CEA Charter
CEA Charter
Purpose and Goals
The purpose of this particular unit shall be to implement all aims and goals of the state association on the community basis. Said goals and aims are to promote better educational opportunities throughout the scope of its area; to foster understanding of the community junior college in the field of higher education and to encourage professional attitudes among its members.

Reasons to Join

  • Professional development
  • Collective power
  • Working conditions
  • Camaraderie
  • Legal protection
  • Political clout
  • Advocating for education
  • Saving money

Member Benefits*

*Membership is only available to Faculty.


KNEA Core Values

Equal Opportunity
We believe public education is the gateway to opportunity. All students have the human and civil right to a quality education that develops their potential, independence, and character.

A Just Society
We believe public education is vital to building respect for the worth, dignity, and equality of every individual in our diverse society.

We believe public education is the cornerstone of our republic. Public education provides individuals with the skills to be involved, informed, and engaged in our representative democracy.

We believe that the expertise and judgment of education professionals are critical to student success. We maintain the highest professional standards and we expect the status, compensation, and respect due all professionals.

We believe partnerships with parents, families, communities and other stakeholders are essential to quality public education and student success.

Collective Action
We believe individuals are strengthened when they work together for the common good. As education professionals, we improve both our professional status and the quality of public education when we unite and advocate collectively.

Cowley Education Association Officers – 2021-2023
President – Julie Rhoads
Vice President – Meg Smith
Secretary – AJ Ybarra
Treasurer – Janet Davidson
Nominations & Selection Committe Chair – Janet Davidson
Faculty Liaison – Juile Rhoads
Proxies – Deborah Layton and Pam Smith
KNEA Delegates – Janet Davidson and Frank Owens

We, the Cowley Education Association, are part of a larger UniServ District defined by KNEA which is managed by an advisory board and professional staff member.

The CEA is part of the Walnut Valley Uniserv with the following contact information:

7701 E. Kellogg, Suite 880, Wichita, KS 67207


Who is KNEA?

Founded more than 150 years ago, KNEA and its members represent every corner of Kansas and come from every political persuasion and culture. We are educators who support Kansas schools and students. We are more than a labor union. We are an association of professionals.

KNEA is the largest private organization in Kansas where members drive decision making through a representative democracy. This rich heritage is part of the pride of membership, and together we work as unapologetic advocates for Kansas schools, students and our profession.

Whether fighting for statutory rights to due process hearings, advocating for student safety, or ensuring professional control of curriculum, KNEA members have a strong collective voice.

KNEA is a state-level affiliate of the National Education Association. The NEA provides support to state affiliates through advocacy, legal support, grants, trainings and benefits. However, the KNEA operates within its own bylaws as defined by the KNEA Board of Directors.

Membership in KNEA does NOT mean that you automatically support NEA positions politically or otherwise. KNEA defines its own positions through its annual Representative Assembly and its Board of Directors.

The majority of your membership dues are used to strengthen our local association and Uniserv. The remainder of your dues work to provide vital resources and advance programs defined by the KNEA Board of Directors.

Legislative and Political Advocacy is a key aspect of membership in KNEA, which maintains an active lobby team to assess legislative activity, create action plans, and work with Kansas’ elected officials to promote public education at every level.

NO KNEA dues dollars are used for express candidate advocacy. KNEA maintains the KNEA Political Action Committee, or KPAC, which is funded solely by voluntary contribution. KNEA is a non-partisan organization and supports only local and state-level candidates who have earned recommended status through a member-driven interview process.

View the KNEA Legislative Agenda

Stirnaman Award Recipients

Paul Stirnaman Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence is named for Paul Stirnaman, a long-time Social Science Department instructor and strong supporter of the College Education Association. He died June 16, 2000, following a lengthy illness.

Fall 2021 — Sarah Mathews
Fall 2018 — Deborah Layton
Fall 2016 — Rae Dale
Fall 2015 — Chris Mayer
Fall 2014 — Deb Nittler
Fall 2013 — Amy McWhirt
Fall 2012 — Melinda Neal
Fall 2011 — Lois Sampson
Fall 2010 — Karolee Weller
Fall 2009 — Greg Nichols
Fall 2008 — Scott Layton
Fall 2007 — Todd Shepherd
Fall 2006 — Pam Smith
Fall 2005 — Michelle Schoon
Fall 2004 — Chris Vollweider
Fall 2003 — Uwe Conrad
Fall 2002 — Larry Schwintz