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Nearly 10,000 educators gather for annual dialogue on pressing education issues

NEA hosts its Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly in San Diego June 27–July 6

WASHINGTON - June 08, 2009 -

Nearly 10,0000 educators will join colleagues from across the country for their annual dialogue on issues facing their schools, their students and their profession during the National Education Association’s 147th Annual Meeting, 88th Representative Assembly (RA) and related preconvention activities, June 27–July 6 in San Diego, Calif. 

The RA is the highest decision-making body within the over 3.2 million-member NEA and with nearly 10,000 delegates, it is also the world's largest democratic deliberative body. 

In addition to discussing, debating and voting on critical issues facing public education, the teachers and education support professionals will also set Association policy for the coming year. This year’s gathering will be the first presided over by Association leadership elected during the 2008 RA: NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, Vice President Lily Eskelsen and Secretary-Treasurer Becky Pringle. 

 WHO:  More than 10,000 education professionals, including NEA President Dennis Van Roekel
 WHAT:  NEA’s 147th Annual Meeting, 88th Representative Assembly and related preconvention activities
  WHEN:  Saturday, June 27–Monday, July 6, 2009
 WHERE: At or near the San Diego Convention Center
111 W. Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92101

Highlights of the 2009 NEA Annual Meeting, Representative Assembly and preconvention activities:

Saturday, June 27
More than 300 student and retired educators will volunteer in the daylong revitalization of a needy, local school. Outreach to Teach will be held at Balboa Elementary School, 1844 S. 40th Street in San Diego from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The NEA Student Program started Outreach to Teach in 1996 to give back to a local school in the city hosting the Annual Meeting.

Sunday and Monday, June 28–29
Recognizing the need to continue to work for social justice for NEA members and their students, educators will address issues of diversity, social justice and equality during the Joint Conference on Concerns of Minorities and Women. The two-day event at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, One Market Place, attracts 1,000 participants and features noted experts and scholars providing in-depth commentary on key issues.

Tuesday, June 30
The San Diego Padres will trade in their baseball caps for signature Seuss reading hats to kick off weeklong NEA’s Read Across America events and activities at the 36 San Diego Public Libraries to promote summer reading. Padres players, NEA leaders and the Cat in the Hat will read Seuss classics to hundreds of local schoolchildren during the kickoff event at Petco Park from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. NEA’s Read Across America is the nation’s largest reading event and is designed to show kids summer reading can be just as fun as a day at the ballpark.

Thursday, July 2
• NEA President Dennis Van Roekel and Executive Director John Wilson will welcome Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as the secretary brings his “Listening and Learning” tour across America to the NEA Annual Meeting. The secretary will field questions and hear directly from hundreds of educators about their experiences, challenges and resources they need to educate the next generation of students. The town hall type exchange will begin at 10 a.m. on floor of the RA in the San Diego Convention Center.
• During the Minority Community Outreach Forum, “Crossroads of Change: Minority Communities on the Brink,” educators, scholars, authors, policy experts and elected officials from the ethnic minority community will discuss the issues of race, education and culture in America. The forum will be held at the San Diego Convention Center in Room 6A from 2 p.m.–4 p.m.
• Recipients of NEA’s human and civil rights awards are honored for their commitment to advancing the cause of equal opportunity, improving relationships between diverse groups and expanding educational opportunities for minority students and educators. Awardees are paid tribute to during the 2009 NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards Dinner, 7:30 p.m., in the ballroom of the San Diego Convention Center.

Friday, July 3
• NEA President Dennis Van Roekel will mark the first day of the RA with the delivery of his inaugural keynote address.
• NEA will bestow its America’s Greatest Education Governor award on New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.

Saturday, July 4
Kathie Axtell, an afterschool program creator and special education trainer from the Olympia School District in the state of Washington, will address delegates as the 2009 Education Support Professional of the Year.

Sunday, July 5
The National Teacher of the Year will address delegates. NEA member and former police officer Anthony Mullen is a special education teacher at the ARCH School, an alternative education branch of Greenwich High School in Greenwich, Conn.

Monday, July 6
The Association will honor the 2009 NEA Friend of Education Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, education adviser to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, and currently the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University.

Requests for media credentials should be directed to Heather Griffin at 
or by calling (202) 822-7823

For more information and a full listing of scheduled events:

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing
3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Stacey Grissom  (202) 822-7823,