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More than 9,000 Educators Expected to Endorse Presidential Candidate and Debate Critical, Public Education Issues

NEA will host its Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly in Washington, D.C., June 30 - July 6

WASHINGTON - June 19, 2008 -

Thousands of educators will gather in Washington, D.C., to shape the National Education Association's policies on top challenges facing public education.  NEA President Reg Weaver will ask more than 9,000 delegates to take a formal vote to endorse Sen. Barack Obama in the presidential election.

Delegates will discuss, debate and vote on critical issues facing public education.  They will also elect new Association leadership.  They will be asked to confirm the election of current NEA Vice President Dennis Van Roekel to serve as NEA President and current Secretary-Treasurer Lily Eskelsen to serve as Vice President.  No other candidates filed to run for the two positions before the nomination deadline.  There are two members vying for the office of Secretary-Treasurer.


More than 9,000 education professionals, including NEA President Reg Weaver 


NEA's Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly 


Monday, June 30 - Sunday, July 6, 2008 


Washington Convention Center
801 Mount Vernon Place, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001

Highlights of the 2008 NEA Annual Meeting, Representative Assembly and pre-activities:

June 27

More than 300 volunteers will pitch in to revitalize a needy, local school.  Outreach to Teach will be held at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va., from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.   The NEA Student Program started Outreach to Teach in 1996 to give back to a local school in the city hosting the Annual Meeting.

June 28 and 29

Educators will address issues of diversity, equality and multicultural education during the Joint Conference on Concerns of Minorities and Women .  The two-day event at the Hilton Washington Hotel will feature education experts who will provide in-depth coverage of key education issues. 

June 29

The Global Education Summit will focus on preparing students for the global environment and raising students' international knowledge and competencies.  The daylong event will be held at the Capital Hilton.

June 30

Delegates will kick off NEA's Read Across Washington at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  Hundreds of local children will read Seuss classics with NEA President Reg Weaver and the Cat in the Hat to promote summer reading. 

July 2  

  • Twelve honorees will be recognized for advancing the cause of equal opportunity, improving relationships between diverse groups and expanding educational opportunities for minority students and educators.   NEA's annual Human and Civil Rights Awards Dinner will feature Denzel Whitaker, star of "The Great Debaters."  The event will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at the Washington Convention Center.

  • During the Minority Community Outreach Forum, educators will discuss disturbing dropout rates, insights and possible solutions.  Noted actor and author Hill Harper, star of CSI: NY, and other national minority scholars and leaders will offer their perspectives on this national issue.  The forum will be held at the Washington Convention Center from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

July 3

NEA President Reg Weaver will give his keynote address on the convention floor before more than 9,000 delegates. His inspiring call to action will mark the first day of the Representative Assembly, the world's largest democratic, deliberative body.

July 4

  • NEA delegates will be asked to take a formal vote on whether to endorse Sen. Barack Obama in his bid for the presidency.

  • Delegates will elect a new Association leadership team.   The positions of president and vice president are unopposed.  Two members are vying for the office of secretary-treasurer.

  • Laura Vernon, a school security officer from Milwaukee, Wis., will address the delegates as the Education Support Professional of the Year.

  • The Association will honor the NEA Friend of Education , Barbara Morgan, an Idaho elementary school teacher who became the first NASA "teacher in space."

July 6

  • Incoming NEA President Dennis Van Roekel will give his acceptance speech , along with newly elected officers and Executive Committee members.

  • The National Teacher of the Year will address delegates.  Michael Geisen is a middle school science teacher from Prineville, Oregon.

To request media credentials, please call (202) 822-7823.
For more information and a full listing of scheduled events:

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Ramona Parks-Kirby (202) 822-7823