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NEA Vice President Profile: Becky Pringle

Known as a fierce social justice warrior, defender of educator rights, and an unrelenting advocate for all students and communities of color, Becky Pringle steps up in the labor movement to say: “When they try to silence our voices by stripping the rights of unions to collectively act in the best interests of our students and our families across the nation, it is our duty to use the power of our vision and the weapon of our voices against the foes of opportunity and human and civil rights.” Becky is a middle school science teacher with 31 years of classroom experience, and also serves as the vice president of the nation’s first and largest labor union and professional association for educators.

Becky is a strategic thinker and a tireless leader. She directs NEA’s work to combat institutional racism, and spotlight systemic patterns of racism and educational injustice that impact students. Under Becky’s guidance, NEA works to widen access and opportunity by demanding changes to policies, programs, and practices. The Association’s goal is to ensure the systemic, fair treatment of people of all races so that equitable opportunities and outcomes are within reach for every student. In the social justice arena, Becky also fights for the rights of students who have disabilities, identify as LGBTQ, or are English Language Learners.

Becky co-chaired NEA’s Task Force on School Discipline and the School to Prison Pipeline. In that role, she guided the development of a new school-to-prison pipeline policy statement that calls attention to and compels NEA’s 3-million members to address the inequitable and unfair policies and practices that push many students out of public schools and into the criminal justice system. Examples include zero-tolerance discipline policies, increased police presence in classrooms, and rising class sizes.

Becky has also led NEA’s work to transform the education professions and improve student learning. Most notably, she led the work group that produced the Association’s groundbreaking “Policy Statement on Teacher Evaluation and Accountability”—NEA’s first broad endorsement of the need for a student-centered, educator-led evaluation and shared accountability system. This led to the development of two seminal frameworks, “Transforming Teaching: Connecting Professional Responsibility With Student Learning” and the “ESP Professional Growth Continuum,” which focused on how we can improve educators’ professional practice to make an even greater impact on the health, safety, well-being, learning, and development of their students.

Becky has a long and notable record of Association advocacy at the national, state, and local levels. She began her leadership journey as a local president, and then went on to serve on the Board of Directors for NEA and the Pennsylvania State Education Association. She also served two terms as a member of NEA’s Executive Committee where she distinguished herself as a thoughtful and passionate advocate for the nation’s public school educators and students. As NEA secretary-treasurer, Becky skillfully led the union through one of the worst economic periods in recent history. Her efforts enabled the Association to emerge on strong financial footing with more power to advance its mission.

The impact of Becky’s leadership is far reaching, and includes serving as finance chair of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards; on the Blue Ribbon Panel on Teacher Preparation for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education; and on the Institute for Educational Leadership Task Force. She is a recipient of the Black Women’s Roundtable Education Innovation & Social Justice Leadership Award from the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Woman of Power Award from the National Action Network and was named Community Woman of the Year by the American Association of University Women. She is also a lifetime member of the NAACP. Becky served with distinction on President Obama’s Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Her work included addressing issues on teacher recruitment and retention, STEM access and opportunities, and college preparation and completion.

Those who know Becky best know that she is also a passionate Philadelphia Eagles fan, loves anything purple, and to a special someone holds the coveted title of “Best Nana B in the World.”


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