Newsletter Archives



    Read below to find out what your Association is doing to support its members, and how you can provide input…

    Do you have questions regarding HCAA as your bargaining agent?  Join us for virtual “office hours;” dates & times are listed in the FEB/ MARCH UPDATE for 5th Unit Employee

    Reopening of Schools – Lifting up Members’ Concerns
    As we’ve shared in previous updates, the Association continues to advocate for members at various levels, whether in meetings with School Management and Instructional Leadership (SMIL), the Division of Academics, or directly with the Superintendent.  At all of these meetings, HCAA representatives work hard to lift up concerns expressed by our members and to advise system leaders accordingly.

    In the last few weeks, a significant number of members shared concerns specific to COVID-19 and the reopening plan. Consequently, HCAA’s Board of Directors distributed a survey to provide all members with the opportunity to share their concerns. Over 90 members, both school-based and non-school based, responded to the survey. Because the concerns encompassed so many areas, the corresponding data was shared with multiple members of the Superintendent’s leadership team. Specifically, a detailed summary of the results and corresponding suggestions were sent to Chief Academic Officer Bill Barnes, Chief of School Management & Instructional Leadership Nessa Dennis, Chief Human Resource & Professional Development Officer Dave Larner, and Chief Operating Officer Scott Washington.

    Not surprisingly, many members shared similar concerns, a point we made sure to emphasize (with numbers) in the summary.  It was also noted that quite a few members feel the administrators’ voice, and input, is not valued.  Another point of concern is that the discussion typically focuses on a particular group of administrators (e.g., school-based) and/or a specific school level (e.g., secondary). To those points, HCAA will continue its work to highlight and address the concerns of all our members. Also, when there is an opportunity for the Association to participate in a workgroup/committee, we will do our part to invite representatives from all levels and/or employee groups impacted by the decisions being made.

    Meeting with Board Members
    The results of our latest survey reinforce the importance of member representation and the necessity of communicating regularly with the system’s top leadership. As shared previously,  HCAA President Nick Novak and other members of our Board of Directors meet with Dr. Martirano and members of his leadership team. Our president also meets monthly with Nessa Dennis to discuss items that impact school-based administrators, and HCAA representatives now meet regularly with Bill Barnes to discuss matters of importance for non-school-based administrators.  The purpose of all these meetings is to share the Association’s perspective on current matters and to articulate member concerns on those same topics.

    Communicating regularly with the system’s top leadership is important. However, we also want to elevate our members’ best interests to other HCPSS leaders; specifically, our elected Board of Education members.  To that end, we invited BOE Chairperson Dr. Wu and Vice Chairperson Ms. Mallo to our last Board of Directors’ meeting. At the meeting we provided background on the Association, highlighted the employee groups we represent, and shared concerns from our members.  All parties agreed it was an excellent conversation. Both Dr. Wu and Ms. Mallo listened intently, asked questions, and promised to seek input from HCAA when relevant issues arise.  Consequently, we were not at all surprised when just a few days later during a COVID-19 BOE Work Session, Ms. Mallo posed questions to HCAA. Later that same evening, when the discussion centered around School Resource Officers, Ms. Delmont-Small asked for feedback from our representative.

    We are pleased that our efforts to engage with the BOE are providing yet another opportunity for HCAA to share the insight and expertise of both non-school based and school-based administrators.  Rest assured that we will continue to be present at BOE meetings where topics of importance to our members are on the agenda.  To ensure the Association is communicating the concerns, and suggestions, of our entire membership, we need your assistance. Join us at membership meetings, respond to HCAA-sponsored surveys, and/or contact your level representative on the HCAA Board of Directors.  A complete listing of our Board members, including officers, is listed below.

    • President - Nick Novak
    • 1st Vice President - Robert Motley
    • 2nd Vice President - Tiffany Tresler
    • Operations Manager - Sharon Kramer
    • Secretary - John DiPaula
    • AFSA Rep - Aaron Dale
    • Assistant Principal Rep – Rashmi Bury
    • AAM Rep - Troy Stevenson
    • Elementary School Rep - Cathleen Lopez
    • Middle School Rep - Alexia Couch
    • High School Rep - Jeff Fink
    • Curriculum & Instruction Rep - Amy Reese
    • Program Innovation & Student Well-Being - Nicola Hildreth
    • Special Education Rep - Missie Baxter
    • Webmaster - Ed Cosentino

    A Negotiation Update
    During the last two weeks Executive Director Sue Mascaro, along with HCAA’s negotiation team, finalized the Association’s FY22 proposals for contract changes and additions. On Friday, February 12th, the Association’s team will meet with the Board Chief Negotiator Pam Murphy and her team to exchange proposals and share rationale for those proposals. 

    Many administrators have reached out to Sue to share concerns they’ve heard from HCEA members on the status of their negotiations. Please be reminded that negotiating is a confidential process, and members should keep that in mind if and when details are shared regarding another unit’s bargaining proposals and/or status. We will continue to provide updates to our members as appropriate. If you have any questions about what you may be hearing, HCAA’s negotiation process, or even our current contract, don’t hesitate to contact Sue at 443-878-6883.

