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His Contribution

Be Like Jack and Act

Rich Kinnaman

Who was Jack Kinnaman?

Not only was he a devoted teacher for nearly three decades, Kinnaman also served as president of the Delaware State Education Association, as well as in many other roles.

He retired from teaching in 1986, but he never retired from advocating for public education. He served as founding president of the Delaware State Education Association-Retired, and the as vice president of NEA-Retired.

But that’s only part of the story. He was also a beloved friend, husband and father. What follows is a letter from his eldest son, Rich, an executive for the Citi/Macy’s Partnership who lives in Loveland, Ohio, a northern suburb of Cincinnati. He writes:

“March 2008 marked the sixth anniversary of my father’s passing and not a day goes by that I do not think of my father and everything he accomplished in his life, specifically his impact on education.

Whenever family and friends gather, he is always a lively topic, with memories and stories shared of the pranks he pulled, the sometimes really bad jokes he told, or the stories of him helping a neighbor, friend, family member or even a complete stranger.

These stories run the gamut in intensity and degree of exaggeration but one thing was clear: Jack Kinnaman was a people-person who loved life and lived it to the fullest. Anyone who met him would come to know his unwavering dedication to education. He spent 28 years in the classroom and taught thousands of children. 

Even after he retired from the classroom in 1986, his passion for education thrived. He taught night classes and stayed engaged with NEA, becoming Vice-President of NEA-Retired. He traveled around the country as a seven-foot Cat-in-the-Hat to promote Read Across America, encouraging children to enjoy the experience of reading. 

Shortly after his passing, my family and NEA-Retired established the NEA-Retired/Jack Kinnaman Memorial Scholarship Fund. This fund awards undergraduate students who are pursuing a degree in Education with financial assistance to achieve their educational goals.

Last year, over $4,000 was awarded in scholarships and it is the goal of both the Kinnaman family and NEA-Retired to exceed the previous years’ amount from now on. It’s all about doing what my dad would have done: helping others who share a passion to be an Educator. 

Those of you who knew my father surely remember the personal approach he applied to everything he did, specifically with the DSEA, the NEA, and the NEA-Retired.  He was there with you, supporting, encouraging, raising awareness, and making a difference.  We can continue his legacy—you, me, NEA-Retired, and active educators.

I ask that you please support the NEA-Retired/Jack Kinnaman Memorial Scholarship Fund by making a donation that will make a difference, not only in one undergraduate’s education, but also 5, 10, and 20 years from now as those students become excellent educators.”

How to donate to the Jack Kinnaman Memorial Scholarship Fund

The NEA-Retired Jack Kinnaman Memorial Scholarship was created in memory of Jack Kinnaman, Vice President and former Advisory Council member of NEA-Retired.

To make a donation, please make your check payable to: NEA FOUNDATION.
In the memo line be sure to write: Jack Kinnaman Scholarship Fund.

Mail your contribution to:
The Jack Kinnaman Scholarship Fund
NEA Executive Office
1201 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036

To download and print these instructions, click here. ( PDF, 78 KB, 1 pg.)


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  • anc_dyn_linksMay 2013
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