Association of Texas Professional Educators
Association of Texas Professional Educators

Volunteer Spotlight

Volunteer Spotlight

Artemio Cantu | La Joya ATPE

The thousands of ATPE volunteers across Texas are the backbone of this association. Their hard work and dedication allow ATPE to serve the state’s largest community of educators. In this ongoing ATPE News series, we spotlight volunteers who set a great example of service to their fellow educators. NEXT UP: Artemio Cantu teaches career and technical education in La Joya ISD, is president of La Joya ATPE, and is ATPE’s 2022-23 Campus Rep of the Year for local units with 501–1,000 members.

ATPE Gives Educators a Voice

ATPE’s advocacy efforts are one of the biggest reasons Cantu became a member.

“To me, one of the most important benefits would be ATPE’s advocacy and being able to have a say in the legislative process,” Cantu explains. “With ATPE, I can stay up to date with changes that affect our profession. It allows us to have a voice. We have been able to send some of our local unit members to ATPE at the Capitol, where they were able to meet with legislators and have a direct impact. Additionally, they always come back with a wealth of information about what is going on at the Capitol.”

This is something that Cantu emphasizes when he is talking to colleagues about joining ATPE.

“I let them know that ATPE is at the very forefront of what is going on in our profession,” Cantu says. “I let them know that with ATPE, they can have an impact on the bills the Legislature is considering, as well as other changes to regulations and rules that might affect them. Then, it is easier to move on to the other benefits of membership, such as the insurance and discounts.”

It’s Easier Than You Think to Get Involved

As a local unit president, Cantu knows it can be a challenge to find people willing to volunteer for ATPE—given educators’ increasingly busy schedules. However, Cantu wants people to know they can make a positive impact even without a huge time commitment.

“I think a lot of our educators have a difficult time because of the stress of the job,” Cantu says. “They think they do not have enough time. They are at school from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or later. Then, they have family obligations. Thanks to online communication, things have become much easier. You don’t always have to meet in a physical location. Now, a lot of things can be done though a simple Zoom call. We can take five or 10 minutes to plan out what we are doing next month. It has made things that much easier.”

Helping grow ATPE by recruiting new members is perhaps the biggest impact a person can have on the association. This, too, is much easier than many people may imagine, according to Cantu. He has seen his most success not with high-pressure sales techniques but rather with being approachable and taking every opportunity to talk about ATPE when speaking with his colleagues. He believes these are tactics every member can use.

“You are already meeting and talking with these teachers, so try and use ATPE as a conversation starter,” explains Cantu. “I will say, ‘Oh, I did this or that with my organization.’ Or, I will talk about something that is going on with the Legislature that I learned from ATPE, and that will usually lead into another conversation where they want to know more about ATPE. So it’s not like I am knocking on doors like a door-to-door salesman.

“I just try and have a smile on my face all the time,” Cantu continues. “There is a good chance somebody is already having a tough day on their own. When you are smiling, you become more approachable. People will come up to me and ask me about my ATPE shirt or my ATPE coffee mug. Then, we can start a conversation about joining ATPE.”


Interested in becoming an ATPE volunteer? Reach out to ATPE’s Volunteer Program Coordinator at