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A Message From the President


Time to Show What We’re Made Of


Barbara Matteson matteson@dakotacom.net


 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If NEA’s Retired membership is strong and active, everyone in the NEA family benefits.

 We may not be superheroes, but former educators are well-respected members of the community. And we shouldn’t underestimate our ability—our powers, if you will—to inspire action in the name of the greater good.

We don’t need to be able to leap a tall building in a single bound to make a huge difference in the life of a teacher, student, or school. It’s not one dramatic gesture that saves public education, it’s consistent, unwavering support that matters most.

Just look at the examples laid out in this issue’s cover story to see how members across the country are supporting their active educator peers, their state Associations, and the students in their communities. Put those efforts together and our collective strength really is pretty awesome.

I have every reason to believe that NEA-Retired has the people power and the moxie to go out and change what isn’t working. I saw proof of that at this year’s annual meeting and Representative Assembly, where Retired members took part in record numbers.

And an all-time high of 75 Retired members helped transform a troubled Philadelphia area school into a cleaner, safer, more beautiful environment for kids and staff to return to this fall.

Folks, our strength will be tested between now and November 2008. Retired members have a crucial role to play in the pending ESEA/NCLB reauthorization and the upcoming presidential campaign, so please answer the call from your state Associations and give generously of your time.

 We all have to rise to the challenge to ensure that we get a pro-public education president in the White House. It is the greatest gift we could give to our active teachers, our children and grandchildren, and society at large.

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8-Sep-07