I’ve taught high school advanced placement English for 11 years in Mesa, Arizona. I’ve served as treasurer and membership chair of my local Association, and have been an AEA delegate and a delegate to NEA’s Representative Assembly.
Why did you join NEA Pre-Retired SO EARLY?
I know that “Pre-Retired” is an unusual title because I’m 35 and will be teaching for a long time to come. But I believe that educators should be committed to their professions, first and foremost, and NEA-Retired plays a major role in everything the Association does.
Here in Arizona, we’re fighting school vouchers, which were recently introduced. School employees really need to make a lifelong commitment, for the sake of kids and schools and to ensure their own retirement security. Becoming a Pre-Retired member is one of the important ways I can show my commitment. And I try to spread the message to other school employees that they should get involved as early as possible.
I was a first grade teacher and middle school reading specialist in Columbus, Ohio, for 35 years. I’ve been a local Association board member, district president, Ohio Education Association board member, and NEA board member. I’m now on the OEA-Retired state board.
HOW’S retirement SO FAR?
I just retired last year, and it’s great. Over the summer, I was an NEA representative at the Education International Congress in Berlin, and that was a wonderful trip. I continue to devote a lot of time to OEA and NEA because I don’t think my work is done. The Association can’t work without grassroots involvement, so I stay involved. As a kid I was taught to always bring someone along with me. That’s still my philosophy, so I want to keep getting more people turned on to Association work.
I taught high school social studies in West Point, Nebraska, for 36 years. I was a local Association president, Nebraska State Education Association vice president and board member, and an NEA board member. I’ve been vice president of NSEA-Retired, and am currently a board member.
What's best about retirement?
My family and my volunteer work. My wife and I have four children and seven grandchildren. I always say that the two greatest moments in life are when you first have a child, and your baby reaches and squeezes your finger, and then, years later, when you first have a grandchild run into your arms.
It doesn’t get any better. I stay active in the Association because that’s my fun. I helped start the mentoring program between NSEA-Retired and our state student program, and this year we’ll have Nebraska ’s first Outreach To Teach event. I’ve been retired since 1996, and I may have to stop and rest eventually—but not for now, because my next term on the board won’t be finished until 2011.