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 and was re-elected in 2023 for a second 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.
Gladys Fátima Márquez
Gladys Fátima Márquez is a high school bilingual English Language Learners (ELL) Teacher with over 20 years of classroom experience. She was elected to the NEA Executive Committee in 2021 for a three-year term.
As the past chair of the NEA Hispanic Caucus, Gladys organized nationwide events to raise awareness about the plight of immigrants in America, including “Teach-Ins” at immigration detention centers, humanitarian missions to shelters at the border, and helped organize massive marches in protest of the national policy leading to the separation of immigrant families and the incarceration of immigrant children.
Gladys also lobbied and led efforts in support of a clean Dream Act, and fought for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), advocated for Deferred Action for Parental Adjustment (DAPA), and helped facilitate countless “Know-Your-Rights” clinics to help protect immigrant communities across the nation. Her goal has always been focused on the advocacy and protection of those living in the shadows of America’s broken immigration system.
Gladys began her education career in Midlothian, Illinois in 1996 working as a parent liaison, Spanish language translator, in her sons’ elementary school. In 2000, she began her teaching career as a 7th grade bilingual/ELL student and has since taught students in grades ranging from kindergarten to adult education.
Gladys holds a bachelor’s degree in English/Language Arts Education, a Master of Arts in secondary school administration, and a Doctor of Education in multi- and interdisciplinary studies, all from Governors State University in University Park, Illinois.
Ron “Duff” Martin
Ron “Duff” Martin is a middle school social studies teacher in Eau Claire, Wisconsin with more than two decades of classroom experience – most of it teaching seventh and eighth grades, but also in the alternative high school/off-campus program. He was elected to the NEA Executive Committee in 2021 for a three-year term.
Ron was the first Native American president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), the largest educators’ union in Wisconsin, and has spent his life’s work championing inclusion and acceptance over his 20-year career in the classroom. He has served as an advisor to “Where Everybody Belongs,” an orientation and transition program that welcomes sixth and seventh graders and makes them feel comfortable throughout the first year of their middle school experience.
Ron previously served as the WEAC vice president and secretary-treasurer, as president of the Eau Claire Association of Educators, and as a director on NEA’s board.
As a dedicated and experienced leader, Ron also represents Wisconsin educators on state and national coalitions for school safety, diversity, and restorative justice and has spent his life and career passionately advocating for the eradication of institutional racism in our education system. Ron has a special interest in building the education professions through outreach to new educators, educators of color, education support professionals, and strengthening local education unions. His classroom management workshops are highly sought after by educators at all stages of their careers, who credit his humor and real-world experience for making the trainings relevant and practical.
Ron has also directed faith-based youth programs and ministries and was a member of the board of directors for the Greater Eau Claire United Way. He is president of the Eau Claire Patriotic Council and active in many civic organizations.
Ron holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire.
Shannon McCann is a middle school special education teacher from Seattle, Washington. She was elected to the NEA Executive Committee in 2023 for a three-year term.
As the immediate past president of the Federal Way Education Association (FWEA), Shannon proudly served ESPs and certificated and athletic coaches in one of the most diverse school districts in the nation.
As the FWEA local president, Shannon led the organizing efforts for several transformational bargains resulting in historic salary increases and increased student supports. In addition, she ignited passion among members, centering member voice and student experience to create the nation’s first multi-local Art Build.
Shannon is a founding partner in the first union-run WEA Teacher Residency Program, which removes barriers and diversifies the profession. In addition to increasing educator voice in the legislative arena, her local helped elect several pro-public education legislators.
Shannon served two three-year terms on the NEA Board of Directors, and was also appointed as the chair of NEA’s Strategic Committee on Legislation, and twice elected to the NEA Budget Committee. As a longtime advocate for racial and social justice, Shannon served on NEA’s Task Force on Safe, Just, and Equitable Schools. She also started the first middle school gay-straight alliance in her district, was the longtime co-president of the Washington Education Association LGBTQ+ Caucus, and the recipient of the 2018 NEA LGBTQ+ Caucus Carol Watchler award.
Shannon is known for her unapologetic and relentless advocacy and influence in the state of Washington. As a result, she was selected as a fellow to the prestigious Institute for a Democratic Future and later appointed by the lieutenant governor to the Washington State Leadership Board.
Shannon believes that an inclusive union is a strong union, and that strong locals mean a strong state, nation and democracy.
Originally from Canada, Shannon brings perspective as an immigrant and first-generation college student to the work of fulfilling the mission of the NEA. She now lives in Seattle with her wife who is a career and technical education (CTE) high school administrator and their very adorable cockapoo, Piko.
Robert Varela Rodriguez is a special education teacher in the San Bernardino City Unified School District. Delegates re-elected Robert to the NEA Executive Committee to a second three-year term in 2022.
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 NEA Executive Committee in July 2019 and was re-elected in 2022 for a second three-year term.
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.