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Member Spotlight

Ethelyn Tumalad

"True equity comes with having a seat at the table. True equity comes with joy and love, building bridges together as we guide students towards liberation."
Published: June 2023
Headshot of OEA Member Ethelyn Tumalad

District: North Clackamas School District
Job Assignment: Clackamas High School, Certified Teacher, English Language Arts 10th and 12th Grade, AVID 12th Grade
Local Association: North Clackamas Education Association
Years of Educator Experience: Five Years

What are three ways you have actively elevated and pushed for equity? 

Advisor for Clackamas High’s Asian Pacific Islander Student Union, Co-Leader of CHS BIPOC Affinity Group, Co-create intentionally

What is your equity stance? 

Equity is more than just a word. It means abolitionist education and creating the rigor for ALL students in your classroom. As an educator who always wants to ensure that students become change agents in the classroom, I’ve led my students with empathy and truly believe that modeling is the best form of education. To be an educator of color, an immigrant educator, bilingual educator, and to be yourself while being intentional about decentering Whiteness and decolonizing has anchored my teaching practices. I always go back to the quote of a dinner table as an educator. An amazing teacher mentor once asked me, if there was a metaphor for your classroom, what would it be? I answered, a dining table. I told her, “there should always be a seat at the table and whatever my student is hungry for, that’s what they will get.” True equity comes with having a seat at the table. True equity comes with joy and love, building bridges together as we guide students towards liberation.

What is your favorite social justice quote? 

“When you exist in spaces that weren’t built for you, sometimes just being you is the revolution.” -Elaine Welteroth, More Than Enough

Can you share one equity focused resource or student read that you recommend? 

This feels fitting, but the first book that I fell in love with when I was in my teacher prep program and revisit time and time again is still bell hooks’ “Teaching to Transgress”


Keeping the Promise of Quality Public Education

The Oregon Education Association (OEA) is a union committed to the cause of providing the basic right of great public education to every student. OEA represents about 41,000 educators working in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 public schools and community colleges. OEA’s membership includes licensed teachers and specialists, classified/education support professionals (ESPs), community college faculty, retired educators, and student members. OEA members also belong to the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association (NEA).