UTSA STUDENTS INTERVIEW CO-FOUNDER, TERRI PEASE
RootEd is a grassroots organization created by public school parents with a mission to promote neighborhood public schools. The organization states that a strong public school system for all children creates a robust economy and a well-connected community. RootEd is promoting public schooling by using social media to tell positive stories about public schools, dispel myths about public schools, support any pro-public school candidates and legislators, and ensure parents the truth about public school funding. Go Public partnered with UTSA students in gathering interviews about public education. The students interview with RootEd co-founder, Terri Pease, provides background into the organization's mission and work.
Q: Can you tell me about RootEd and what your role is with the organization?
Ms. Pease: RootEd is a grassroots organization that was started by me and five other parents about a year ago. We are a fairly new organization. Our mission is to advocate for public schools through story telling, educating parents on the importance of public school, and advocacy in Austin.
Q: How long have you had this role? Why did you choose to start this organization?
Ms. Pease: We started officially last January. This organization is not my career; this is just something that I do on the side because I love public schools. The reason we started RootEd is because we all have kids in our local public schools and we felt like a lot of parents were looking for other options besides public schools. Often, their reasons for not attending a public school was based on misconceptions. We wanted to start an organization to tell the truth about what is really going on in public schools.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about your role with the organization?
Ms. Pease: I am able to go into schools throughout San Antonio and see the amazing things that are taking place in classrooms all over this city. There are some really innovative and incredible things going on in our classrooms that a lot of people in our city do not know about.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge this past year?
Ms. Pease: It has been a challenge getting our name out there and to spread our message. We do not have any funding so we have to do all of this on our own time and out of our own pockets.
Q: Where did you attend school?
Ms. Pease: I grew up in east Texas, so I went to Nacogdoches High School and I got my undergraduate degree from Texas A&M.
Q: What advice would you give students and parents who are thinking about attending public school?
Ms. Pease: I would tell them that no school is perfect, but the beauty of public schooling is you are going to school with your neighbors. Not only are your children getting a well rounded education but they are also building stronger communities and neighborhoods. Their kids will be exposed to both racial and socio-economical diversity. Also one of my favorite things about my children’s school is that it is the regional school for the deaf, so my kids are exposed and are able to ask questions about things they would have never thought to ask. There is a benefit to going to school with people who are not like you, it will make my kids better citizens someday.
Q: What is your favorite thing about San Antonio?
Ms. Pease: I love that it is a big city but feels like a very small town. San Antonio is very “neighborly”.
GoPublic supports RootEd's work in promoting public schools.
--UTSA students: Carlos Martinez, Cash Wood, Storm Webb, Madison Levey & Miguel Perez
TOP 10 THINGS PARENTS SHOULD CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A SCHOOL
- Is the school in your neighborhood?
- Are the teachers certified?
- Is there a counselor and nurse on staff?
- Is the curriculum well rounded?
- Is technology incorporated into learning?
- Is there a good variety of choices and pathways?
- How does the school support children with different learning styles and needs?
- What after school program is available?
- Do the teachers have ongoing professional development opportunities?
- Is there transparency?
Learn more about the work Rooted is doing throughout the San Antonio area here.