Justin WongRetired: 1995
I taught social studies and economics at Radford High School in Honolulu, Hawaii for 30 years.
After joining the Hawaii State Teachers Association in 1976, I served as state treasurer and on several committees. I am currently in my second term as HSTA-Retired president.
What’s the best thing about retirement?
Being retired gives me time to do the things I want to do, rather than worrying about what I have to do. I am in the office four to five days a week on HSTA-R business because I believe that it is my duty as president to nurture HSTA-R into a strong and effective organization.
I am particularly interested in uniting districts state-wide that may otherwise remain divided due to the islands’ geography.
I was a 6th grade teacher at Nancy Lopez Elementary in Roswell, New Mexico for 21 years. I am currently an elected retired delegate for both NEA and NEA-Retired.
What do you find rewarding about retirement?
I am spending most of my time working as treasurer of the Democratic Women of Chaves County in New Mexico. The organization supports our local, state and national candidates by having fundraisers and volunteering at their offices.
My area is heavily Republican, and we have to work very hard to ensure that our policies are supported by politicians. This is not the first time that I became involved in politics.
When I was a teacher, I often brought political material to class concerning education and would have my students participate in a mock presidential election. And now, decades later, I am excited for the upcoming presidential election. We are certainly in need of change and I want to help.
I taught high school social studies for 29 years in Letcher County, Kentucky. I was a local president, and president of KEA. I served as vice president, and currently am president, of KEA-Retired.
How do you spend your time in retirement?
That’s an easy one: Association work and a lot of babysitting. Our fourth grandchild was born recently—it’s very exciting.
My KEA-Retired work has been exciting, too. Kentucky has led the way in establishing continuous membership, which means our active members become paid-up life members as soon as they retire.
It’s helped build our legislative programs, which are very important right now because the state needs to put more funds into retiree healthcare and pensions. We’re trying to help other state Associations establish continuous membership.