UEA Elections

2014 UEA-R Elections

Past Election Results

About UEA Elections

National, state and local association leaders are association members elected by their peers. UEA leadership elections are held annually, as outlined in the UEA Bylaws. Thirteen UEA leadership positions are subject to election in 2014.

2014 General Elections

All active UEA members are eligible to vote in the General Election. Voting will be held online. Information about how to vote will be emailed on Friday, March 21, 2014.

  • General election voting begins Friday, March 21, 2014
  • Voting ends Friday, April 18, 2014 at 5 p.m.
  • Click here to Vote

There are 13 leadership positions up for election in 2014:

* Current director has served maximum term
**Vacated seat to fill unexpired term

The candidates running in the general election are as follows:

NEA State Director (three-year term)

Heidi Matthews, Park City 

Heidi Matthews

As I submit this declaration of candidacy for the position of NEA State Director, I am both excited and energized by the potential learning, professional growth and leadership opportunities that this important position presents - and daunted by the weight of the inevitable responsibility. Ryan Anderson surely left some big shoes sandals to fill! It would be inaccurate to portray myself as experienced in all of the numerous roles of the NEA State Director, but I am well prepared. My experiences as a local president, delegate to the NEA RA and most recently as a UEA Board Member have been steps in a journey preparing me well for new leadership roles. Sure, there have been speed bumps, weather delays and even some head on collisions traveling this road. With each experience, however, I have become more committed to this work and better prepared to listen, learn, question and advocate tenaciously for our members and our profession.

View video message (YouTube)


Curtis Benjamin, Sevier

Curtis Benjamin

My association with UEA/NEA gives me a voice.  For my 22 years as its member, this Association has addressed my concerns, and during that time I have lifted my voice for it.  As a local AR, local board member and local president, I have had the privilege to work and speak on behalf my fellow teachers and their students.  Whether negotiating with my team for fair contracts, discussing teacher evaluation with my superintendent, talking door to door with my neighbors to gain their support to defeat vouchers, or organizing with UEA leadership for our members, I have used my voice to make a simple argument:  Public schools and their teachers provide knowledge, skills and hope for our children’s individual growth, economic opportunity and civil engagement.

My passion for making the case for public education comes from my classroom.  Whether helping students discover their history, improve their writing, or debate a case, my goal is to help each student find his or her own voice.  Finding that, they then can contribute to building their society and futures.  After all, the public school presents the best hope for our democracy.

As one of your NEA State Directors I would voice that argument on behalf of Utah members in conversations with those who influence educational policy --your needs and concerns always guiding me.  A listener first, I believe in building bridges through dialogue and partnership--strong bridges anchored in honesty and conviction that cross changing currents to reach common and solid ground.

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NEA-RA Delegate-At-Large (three year term)

Ryan Anderson, Grand


In 1978, my first year teaching, I became a member of, involved in, and engaged with UEA. During the years since then, I have held almost every leadership position in our professional association from Association Representative to my current position as Senior NEA Director for both UEA and USEA. I love teaching, enjoy working with youth. I am a strong advocate for all of our students and all we do in our nation’s public schools. I look forward in my upcoming years to continue to strive for a better future.

As your NEA-Representative Assembly Delegate-At-Large, I would have the foundational knowledge and skills to be able to represent Utah well in conducting our Association’s business at our annual meeting. I would continue to, as I have for decades, give this position my best. Thank you for the work you do each day. I would appreciate your vote so that I may represent you and continue to carry your voice to the R.A.

Ethnic Minority Director on the UEA Board of Directors (three-year term)

Sonia Cardena, Cache

Sonia Cardena

For the past ten years I have had the privilege of teaching 6th and 7th grade at White Pine Middle School in Richmond, Utah.  I have been a member of CEA, UEA and NEA since I began my career as an educator in 2003. I still remember when the AR at Lewiston Elementary approached me, and enthusiastically exclaimed, "We have 100% membership participation in our school, and the teachers in our school know that it is the right thing to do to be a part of the association!" Ten years later those words spoken by the AR still resonate in me. I completely agree that being part of my association was indeed "the right thing to do." Consequently, I served as an AR for three years, and two years in my local executive board. I strongly believe that taking an active role in the association is the best way to support fellow educators and to look out for the best interest of students when it comes to public education. Therefore, I have decided to run for the UEA Ethnic Minority Director, so I can reach out to association members and non-members who feel left out. The common phrase, "United We Stand, Divided We Fall" couldn't be more appropriate to point out how UEA members, educators, administrators, and legislators working collaboratively can impact the quality of public education in our state.

