizona right now, and we want better for our students, their children and our own children,” White said as she greeted students before classes. “That was our goal to get the word out this morning.”

After attending the walk-in at Sundance, Jenina Alvarez talked with school staff after she dropped off her daughter for classes.

“I support the teachers,” Alvarez said. “I know that they need more money for themselves and for our schools and in our classrooms.”

Thousands take part in walk-ins at schools statewide (+ Slideshow) SundanceWalkin7

Jenina Alvarez, right, talks with staff after the walk-in at Sundance Elementary School in Peoria. Photo by Lisa Irish/ AZEdNews

This walk-in is a good opportunity for parents to see how much support there is for the schools, said Michael Schoonover, a high school social studies teacher, as he held a sign that read “Invest in quality. Quality kids become quality workers.”

 Video: Marcos de Niza High School Principal welcomes teachers to campus

“I think we’re at a difficult point where not enough parents know what the issues are and why teachers care and it’s not just salaries obviously,” Schoonover said “The one thing we really want is to squash that myth that it’s only about salaries, because I think then a lot of people who are on the more extreme conservative side, they think we’re just whining about pay.”

Melissa Girmscheid, a physics teacher at Centennial, held a sign that read “Physics is essential for almost all STEM careers. I’m one of only 159 physics teachers left in Arizona.”

“I’m watching my profession shrink drastically just because people don’t get paid a lot and because of the funding issues,”  Girmscheid said. “There are some schools cutting programs. If they can’t find a physics teacher, they just cut it.”

Thousands take part in walk-ins at schools statewide (+ Slideshow) PV-Walkin-2

The walk-in at Quail Run Elementary School in Paradise Valley Unified. Photo by Julie Bacon/ ASBA

“I’m watching my colleagues leave, because it’s too easy to find a job in other states where they still have the funding for the classes, funding for labs that are updated and the things we need,” Girmscheid said. “I spend a lot of time at Home Depot on my own dime.”

Kate Hoffner, a guidance counselor at Centennial and mother of young children, said she’s concerned that so many teachers are leaving the profession.

“Teachers are leaving. They literally are walking out – great teachers, amazing teachers,” said Hoffner, an organizer for Arizona Educators United. “It’s sad and we cry every time and they go to other professions or they go to other states.”

Many teachers who leave the profession have gone into “real estate or something else where they can make more money with less pressure,”  Hoffner said.

Slideshow: Teacher Walk-ins by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

Thousands take part in walk-ins at schools statewide (+ Slideshow) CentennialWalkIn12Cropped
Thousands take part in walk-ins at schools statewide (+ Slideshow) CentennialWalkIn12Cropped

Teachers, students, parents and community members greet students and parents coming onto Centennial High School's campus during the walk-in. Photo by Lisa Irish/ AZEdNews

Thousands take part in walk-ins at schools statewide (+ Slideshow) Rover-Elementary-School-_TESD_4-11-18Cropped2

Parents, students, teachers and community members at Rover Elementary School in Tempe Elementary School District take part in the walk-in on Wednesday, April 11, 2018. Photo courtesy Rover Elementary School

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Community members take part in the walk-ins at schools in the Paradise Valley Unified School District. Photo by Julie Bacon/ Arizona School Boards Association

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The walk-in at Centennial High School. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

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Jenina Alvarez, right, talks with staff after attending the walk-in at Sundance Elementary School in Peoria on Wednesday, April 11, 2018. Photo by Lisa Irish/ AZEdNews

Thousands take part in walk-ins at schools statewide (+ Slideshow) PV-Walkin-2

Community members take part in the walk-in at Quail Run Elementary School in the Paradise Valley Unified School District. Photo by Julie Bacon/ Arizona School Boards Association

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At the walk-in at a Paradise Valley Unified school. Photo by Julie Bacon/ Arizona School Boards Association

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A teacher talks with a parent dropping of their child at Sundance Elementary School in Peoria after the walk-in. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

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Michael Schoonover, right, a social studies teacher, at the walk-in at Centennial High School on Wednesday, April 11, 2018. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

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Centennial High School students from left: Abby Hauser, Kailey Benson, Taylor MacFarlane-West Micah Geblis, and Cassidy Gamel at the walk-in at the Peoria school. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

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A sign left up after the walk-in at Sundance Elementary School in Peoria on Wednesday, April 11, 2018. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

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Retired teachers from Sundance Elementary take a photo after the walk-in at Sundance Elementary School in Peoria. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

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Thomas Butler, who teaches Language Arts at Centennial High School and his young son at the walk-in at the Peoria school. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

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Community members take part in the walk-in at Quail Run Elementary School in the Paradise Valley Unified School District. Photo by Julie Bacon/ Arizona School Boards Association

Thousands take part in walk-ins at schools statewide (+ Slideshow) CentennialWalkIn11LargeGroup

Parents, students, teachers and community members take part in the walk-in at Centennial High School in Peoria on Wednesday, April 11. Photo by Mary Irish/AZEdNews

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Teachers, staff and community members welcoming students to campus at Sundance Elementary School in Peoria after the walk-in. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

Thousands take part in walk-ins at schools statewide (+ Slideshow) CentennialTeacherAndSonWalkIn12

Jenna Ely, Future Teachers of America instructor at Centennial High School with her young son at the walk-in on the Peoria campus. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

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Teachers, staff and community members welcoming students to campus at Centennial High School in Peoria during the walk-in. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

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Kate Hoffner, a guidance counselor at Centennial High School and mother of young children, said she’s concerned that so many teachers are leaving the profession. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

Thousands take part in walk-ins at schools statewide (+ Slideshow) SundanceWalkIn

Teachers, staff and community members welcoming students to campus at Sundance Elementary School in Peoria after the walk-in. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

Thousands take part in walk-ins at schools statewide (+ Slideshow) CentennialFamilyWalkIn4

Parents, students, teachers and community members take part in the walk-in at Centennial High School in Peoria on Wednesday, April 11. Photo by Mary Irish/AZEdNews

Thousands take part in walk-ins at schools statewide (+ Slideshow) CentennialGroupWalkIn5

Teachers and community members at the walk-in at Centennial High School. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

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Melissa Girmscheid, a physics teacher at Centennial High School, at the walk-in at the Peoria school. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

Thousands take part in walk-ins at schools statewide (+ Slideshow) CentennialRedForEdWalkIn7

At Centennial High School in Peoria before the walk-in. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

Thousands take part in walk-ins at schools statewide (+ Slideshow) CentennialSignMakinsWalkIn3

Teachers, students, staff and community members making signs at Centennial High School in Peoria before the walk-in. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

Thousands take part in walk-ins at schools statewide (+ Slideshow) CentennialWalkIn10

Teachers, staff and community members at Centennial High School in Peoria during the walk-in. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

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Teachers welcoming students to campus at Sundance Elementary School in Peoria after the walk-in. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

Thousands take part in walk-ins at schools statewide (+ Slideshow) CentennialWalkIn11

Teachers, staff and community members at Centennial High School in Peoria during the walk-in. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

Thousands take part in walk-ins at schools statewide (+ Slideshow) CentennialWalkIn12Cropped-1
Thousands take part in walk-ins at schools statewide (+ Slideshow) CentennialWalkIn13

Teachers, staff and community members welcoming students to campus at Centennial High School in Peoria during the walk-in. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

Thousands take part in walk-ins at schools statewide (+ Slideshow) CentennialWalkIn16
Thousands take part in walk-ins at schools statewide (+ Slideshow) CentennialWalkInCoverHp

Teachers, staff and community members welcoming students to campus at Centennial High School in Peoria during the walk-in. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

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