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NEA vice president handpicked to be part of national “Mom Congress” effort

Lily Eskelsen will provide expertise for parents to advocate for education reform


WASHINGTON - March 24, 2009 -

Mothers are always asked to wear multiple hats, and National Education Association Vice President Lily Eskelsen is no exception. Eskelsen, a mother of two, is one of the highest ranking labor leaders in the United States and one of its most influential Hispanic educators.

Today, she joined Parenting magazine’s Mom Congress™ on Education and Learning, an initiative to connect moms advocating for educational reform.

“Mothers have their hands full, being everything to everyone. They are wives and workers, consolers and confidants, domestic engineers and disciplinarians,” said Eskelsen. “It’s inspiring to see mothers add education advocate to that long list. I had a calling to teach, which expanded into advocacy so that I could make a difference in the lives of children.  I’m eager to share what I’ve learned over the years with moms across America so that we can continue to push for the resources our children need to succeed.”

Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies serves as the education provider for the Mom Congress on Education and Learning, a prosocial initiative developed by The Parenting Group, publisher of Parenting and Babytalk magazines. Members will have direct access to leaders in the field of education and the policymakers responsible for reforming the nation’s schools.

Eskelsen will serve as Advisory Board member to the Mom Congress on Education and Learning. She will help shape the grassroots effort by imparting knowledge and working with other influential experts to set an agenda for education reform issues that will be tackled by the Mom Congress.

To give readers the information and tools they need to give their children the best foundation for a solid education, Eskelsen will regularly contribute her expertise to Parenting.com and the new edition of Parenting for moms of school-age children, Parenting School Years.

“Parents, families and the whole community have an essential role to play in the growth and development of its young people,” added Eskelsen. “I encourage people to get involved now. Volunteer at a school. Attend a city council or school board meeting to share your thoughts on education issues in your community. Involvement is critical.”

Eskelsen was handpicked to be part of the effort because of her long-time role as an outspoken advocate for children. 

Eskelsen is an elementary teacher from Utah.  For 20 years, she worked with students from kindergarten to sixth grade in the middle-class suburbs of Salt Lake and in the county’s one-room shelter school for homeless students.

The 1989 Utah Teacher of the Year later became president of the Utah Education Association and was eventually elected to serve nationally as a member of NEA’s Executive Committee.  Before becoming vice president, Eskelsen was secretary-treasurer of the 3.2 million-member NEA.

Eskelsen will serve alongside Randi Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers; David Markus, editorial director, George Lucas Educational Foundation; Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director, MomsRising.org; Melinda George, senior director, PBS TeacherLine and National Education Partnerships; Supriya Jindal, first lady of Louisiana and founder, Supriya Jindal Foundation; and Carol Evans, CEO, Working Mother Media.

For more on the Mom Congress: www.momcongress.com and www.parenting.com/momcongress For more on NEA: www.nea.org


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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee 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: Ramona Parks-Kirby
(202) 822-7823, rparks@nea.org