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NEA Elects New Leaders

2008 Representative Assembly elects new president, vice president, and secretary-treasurer, recommends Barack Obama for U.S. president.

Dennis Van Roekel, a 25-year veteran teacher from Phoenix, Arizona, is NEA’s new president, succeeding Reg Weaver who served as the Association’s president for the past six years. Van Roekel took office September 1, after serving two terms as vice president. He was elected NEA president by acclamation at the 2008 NEA Representative Assembly.

The NEA RA also elected Lily Eskelsen, an elementary school teacher from Salt Lake City, Utah as vice president, and Becky Pringle, a physical science teacher from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, as secretary-treasurer.

In addition, the RA elected two new members of the NEA Executive Committee, Len Paolillo, a professor of sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and Princess Moss, a Virginia elementary school music teacher. Find out more about NEA’s new officers and executive committee members.

Some 230 contingent faculty from across the nation, Canada, and Mexico attended the 2008 Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor (COCAL) Conference August 8-10 in San Diego, which was cosponsored by NEA and other academic unions. NEA President-Elect Dennis Van Roekel, speaking at the opening dinner on Friday night, urged the group to become active and be a force for change. NEA contingent leaders, from California, Illinois, Florida, Michigan, Oregon, and the NEA National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), spoke on several panels on issues ranging from job security to academic governance to recruiting new members.

NEA’s 27th annual higher education conference will convene in Portland, Oregon, March 27-29, 2009, at the Marriott Downtown Waterfront Hotel. Leadership Day is Thursday, March 26. The conference theme is “The Seamless Web of Education.” Online forms for conference registration and hotel reservations are available now at Conference sessions will be posted as they are finalized.

NEA leaders and staff, serving on the Democratic committee, were able to have included in the platform language reading, “We will end the penalty within the current Social Security system for public service that exists in several states.”

Inclusion of this language calling for the elimination of Social Security offsets is a major victory for all those pushing to repeal these unfair offsets.

NEA also submitted comments to the Republican drafting committee calling for GPO/WEP repeal. Log on to to ask Congress to support the repeal of GPO/WEP.

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