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New Chair Elected to the NEA Student Program

Tennessee State University student to lead NEA student members

WASHINGTON - July 01, 2008 -

Hundreds of students from across the country elected Jermaine Coleman, a Tennessee State University student from Atlanta, Ga., to serve as the chairperson of the NEA Student Program. Coleman was elected to the two-year term during the "Shakin' Up the Political Landscape" Student Leadership Conference, which was held June 26-29, in Washington, D.C.

"I have been waiting for this opportunity for a long time," said Coleman. "It is true what they say, 'It's passion that persuades,' and I have never been more passionate about anything in my life! I look forward to working with the NEA Student Program and keeping the ball rolling."

Coleman is currently pursuing a degree in music education. After his term as NEA Student Program chairperson, he plans on attending the University of Nevada Las Vegas to pursue a master's degree in administration supervision. Before being elected to the Student Program, Coleman served as the Student Tennessee Education Association president.

"When you see the excitement and commitment Jermaine has for children and public education, you know that he will accomplish a lot during his term," said NEA President Reg Weaver. "He will continue the great work of the NEA Student Program and will be a remarkable leader for our future educators."

Coleman will be based in NEA's downtown Washington, D.C., office where he will be immersed in learning about education policy, advocacy and leadership. During his two years as NEA Student Program chairperson, he will benefit from regular access to NEA's robust staff of leading authorities in the field of education, as well as access to NEA's renowned library of education resources.

Coleman's term will begin on August 2, 2008. Upon hearing that he was elected, Coleman remarked to his fellow student members, "I'm going to work hard with you. You all are going to work hard with me. And together we're going to get a lot accomplished in the next two years."

During the "Shakin' Up the Political Landscape" Student Leadership Conference, aspiring teachers took time out of their summer breaks to attend workshops and learning sessions designed to help them become more effective leaders in their student associations, as well as to become exceptional teachers when they graduate.

Each year, the student conference is held in conjunction with the NEA Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly where nearly 10,000 elected delegates convene to determine NEA leadership and governance matters.

Approximately 60,000 students from 900 colleges and universities across the nation enjoy the NEA Student Program's host of professional development resources, including participation in NEA's 3.2 million-member network of education professionals, access to scholarships that offset college tuition costs, grants to implement community outreach programs and insurance protection from work-related liabilities in schools.

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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: Celeste Fernandez (202) 822-7823