A biology teacher in Evanston, Illinois, Eric Brown was re-elected to the National Education Association’s (NEA) Executive Committee in July 2018 for a three-year term.
Brown has taught biology at Evanston Township High School (ETHS) District 202 in Evanston, Illinois since 1999. Brown played an active role in making ETHS a safer school for LGBTQ+ students and in increasing achievement for minority students. Brown is the former president of his local, the ETHS Teachers’ Council, and has served on the Board of Directors for both the Illinois Education Association and NEA.
In addition, Brown has represented educators and students on the Illinois State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy.
Brown recognizes the importance of organizing and engaging the entire NEA membership in efforts to make great public schools for every student. With that philosophy as his primary motivator, Brown’s work at all association levels has focused on developing leaders by providing them with opportunities to contribute to their professional community and the association.
Brown earned his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences in 1997 and a Master of Science in Education in 1999, both from Northwestern University.
Mark Jewell is an elementary school teacher in Guilford County, NC, with more than three decades of experience—most of it teaching fourth and fifth grades. He was elected to the NEA Executive Committee in 2020 for a three-year term.
In 2018, as president of the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE), Mark mobilized thousands of North Carolina educators who flowed into the streets, and onto the steps of their state capitol, as part of the nationwide #RedforEd movement, calling for increased funding for public schools and helping to reenergize the entire labor movement.
Mark is also past president of the Guilford County Association of Educators (North Carolina), and served on the Board of Directors for NEA and for NCAE. In 2016, during his first term as NCAE president, North Carolina’s Greensboro News and Record named Mark one of the city’s “Eight Men Who Make a Difference.”
A committed, outspoken and experienced leader, Mark is a strong advocate for children, young adults, and educators. He spent 10 years as a classroom teacher in West Virginia, and the last 22 years with Guilford County Schools (GCS), serving at Oak Hill Elementary in High Point and Murphey Traditional Academy in Greensboro, receiving the honor of Teacher of the Year at both schools.
More recently, Mark was a lateral entry specialist for the GCS Human Resources Department, providing support for new teachers entering the profession through alternative licensure pathways. Mark has also contributed to numerous community groups including Safe Schools North Carolina Board of Directors, North Carolina Science Math and Technology Board, Capital Area Workforce Development, and the North Carolina Teacher of the Year Selection Committee. In 2018, he was appointed education chair of the North Carolina NAACP.
Determined to connect all of his work as a leader to the magic that happens in the classroom, Mark is a respected voice on public education policy, and a champion for all stakeholders at the local, state, and national levels. The 2018 edition of North Carolina’s Longleaf Politics rated Mark one of the state’s top 15 political influencers.
Mark holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree—both in elementary education—from Marshall University.
Shelly Moore Krajacic
English and drama teacher from Ellsworth, Wisconsin, Shelly Moore Krajacic was elected to the National Education Association’s (NEA) Executive Committee in July 2015 for a three-year term.
Shelly is a third-generation Wisconsin educator with 17 years of classroom experience. She is a National Board Certified Teacher. Prior to her election to NEA’s Executive Committee, Shelly served in numerous national, state and local leadership capacities. She has been especially active in her local NEA affiliate. She was also a candidate for the Wisconsin State Senate in 2011.
In addition, she is a member of the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), and served on NEA’s Board of Directors for six years.
Shelly earned her bachelor’s degree from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She received a master’s degree in English Education from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where she previously served as an adjunct instructor.
Robert Varela Rodriguez is a special education teacher in the San Bernardino City Unified School District. Delegates elected Robert to the National Education Association (NEA) Executive Committee for a one-year term in July 2018.
A passionate educator and longtime union activist, Robert has represented California on the NEA Board of Directors for six years, served three years on the NEA Budget Committee and completed a two-year term on the CTA Board of Directors. He served for three years as the president of the San Bernardino Teachers Association and three years as vice president. During his 14 years of teaching, Robert has worked at the elementary, middle school, special day class and resource specialist levels.
Robert believes that only through organizing and collective action can we effect real and lasting change for educators, students, and public education. He is committed to ensuring that every student - regardless of race, zip code, or economic status - has access to great public schools.
Robert received his bachelor’s degree in science and a master’s degree in education from California State University, San Bernardino.
Christine Sampson-Clark, a special education teacher in Trenton Public Schools, was elected to the National Education Association (NEA) Executive Committee in July 2019 for a three-year term. The NEA Executive Committee includes the NEA president, vice president, and secretary-treasurer, plus six members elected at-large by the Representative Assembly.
Sampson-Clark began her career in education 30 years ago as an education support professional and since then has taught in special education programs and alternative education programs, and also provided literacy intervention through the Reading Recovery program.
She served two three-year terms on the NEA Board of Directors. She also served as chair of a number of NEA boards and committees, including the NEA Board’s Black Caucus and the NEA Friends of Education Committee. Recognizing the importance of social justice and community activism, Sampson-Clark is passionate about her community involvement with the Not in My Neighborhood community advocacy group and the Rising Over Sexual Abuse (ROSA) Warriors.
Sampson-Clark is dedicated to raising issues on the national agenda that are important to students and NEA members. She can often be found using her social media platform to encourage others to use their voice and to advocate for those in need.
She received her bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and earned her master’s degree in special education from Grand Canyon University. She is currently a doctoral candidate in organizational leadership at Grand Canyon University.
Hanna Vaandering is an elementary physical education teacher from Ridgewood Elementary in Beaverton, Oregon. Hanna taught elementary physical education for 17 years at Ridgewood. Hanna was elected to the National Education Association (NEA) Executive Committee in July 2017. She has also served two successful terms as President of the 44,000-member Oregon Education Association (OEA).
While at Ridgewood, Hanna started a successful rhythms program to help her students gain a love for movement and dance. As OEA President, Hanna helped facilitate the creation of “A New Path for a Balanced System of Assessments.” This educator lead work lays the groundwork for creating a system of assessment that honors student learning over student testing.
Hanna is committed to our vision of a great public school for every student, fighting for the rights of each and every educator, and advocating for the school funding necessary to build the schools our students deserve.
Hanna was born and raised in Washington County, Oregon. She enjoys traveling, but is proud to call Oregon home. A graduate of Pacific University in Forest Grove, she was a two-time All-American and Academic All-American catcher for the Lady Boxers. In her free time, she enjoys scuba diving, water skiing and spending time with family and friends.