Sonia Cardeña

Anayansie Park, Salt Lake


As a resident of Salt Lake City for over 30 years, and as a special education teacher for the Salt Lake City School District for 17 years, I’ve seen the demographics of our state, city, and schools change and grow.  The diversity in our cities and schools which were not there when I was growing up in Taylorsville, have added a new vibe and spirit.  Yes, we’ve come a long way, with Spanish speaking television stations, radio stations, businesses who cater to culturally diverse communities, and most recently, Latino political leaders, but there’s still a way to go.  There is still yet to be a movement, a growth in education leadership to be had not only for children of color but also teachers of color.  I know being a Latina teacher makes a positive impact on the students of color I teach.  Yes, I can build strong relationships with their parents which benefits the students, the school and the community, but as a Latina teacher, I can access and incorporate their background into my teaching.  This is important not only because students become more engaged in their learning, “make it their own”, but also because it comes from someone who looks like them.  My students know I was just like them once and if I can grow up to be a professional so can they.

As UEA’s Ethnic Minority Director, I would make it a priority to recruit more ethnically diverse individuals to enter the education field, and for those who are already teachers in our schools, encourage them to become involved in visible leadership positions.  As stakeholders, I believe it is important to become involved, to be visible, and to advocate for those who need a voice.  As UEA’s Ethnic Minority Director I would like to facilitate just that.


Color Country Director on the UEA Board of Directors (three-year term)

Kathryn Parry, Washington

Kathryn Parry

Color Country UniServ members:

I have a deep appreciation for UEA and WCEA and the many things that are done for educators. I have enjoyed being a part of the WCEA board and my responsibilities on the UEA U-PAC committee. I feel like it is essential to let our members know what UEA is doing for them in the Color Country UniServ and that our Uniserv has representation that will work to see that our professional needs and concerns are met. I would ask for your support that I may serve as your Color Country Director on the UEA Board.

I have 18 years of teaching experience in Health and Science at Millcreek Alternative High School in St. George, Utah. My association experience is as follows:

  • Current WCEA Executive Board Member – 2 years
  • UEA U-PAC committee representing Color Country Uniserv – 2 years
  • WCEA Negotiations Team – 2 years
  • Delegate to the NEA Representative Assembly – 1 year
  • WCEA Association Representative – 6 years

Eastern Utah Director on the UEA Board of Directors (one-year term)

Heidi Matthews, Park City

Heidi Matthews

What an incredible honor for me to have been appointed in Julie Seeley’s stead as the Eastern representative of the UEA Board of Directors since July 2013. It has been an exciting and challenging learning experience for me and I sincerely hope to have your support to continue serving in this capacity. I strongly believe in the power of our UEA and am committed to serving on behalf of our profession. From supporting the ‘Take the Lead’ initiative to promoting the urgency of Association relevancy to my personal responsibility to strengthen membership and internal communication within Eastern, there is much yet unfinished. Having served as a local president in Park City, I have been even more energized by the expanded challenges and opportunities generated by our state leadership.   I would be honored to have the opportunity to continue representing, advocating and collaborating with you and for you in this role on the UEA Board of Directors.

View video message (Youtube)

Mary Moulton, Uintah

Mary Moulton

I welcome an opportunity to contribute to the work of NEA and the Utah Board of Directors in a leadership position. I have been a dedicated long-term member of UEA and UCEA as an AR and President from 1996-2014. I am also the current President of the Eastern UniServ.  I have been an active leader over the last few years. If elected, I would bring to this position the knowledge I have gained in various leadership roles as President of UCEA and President of Council of Local Presidents.  I have also been the Vice President of the Eastern UniServ.   I also bring a strong lobbying experience from the state of Idaho when I worked for the state legislature and the IEA. 

