News

Staff changes at Granite UniServ

9/4/2015

Nikki Peterson, UniServ Director for the Granite Education Association (GEA) and field staff for the UEA, retired Aug. 31 after 30 years of teaching and advocating for teachers, students, and public education.

 

Cindy Formeller

Cindy Formeller (formerly Cindy Carroll) has been named the new Associate Director for GEA to replace Peterson.

Formeller has worked as a public education advocate for the past 13 years. Her career began with the Utah Education Association where she served as the associate for the research, bargaining, and political action programs. When she decided that her passion lay in teacher advocacy, she applied for acceptance to the NEA UniServ Pre-employment Development Program in 2005 and was selected from a national pool of candidates to attend.

After completing her national training, Formeller began her work as UniServ Director by interning with GEA. Following her internship, she was hired by the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA) to serve as the Director for 48 local associations in north central Iowa. NEA continued to assign her to train other staff members in organizing, crucial conversations, and education support professional quality on a national level.

Formeller returned to Utah as an associate director with the Jordan UniServ until she was once again recruited to work with ISEA in 2013. One of the main draws in her decision to finally return to Utah is the fact that the majority of her family resides in the State. This move back to Utah promises to be final she said, as Formeller comes full circle in her career to work once again with GEA and the dedicated governance, staff and members of the Granite Education Association.

An Arizona native, Nikki Peterson graduated from Brigham Young University and then began her career as an English and Reading teacher at Joel P. Jensen Middle School in Jordan School District. Her last three years in the classroom she served as the Youth in Custody teacher.

During her more than 15 years in teaching, Nikki served as the Association Representative (AR) for her school. The experience she gained in this volunteer position led her to staff work with the Jordan Education Association in 2001. She worked for the teachers in Jordan four and a half years before accepting the Granite position.
 

Nikki Peterson


“My years in teaching and UniServ work have been the best years of my life,” said Peterson. “The people with whom I work are the most dedicated individuals I have ever met. They care deeply for the students and teachers in Utah schools. They work tirelessly to better the conditions our public schools. While some people spend their time and efforts degrading our public schools, I have the privilege of working with people who give their all for the institution best equipped to promote democracy and prepare our children for the future. I am so proud to have worked alongside these amazing individuals. Educators are fortunate to have people so dedicated to the profession working on their behalf.”

Peterson named her work with the UEA student teaching program at the University of Utah and her time advocating for Granite educators as the highlights of her career. “I have loved watching new educators enter the profession as anxious ‘newbies’ and then blossom into professionals who are willing to work endlessly for their students,” she said. About her work in Granite, Peterson stated that “working with the most amazing people in education—including many teacher-friendly individuals in Granite School District—has been a humbling and awe-inspiring experience. I have learned more about kindness, consideration and dedication from my colleagues in Granite and UEA, and from our wonderful ARs in Granite, than I could have ever learned anywhere else. My departure from Granite has been bitter-sweet; however, I leave with the knowledge that my astonishing associates will continue the good work we have all done together.”

When asked what she is going to do now, Peterson said, “It’s now time for me to clean out 30 years of ‘stuff’ and get on to having time with my friends and family. I finally have time for my great passion…Birdwatching.”

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