California Educator

October 09

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The family that organizes together... Three generations of union involvement leadership positions together, working to improve conditions for teachers and students. And they support each other in the classroom, at home and on the campaign trail. Meet the Vaughns — where T teaching and unionism are part of the DNA. “Becoming a teacher and joining the union was always a ‘given’ in our family,” explains Carrie Vaughn, an eighth- grade science teacher and member of the Teachers Asso- ciation of Norwalk-La Mirada. “It was assumed that we would join CTA and that we would be involved.” She has served as her school’s site rep for two years, defending the rights of her colleagues, even though she is still a proba- tionary teacher. She attended the 2007 NEA Representative hey protest together to demand adequate school funding. They hold CTA Assembly in Philadelphia, even though she was not a delegate. Her sister, Christy Marquez, teaches middle school language arts at Hollydale K-8 School and is a member of the Teachers As- sociation of Paramount (TAP). She has been teaching for 10 years and is known for being outspoken about teacher rights at her school. Mom Kathy Vaughn is also a TAP member, with her class- room right next door to daugh- ter Christy, and previously served as Hollydale’s site rep. She has attended several NEA Representative Assemblies as a delegate. Dad is Dan Vaughn, former secretary-treasurer of CTA, who recently became the Santa Clarita UniServ executive director. Dan’s brother, Larry Vaughn, is the president of TAP, and his cousin, Ane Miller, is also a TAP member and teaches at Hollydale. Glen Vaughn, fa- ther of Dan and Larry, retired from teaching in 1986 after 35 years in the classroom. “There are no slackers in this family when it comes to activism,” says Kathy Vaughn with pride. “Everyone does their share.” That includes sticking up for teacher and student rights in their school communities, throughout the state and at the national level. “We all went to Sacramento together to protest cuts in edu- cation in 2001 and had a blast,” recalls Kathy Vaughn, who is working on her doctorate de- gree at Claremont College. “We took the bus there, and the at- mosphere reminded me of the ’60s, because we were rabble- rousing for an important cause. And our family went to a CTA protest together in Pershing Square in 2005. Everything went very smoothly at these events because teachers were in charge. But we teachers organize field trips all the time.” Glen Vaughn, 80, attends protests whenever he can. He has become so outraged over cuts to public schools that he has successfully comman- deered the microphone away from organizers on more than one occasion — sometimes to rousing applause — making impassioned pleas to save pub- lic education. “Conditions have gotten much more difficult over the last few years in public schools,” says Glen Vaughn. “The union fights for the rights of students and for the rights of teachers. The union fights to get rid of No Child Left Behind, which has been a disaster for our schools. And there is going to be more fighting in the future because of the budget crisis. Unfortunately, California is in a lot of trouble.” “I am proud of the fact that we are a teaching family,” says Dan Vaughn. “We have public education in our blood and are left: Nearly all of the Vaughns turned out for this Sacramento rally to ask then-Gov. Gray Davis for more school funding. From left: Dan Vaughn, Santa Clarita UniServ executive director and former CTA secretary-treasurer; his wife, Kathy Vaughn, a member of the Teachers Association of Paramount(TAP); Dan’s father, Glen Vaughn, a retired teacher; Dan and Kathy’s children, Phillip Vaughn, a contractor, and Christy Marquez, a member of TAP; and Dan’s brother, Larry Vaughn, TAP president. 26 California Educator | october 2009

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