I have a strong commitment to nurturing collaborative relationships. I have been in the Eastern UniServ for over 21 years. I have knowledge of the area and understand the unique issues in rural schools.  If elected as a Board member for UEA, I would use my leadership experience and expertise to initiate an exploration of the ways NEA and the UEA may best meet the needs and recognize the contributions of teachers.

Granite Director on the UEA Board of Directors (three year term)

Michael McDonough, Granite

Michael McDonough 

My name is Michael McDonough, and I would like to represent the Granite Uniserv on the UEA Board of Directors.

I have extensive experience in the teachers’ union, both at the local GEA level, and at the state UEA level. I served on the GEA Executive Board from 2000 to 2003, and again from 2006 to 2013. This includes two terms as GEA vice president. I have served on many GEA committees, including Political Action, Special Ed, and the Negotiations Team. On the UEA level, I was on the Uniserv Realignment Task Force, I was GEA’s alternate on the UEA PAC committee, and I have been part of the Utah delegation to the NEA RA seven times. I am also one of the three UEA representatives on the Utah State Retirement Systems Membership Council.

I have enjoyed all of my involvement with the GEA and UEA, and I believe that the smooth interaction of these two levels of our organization is crucial to the success of our efforts on behalf of teachers. Some things, such as negotiation, have to be done by the local. Some things, such as lobbying the state legislature, can only be done effectively by a well-coordinated statewide effort. That is why I would like to lend my time and energy toward communications between the local and the statewide governance of the teachers’ union.

Please vote for Michael McDonough to represent Granite on the UEA Board of Directors.

Jordan Director on the UEA Board of Directors (three-year term)

Lezlie Harper, Canyons

Lezlie Harper 

I welcome the opportunity to contribute to the work of the Utah Education Association in a leadership position. I have been a dedicated member of the Utah Education Association and have been an active participant in education for many years. I have been asked to speak to school boards, the legislature, and city councils. I am currently serving as the union representative on the Calendar Committee. I serve as the national membership chair for the IT division of ACTE. I was selected as a national and local speaker for NCPN, ACTE, Microsoft and UACTE. I would bring to this position the knowledge I have gained in various leadership roles both inside and outside of UEA. I have provided leadership on a variety of significant school committees; recently serving as the faculty president, faculty advisory committee chair and department head. I have a strong commitment to nurturing collaborative relationships. If elected as a Board member for UEA, I would use my leadership experience and expertise to empower educators, improve the working conditions of members, and expand the professional and fiscal well-being of teachers through collaboration, collective bargaining and political advocacy. I am dedicated to serving educators and facilitating their success. This involves offering the means to navigate the latest teacher assessments that may ultimately be attached to district salary schedules. These alterations to teacher assessments are currently happening in Utah with the objective of cultivating teacher efficacy and instructional excellence.

Ross Rogers, Canyons


Why would I like to be on the UEA Board as the Jordan Director? I only have 1 more year as CEA President and then I term out. I’m not ready to be done. I really enjoy working in the Association and being around such great people. I am a very social person and love to work with lots of different groups. Being on the UEA Board would do just that. I can be around lots of people and I get to serve others.

As your new Jordan Director on the UEA Board, I would commit to attend both JEA and CEA’s AR and Executive Board meetings so that I can represent you at the state level. I would take our local issues up to UEA and represent Jordan Uniserv to the best of my abilities.

I’m asking you for your support. Let me Represent you, Serve you, and be there for our members. I want to be your Voice at the state level. I’m asking for your vote, I’m asking for you to let me represent you. Thank you for supporting good people that can represent you. I’m here for you.

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Wasatch Director on the UEA Board of Directors (one-year term)

 Mike Harman, Salt Lake

Mike Harman

As you are probably aware, I was appointed to the UEA Board of Directors by the Wasatch UniServe Council upon the resignation of Cathy Johnson. I appreciate the confidence of the Council, and would like your support to continue representing you on the UEA Board of Directors. I have enjoyed attending the Association Rep meetings in each local, to report on UEA activities, listen to member concerns that are being addressed, and report those issues back to the UEA Board. There are great challenges in each of our schools, but through our combined efforts at the local, state and national level, we can “Take the Lead” in our profession and make a positive difference for Educators and Students. I would appreciate your support to continue as the Wasatch Director on the UEA Board of Directors.