|Travis Unified Teachers Association||
Welcome to the Travis Unified Teachers Association website. The Travis Unified Teachers Association (TUTA) represents the educators and certificated employees of the Travis Unified School District in Vacaville and Fairfield, California.
Travis Unified Teachers Association member Peggy Eriksen is retiring this year after proudly teaching at Golden West for 26 years. Once she answered the calling to be a teacher, she never looked back. Peggy is inspired by the resilience of students who come to us with tough situations but are still open to finding success; it’s our job to find the right path to draw them in. In her teaching, she focuses on giving students the tools that allow them to have choices. Her advice to new teachers is, “Have a sense of humor and show the students you care.” Peggy’s plans for retirement include spending more time barrel racing with LuLu, her quarter horse, and pursuing items on her bucket list which include becoming a Doula and working with Habitat for Humanity International! Inspiring!
Travis Unified Teachers Association member Francine Caires teaches at Vanden and has taught students from K-12th grade as a Special Educator for 27 years. She found her love for teaching while volunteering in classes as a mom. Having a natural aptitude to work with children, she left her banking job, and joined the teaching profession—first as an instructional assistant and then as a teacher. Francine is inspired by her students. She loves the challenge of finding creative strategies to work with each one; there is no one-size-fits-all when working with kids. Her advice to new teachers is, “Don’t give up. Every child can learn; you just have to figure it out. There is no cookie-cutter lesson.” Francine is retiring this year, and we wish her the best in the next chapter of her life!
Travis Unified Teachers Association member Matthew Carpenter has taught 4th, 5th, and 6th grade classes at Foxboro for the last 19 years. He began working with kids when he coached his brother’s Little League team and realized it was something he had a talent for. Matthew’s grandmother was an English teacher at Vanden and paved the way for him to join us here in TUSD. He’s inspired by seeing former students’ and hearing their stories of success. Matthew loves to have fun in his class and cherishes those silly yet memorable moments that he forever shares with his students. His advice to new teachers is, “Take time for yourself—work hard but have fun!” Topping his bucket list is to travel to France and Italy while enjoying wine tasting in these countries.
Travis Unified Teachers Association member Jenny Lew is a math teacher at Vanden and has taught for 7 years. She is a Vanden graduate and returned here to teach after being inspired by so many amazing educators in TUSD—especially her math teachers. Having taught piano lessons, she found that she had a knack for working with children. Jenny is inspired by her students’ unfiltered and completely honest feedback. Her advice to new educators is, “Accept that you don’t have all the answers and be willing to learn from colleagues and students.” In addition to spending time with her two dogs and playing video games, topping Jenny’s bucket list is traveling to see the unique animals of the world and learning to talk with a British accent!
Travis Unified Teachers Association member Pamela Rogers is currently at Travis Elementary and has been in TUSD for 21 years as a Speech-Language Pathologist. Pamela owned a dance studio in Napa for many years before becoming an SLP. She continues to teach at Napa Valley College and has choreographed all their musicals since 1980! She used this talent to help choreograph the Team-Time routines that Travis students love so much. She’ll never forget the time she had to explain why her student told his mom that he had seen the “Wady with the Whips” that day—W’s for L’s is always a challenge. Pamela feels privileged to have worked with so many children and families across generations. Her words of wisdom to those entering teaching are, “Always remember why you went into this profession—you make a difference!” Having already traveled to more than 30 countries, she hopes to add South American destinations to her list.
Travis Unified Teachers Association member Katherine Beltramo has been in education for 29 years; she’s worked in elementary and middle schools, & is now a Counselor at Vanden. While teaching, Katherine found that her passion for facilitating class meetings and conflict resolution led her to pursue a career in counseling. Despite all her school experience, daily life with her two adopted children who have learning disabilities has taught her the most; “I bring a different perspective as I take kids from where they are and help move them forward.” She strives to help her students learn self-advocacy, so they have that life-skill in place by graduation and is inspired by the success stories she hears. Her advice to new teachers is, “LISTEN! Then roll with the punches—be flexible because you never know what the day will bring!”
Travis Unified Teachers Association member Rebecca Collins will be retiring after 28 extraordinary years teaching kindergarten & second grade classes here in TUSD. She began teaching at Travis Elementary and moved to Foxboro when it opened in 1993. Coming from a family of 8 children, she always had a talent for taking care of kids. The deciding moment for her to choose teaching as a career was sparked by the connection she had with Ms. Kelly, her Home Economics teacher—it was a relationship that continually reminds Becky that what we do and say to children matters every second of every day, and we never know who needs us to be that connection or inspiration of hope in their lives. Traveling home to the South and spending time with her 6 grandkids and loving husband top her retirement plans!
Travis Unified Teachers Association member Allison Johnson has taught at Vanden for the last 5 years; she returned to teaching after taking time off to be with her amazing kids, Jake and Taytum. She’s also coached for 16 years and has mentored the Lady Vike’s Basketball team through back-to-back section titles in addition to many League titles. Allison is constantly inspired by her husband, kids, players and students and is privileged to watch as people “show up” day-in-and-day-out to put their talents to use. She feels blessed that she’s been able to witness and mentor as kids overcome tumultuous situations and go on to thrive. Her advice to new teachers is, “Dive right in! Become a school teacher vs a classroom teacher…develop relationships and participate in everything!”
Travis Unified Teachers Association member John Scholz has taught at Golden West Middle school for 28 years. He started his career pursuing a degree in medicine but recognized his aptitude for teaching during a 2-week teaching internship and never looked back. John is inspired by his colleagues and enjoys their collaboration time. Teaching children of past students allows him to benefit from the relationships he works so hard to foster with families—it helps when you are one of the parents’ favorite teachers. His advice to new teachers: “Some days can be really bad, but you can’t just close your door and leave; you have to get through it, and you will!” His bucket list includes a visit to the Galapagos Islands to see where Darwin studied and a trip to the Panama Canal.