VIDEO: Spreading the good word about New York’s public schools

This is a television commercial created by the Schoharie Teachers Association as part of a grassroots campaign to spread the good word about New York’s public schools. It will air in the Capital Region shortly after winter break.

Why did they produce it? Because they were sick of hearing that New York schools are 38th in the nation and tired of scapegoating and blaming, said local president Martin Messner.

“It’s time we celebrate the hard work and achievement of our students. It’s time to let people see the real results of teaching and learning in our schools. Our schools, our teachers, and most of all our students deserve the truth.”

Messner knows a bit about messaging, as you can see from the ad.

“NYSUT does a great job for locals getting our message out on statewide issues,” Messner said. “That’s a heavy lift. So I think it’s time we as individual locals did something to help get out our message: That we are proud of our students, proud of our schools and proud of the work we all do together that gets us these high rankings.”

Together the STA and individual members scraped together $3,000 to air the ad in their local market. Now they hope locals across the state will help to spread it.

“With the high cost of television today, we know $3,000 isn’t going to be enough to change the course of the dialogue at the Capitol, but we thought that maybe if others would join us in this effort, we could expand.” Messner said. He mentioned it at a local conference. He noted that once individuals and retirees at that conference found out $50 would mean the ad could be shown another time, they pledged to sponsor spots immediately.

So now they are thinking statewide. Here’s what the Schoharie Teachers Association is offering. The ad is free of charge to locals that want to run their own media campaign. (Yes, all the legal sign-offs from the students involved in the filming and the production company are secured.) For smaller locals, if they would prefer, the STA will get the ad on TV for you in your market.

Contact Messner at 298 Colby Rd., Schoharie, NY 12157 or email him at

And remember, he is a full-time teacher so he may not get back to you until the end of the day.

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  1. Barb February 15, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    This local is simply amazing…

  2. Tara February 15, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

    I agree. Great spot as well!!!!

  3. David PEEk February 16, 2012 at 8:21 pm #


  4. Tony McCann February 22, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    Thanks for taking this initiative. Great Local leadership.
    Your creative efforts will help rebuild teacher morale in the face of so much undeserved criticism of our great profession.

    General Eisenhower said that in the war against the Nazis, good morale was more important than great weaponry. In the war against ignorance, apathy, prejudice, teacher morale is a vital ingredient.

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