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From Our President

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

NEA's president visits schools in North Carolina, speaks out for authentic assessments, and recommends a favorite new audio collection. Check out her latest column from the pages of the NEA Today magazine October issue.
NCEA President Tamika Kelly, NCAE Vice-President Bryan Proffitt, and NEA President Becky Pringle point to NCAE signs in a storefront. Linda Powell
NCEA President Tamika Kelly, NCAE Vice-President Bryan Proffitt and I love to see North Carolina Association of Educators allies, including local businesses, showing up for strong students, strong schools, and strong communities!
Published: September 26, 2022

Dear NEA members,

I am honored to serve as your president. 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!


A few months ago, in Wake County, North Carolina, I met with school bus drivers who are shouldering a Sisyphean burden, as untenable staffing shortages keep them on the road day and night. These heroic educators—who are so essential to student safety and well-being—­must be paid and appreciated! During the same trip, which was part of my Joy, Justice, and Excellence Tour, I sat down with teachers and students in the North Carolina Teacher Cadet Program at East Forsyth High School, in Forsyth County. I am so proud of the work these educators are doing to support and grow students interested in our great profession. (More than 100 former cadets have already returned to teach in Forsyth schools!) This is the gold key to unlocking a bright future in public education. Rejuvenation! 

NEA President Becky Pringle stands with Safety Assistant Demetria Harvey
I'm thrilled to stand with Demetria Harvey—a Wake County, North Carolina, safety assistant and advocate for her students and peers. Credit: Linda Powell
NEA President speaks with North Carolina educators sitting in a circle.
Stephanie Wallace (next to me) has been a member of East Forsyth's Teacher Cadet Cadre for over 20 years. She has shaped countless lives. Credit: Linda Powell

What I’m Listening To

“Don’t do the dishes.”

Wise words from Native poet, novelist, and bookstore  owner Louise Erdrich. In Living Nations, Living Words—an audio collection of 47 Native poems curated by U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo—Erdrich reads aloud her poem, “Advice to Myself.” In three minutes and some seconds, she tells us, “Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster....Don’t worry if anything matches.” She continues, “Decide first what is authentic, and then go after it with all your heart.”

I love this so much! And I love that Erdrich explains what she was thinking when she penned those lines. The recording, an NEA Read Across America recommendation, is available on the Library of Congress website. Check out other Read Across America recommendations at 

Two Things To Do for Your Union and Students

graphic of three people going to vote

Make a Plan to Vote!

I can't stress this enough. Elections matter. The reason we have had a historic infusion of federal money into public schools this year is because we—the 3 million members of NEA—showed up at the polls in 2020 to elect pro-public education candidates. Today, schools have more counselors, more social workers. Public Service Loan Forgiveness is working. And, finally, we have gun safety legislation. Is it enough? No. Are these victories at risk? You bet. Workers' rights, women's rights, and the rights of LGBTQ+ people are all at risk. Our right to teach the truth and our right to support every student fully are also at stake.
Cropped image from the cover of We Are Grateful, Otsaliheliga

Practice Gratitude

As Thanksgiving approaches—oh yes, I love the combination of food, family, and Philadelphia Eagles football—I will be taking a moment to sit and be grateful. For you. For this union. Being grateful doesn't mean that you're happy with less. Being grateful means you are present. You see the people around you with open eyes and a full heart. I see you. And I am thankful.


And get the latest from NEA's President.

Addressing NEA Members

Our generation is being called to teach and lead and heal this nation. We are being called to defend freedom during its hour of maximum danger. And we, the NEA, welcome that calling.
Watch Becky's full address

Speaking to the Media

We have an archaic assessment system based on standardized tests that we know are biased, that don't begin to measure the full scope of what a student knows and is able to do. And we spend billions—with a 'b'—on tests, instead of spending billions—with a 'b'—on investing in the resources that our students need. The tests are flawed ... they are non-comprehensive, they are not authentic, and we are working to redesign and reimagine what assessments look like in this country.
Watch Becky on WTTW-TV Chicago
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.