|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 Dave Richards has been with TUSD for 26 years and has taught grades 3rd-6th. He found his way into teaching when he volunteered to help coach the JV water polo and swim teams in Fairfield. Coaching and teaching have gone hand-in-hand for Dave as he went on to coach girls’ and boys’ soccer teams at Vanden, helping them earn league titles. Inspired by his students who reach those “Ah-ha moments” and suddenly find a spark, Dave works hard to give his students many different experiences. His advice to new teachers is, “This is unending on-the-job-training. Each year is different, and you will constantly learn.” His bucket list includes a Baseball tour which follows the Giants to all the different stadiums!
Travis Unified Teachers Association member Jade Matthews has taught here in TUSD for 5 years and currently teaches a 5/6 combo at Foxboro. Jade as always wanted to work with children. She loves how students make her a better person by keeping her grounded and helping her focus on staying in the moment. Jade’s advice to new teachers is, “It’s not all about the academics; it’s about the relationships.” Her most memorable moments come when she realizes that she has made a difference in the lives ofstudents that others thought could never be reached—that moment whenyou realize a child has hope again—priceless! Topping her bucket list istaking a trip across the Atlantic someday.
Travis Unified Teachers Association member Kathryn Carter-Stewart has taught here in TUSD for 24 years, received TUTA‘s Wilson Memorial scholarship for seniors, is a third generation Travis teacher, and holds the honor of being Cambridge’s Teacher of the Year—the school where she completed her student teaching. Kathryn’s vast leadership roles and experiences in 4-H have shaped her hands-on style of teaching. Her most memorable moments are when she moves a student from an, “I can’t do it; it’s impossible,” mindset to an, “I’ll keep trying,” growth mindset. She’s looking forward to a future cruise where she’ll celebrate birthday milestones with her twin brother, sister-in-law, and mom.
Travis Unified Teachers Association member Dianne Zwanziger has taught in TUSD for 27 years as a Speech-Language Pathologist. Dianne went into teaching because she wanted to help kids, and this degree allowed her to study in the areas of science and psychology. She is inspired by the challenge of seeing the potential in a child and bringing that potential out of the student. The biggest change she’s seen in her field is the IEP process and paperwork. Her “Hallmark Moment Memory” was when she was teaching in Ohio and helping her articulation students with their “R’s” by singing Rudolf-the-Red-Nosed-Reindeer during recess when it suddenly started to snow. All the kids gathered around as her speech students lead the group! Her words of wisdom: “Keep your eyes on bringing the treasure out of students!! It’s in there!” Topping her bucket list is renting a beach house and having her family and 9 grand-kids join her for the summer. :)
Travis Unified Teachers Association member Douglas Ivie has taught at TEC since he arrived in TUSD 13 years ago. While he is the designated math teacher at TEC, Doug has also taught sections of debate, speech, Physical Education, child development, health, and life skills. Douglas served our country in the Army before becoming a teacher and was able to see Germany and much of Europe. The first hint that he would become an educator came when a High School math teacher told him that we would become a math teacher someday—Doug didn’t believe it at the time, but here he is! His advice to new teachers is: “You can’t want it more than they do, but don’t give up on your students.” He also recommends hooking up with a veteran teacher to learn organizing skills. Topping his bucket list is traveling with his granddaughter, Rose (his pride & joy) to help her experience history—a few places they’ll visit are Spain, Washington DC, and Boston.
Travis Unified Teachers Association member Nicholas Cagle is celebrating his 11th year teaching music across the nation from Illinois, to the University of Michigan, and now here at Vanden. Nick has been impressed by our students’ fearless willingness to embrace new experiences and their family-like welcoming of new students. One of the highlights of his career so far is the Viking Band’s journey that led to performing in Carnegie Hall last spring. Students with all skill levels rose to the challenge and were able to perform beyond expectation. It’s a reminder that students are much more complex than they seem and recognizing their infinite complexities makes all the difference in helping them reach their potential. His bucket list includes traveling to and vacationing in Scandinavia, eating a 24-course meal at Alinea in Chicago, and having his jazz band work with Wynton Marsalis at the Lincoln Center in NY.
Travis Unified Teachers Association member Mark Kleinman has started his 2nd year and teaches Kindergarten at Travis Elementary. This is quite a difference from his math/robotics assignment at GW last year. While Mark is new to public education, he has been teaching for years as a fighter aircraft flight instructor in the US Air Force. His experiences teaching young pilots from a variety of backgrounds has prepared him for the rigors of kindergarten where intuition and concept building are essential survival skills. He found his calling through the DoD—Troops to Teachers program—where he saw an opportunity to give back and prepare students for jobs that don’t even exist yet by showing kids that that they are capable. Mark has been building and repairing computers since 1973; his skill set is diverse. He’s traveled the world—including Antarctica, but someday he’d like to practice the Russian-speaking skills he learned in college by visiting Russia.