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Member Profiles

Lois Clark

I’ve taught high school biology and physiology in St. Louis for 23 years. I’m a local Association president.

I’ve also been our local treasurer, and I served on the Missouri NEA state Board of Directors.

Why did you get active as an NEA Pre-Retired member?
My parents taught me early on that if I don’t get involved, I have no right to complain. I believe that, which is why I’m working as a local president now.

But there’s always a new issue coming up that has to be addressed if we want to maintain and strengthen public education. In my state, public education budgets are always an issue. We’ve had to fight proposals for school vouchers recently.

I’m devoted to public education, so I’ll keep taking my parents’ advice and stay involved after I retire.

Deloise Jones

I taught kindergarten in the Jackson, Mississippi public schools for 25 years. I served as president and treasurer of my local Association.

How are you spending retirement?
I have an elderly mother, and I’m fortunate to have  time to care for her. But I stay active in NEA-Retired because there are too many important issues out there and I’m a born activist.

I like doing political and legislative work, and am especially interested in reforming the current system in which testing is the measure of everything. I was an economics major, so I know that you can twist test statistics to have them tell you whatever you want. That’s not fair to kids.

I also volunteer every day with an after-school tutorial program. I enjoy that, because I know I’m able to reach a lot of children.

Chuck Custis

I was a middle school teacher and counselor in Sheridan, Wyoming for 25 years.

What do you like best about retirement?
I was born across the street from the school where I worked, and now I just live six miles away, so I’m not one to change my habits much. I love working as a volunteer lobbyist for NEA-Retired.

I wouldn’t want to be a politician, but I like telling them what to do. Wyoming was once comparatively poor, but they struck methane gas a few years ago, and now the state has money.

I like making sure it goes to public education. Right now, they’re building three new schools in Sheridan. There are still important decisions to be made. I have seven grandchildren, so I know the state has to balance spending now and socking money away for the future.

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