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From Our President

Becky’s Journal of Joy, Justice, and Excellence January 2022

NEA's president spent her fall visiting schools and NEA members and speaking out on the issues that matter to public education. Check out her latest column from the pages of the NEA Today magazine January issue.
NEA President Becky Pringle speaks with students at Farmington Middle School Edward Savaria
Published: 01/13/2022

Dear NEA members,

United, we will reclaim public education as a common good and transform it into a racially and socially just system that actually prepares every student—not one, not some, but every single student—to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world. Onward!

Face to Face with NEA Members

This fall was a whirlwind of school visits across the Midwest—in what I call the “Joy, Justice, and Excellence Tour”—where every person I talked to, every story I heard, gave me new insight into NEA members’ passion and resilience. My journey began in Pennsylvania, where I met educators like high school teacher Becky McLain, and then continued through Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan. At my last stop, in Wisconsin, paraeducator Katrina Collins chatted with me about local efforts to create safe and just schools, promote equity, develop leaders, and more.

NEA President Becky Pringle meets with Pennsylvania teacher Becky McLain
NEA President Becky Pringle meets with Pennsylvania teacher Becky McLain. Credit: Romulo Oeda
NEA President Becky Pringle hears from Wisconsin paraeducator Katrina Collins on her Midwest tour.
NEA President Becky Pringle hears from Wisconsin paraeducator Katrina Collins on her Midwest tour. Credit: Edward Savaria

President Pringle visited several schools in the fall to hear from NEA members about their concerns, challenges, and successes this school year. 

Follow the tour

What I’m Reading

The Cat I Never Named: A True Story of Love, War, and Survival by Amra Sabic-El-Rayess
Cover of The Cat I Never Named book

I first heard Professor Amra Sabic-El-Rayess speak at last year’s meeting of NEA’s National Council of Urban Education Associations, where she shared her horrific experience of living through the Bosnian genocide. The terror and tragedy she faced took place decades ago and an ocean away. But her message is extremely relevant today, here in the United States.

As a Muslim teenager in Bosnia during the 1990s, Sabic-El-Rayess had friends and relatives who were raped, tortured, and killed simply because of their ethnicity. (Sound familiar? If it doesn’t, I’ll remind you about the men and women killed in the racially motivated shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Charleston, S.C., in 2015.) In Sabic-El-Rayess’ book, written for young adults, the main character is a teenager also named Amra. She describes the grim impact of war on her family and friends, but also finds moments of hope and humanity.


And get the latest from NEA's president.

3 Things You Can Do for Your Students, Your Union, and Yourself

There’s no better time for action than the start of a new year! Here are three things you can do kick off 2022 in the spirit of joy, justice, and excellence.
closeup of a coffee cup and book

Set your intentions for 2022

Resolve to meet friends for coffee, gaze upon a favorite piece of art, or make time for other activities that bring you happiness and relieve stress. A happy and healthy educator is a better educator!
Protest with sign that says Keep Families Together

Protect the Dream

Students who were brought to this country as children have been living in fear for too long. I support legislation to keep families together and provide pathways to citizenship.
NEA Today magazine cover image

Share NEA Today with a Colleague in your School

This month’s cover story shows how local associations are making sure that federal money from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan will be spent to help educators and students. That’s #UnionPower!

Becky's take on voting rights

“One of the surest ways to ensure educators have what they need … is by protecting the right to vote. As the great voting rights protector, Stacey Abrams recently said to NEA members: ‘When it comes to voting rights, it’s just like education—your ZIP code should not change who you get to become and how you get to be heard!’”

And on vaccinations

“We know what to do. Everyone who can be vaccinated must be vaccinated. Period. End of story. We still have kids who can’t be vaccinated … and we have to do everything to keep them safe. We know wearing masks saves lives. Why are we having this manufactured debate on wearing masks? Can you explain that to me?”
Watch the interview on Morning Joe on MSNBC
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.