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Former Utah Teacher of the Year Elected Vice President of NEA

WASHINGTON - July 04, 2008 -

Lily Eskelsen, an elementary school teacher from Utah, has been elected vice president of the National Education Association.  She was approved by the nearly 10,000 NEA delegates attending the 146th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.  

"I am grateful for the continued support of our membership, and will continue to work to make public education the number one priority for America's lawmakers," said Eskelsen. "We must provide our teachers with the resources they need to ensure that all children receive the great public school education they deserve."          

Eskelsen has served two three-year terms as secretary-treasurer of the NEA.  She remains one of the highest-ranking labor leaders in the country and one of its most powerful Hispanic educators. 

Eskelsen's commitment to children and public education propelled her to leadership positions within the NEA, beginning with her 1990 write-in election as president of the 18,000-member Utah Education Association. She served in this post until 1996, when she was elected to the nine-member NEA Executive Committee.

In 1989, Eskelsen was recognized as Utah Teacher of the Year. She won her party's nomination for U.S. Congress in 1998 and served as a member of President Clinton's White House Strategy Session on Improving Hispanic Education in 2000, all the while providing education advice to parents in newspapers and magazines such as Women's Day, Working Mother and Time.

She is on leave of absence from her teaching position at the Christmas Box House Children's Shelter, a one-room school and residential facility for K-6 children awaiting placement in foster homes.  Her term as vice president will last for three years, and is effective on September 1, 2008. 

"Lily has been such a strong voice on children's issues," said NEA President Reg Weaver. "She brings so much to the table as a teacher and NEA leader that I know she will make an outstanding vice president."

Eskelsen succeeds Dennis Van Roekel, who served two terms as vice president of NEA and will take over as president in September.

Lily Eskelsen's bio is available at:

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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional 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: Will Potter  (202) 822-7823