    Professional Development Opportunities
    Thanks to Article 12D of the current HCAA contract, all members have access to funds to support their professional development. This professional development includes, but is not limited to, conference attendance, supplementary tuition reimbursement, professional coaching, and membership in professional organizations. We encourage all members to take advantage of this excellent benefit. There are a number of state and national associations that provide training, resources and networking opportunities for both non-school-based and school-based administrators.
    Are you seeking an advanced degree and have already exhausted your allowable tuition reimbursement funds? If so, Article 12D funding can be used to bridge the gap. Have you joined a professional organization this year?  If the answer is no, it’s certainly not too late to do so. Many of your colleagues have already taken advantage of the opportunity; a sampling of organizations supporting our members is listed below.

    • American Speech Language & Hearing Association
    • Association of Curriculum and Supervision
    • Maryland Association of Elementary School Principals
    • Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals
    • Maryland Career and Technical Administrators
    • Maryland Science Supervisors Association
    • National Art Education Association
    • National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association
    • National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics
    • National Social Studies Supervisors Association


    Perhaps you are interested in attending a virtual conference in FY21? MAESP and MASSP are sponsoring two such opportunities, the  Aspiring Leaders workshop on February 20th and a spring conference, The Evolution of AP Leadership, on March 24th.  Both events are open to school-based leaders at all levels. Our Athletics and Activities Managers should check out MPSSAA’s spring conference scheduled for April 29th. For our non-school based administrators, how about ASCD’s Empowered and Connected 3-day virtual conference, scheduled for June 23rd to June 25th? Regardless of your leadership position, there’s sure to be a conference or workshop related to your field. Or perhaps professional coaching is a better fit at this point in your career; Article 12 funds can also be used to cover such expenses.  

    And remember… the HCPSS reimbursement process is new and improved.  In fact, several members recently reported that they received reimbursement within 24 hours! Be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to enhance your professional development with Article 12D funding. Simply visit our Member page and click on the professional learning funds link for step-by-step instructions on submitting a request. 

    Board of Education Policy Committees: An Update
    Members of the Association continue to represent their colleagues’ interests on BOE policy committees. Two more policy committees are slated to begin their work next month: Policy 4070, Fund Balance, and Policy 4100, Investment. The latest policy action for all committees is highlighted below in red.  If you have feedback/concerns on any of the policies listed below, be sure to reach out to the HCAA representative. Questions regarding policy representation can be directed to Second Vice President Tiffany Tresler

    Policy 7040: Alcohol & Noncontrolled Substance Abuse, Kim Scaife (BOE Action on March 11th)
    Policy 7050: Drug Use by Employees, Andi Roberson (BOE Action on March 11th)
    Policy 9260: Student Search & Seizure, Christina Krabitz & Sonia Hurd (Report date TBD)
    Policy 4070: Fund Balance, Deborah Holmes (Policy Charter to BOE on February 11th)
    Policy 4100: Investment, Allen Cosentino (Policy Charter to BOE on February 11th)
    Policy 6010: School Attendance Areas,  Gillian Spivey (Report to BOE on March 11th)
    Policy 5200: Pupil Transportation, Tiffany Carmean (Report to BOE on April 15th)
    Policy 9090: Wellness Through Nutrition, Physical Activity, Heather Moraff (Charter to BOE April 15th)
    Policy 9020: Students’ Rights & Responsibilities, Kareen Penn (Report to BOE on April 15th)
    Policy 5220: School Bus Contracts & School Bus Personnel, Colleen Golden (To be determined)
    Policy 2060: Advisory Committees to the Board, Trish Lannon (To be determined)

    News from the Operating Budget Review Committee (OBRC)
    Sharon Kramer, HCAA’s General Manager, continues to represent our Association on the Operating Budget Review Committee (OBRC).  At the group’s meeting on January 13th, questions were drafted for upcoming Budget Work Sessions. On January 20th, the OBRC discussed the school system’s health benefits’ deficit and possible recommendations for the BOE regarding employee health benefits. In addition, committee members Cate Bombick and Jing Leng shared the results of an OBRC research project on the school system’s special education services and related budget shortfalls. And at their last meeting on February 3rd, OBRC members drafted questions for the BOE to address at upcoming budget work sessions.
    The OBRC will meet every Wednesday in February and on alternating Wednesdays in March, with the next meeting scheduled for February 10th.  All meetings of the committee are recorded and accessible via Board Docs. Finally, HCAA members can reach out directly to Sharon to share feedback, concerns, and/or questions for the group.

    Working Together Makes Us Stronger
    One of the many strengths of our Association is the diversity of our group. We represent Athletic and Activities Managers, Assistant Principals, Leadership Interns, and Principals who work “on the front lines” to keep our schools running smoothly and our school-based staff and students are successful. On the other side of the house are our non-school based administrators, including Coordinators and Facilitators from Curriculum & Instruction, Special Education, and Program Innovation & Student Well-Being. These administrators are working “in front of the line,” ensuring that our school leaders, teachers, paraeducators, and ultimately our students receive the instructional resources and support they need to be successful.  What an incredible, amazing group of educational leaders make up our Association. Thanks to each and every one of you for the important role YOU play. It truly takes all of us to make a difference, and making a difference each and every day is exactly what we do.

    HCAA would like to serve as the exclusive bargaining agent for the 5th bargaining unit representing cluster nurses, food services managers, assistant managers & managers, and an assortment of other supervisory positions. We are in regular contact with Staff Relations Director Pam Murphy regarding the timing of the election and will communicate any updates to the election process on this site.

    We look forward to the election and sincerely hope we have the opportunity to represent our fellow supervisors. Until that time, zoom in during virtual office hours to have your questions answered. Or if you prefer, simply call/text Executive Director Sue Mascaro at 443-878-6883.