A National Tour For Joy, Justice, and Excellence
Perseverance, Power, and Partnership
Growing Minds, Skills, and Gardens
Georgia on Her Mind
An “Incredible” Visit
See more from Becky's Joy, Justice, & Excellence Tour:
Richmond, Frankfort, and Prestonsburg, Kentucky, March 21-22, 2022
Listening and Learning in the Bluegrass State
President Pringle started her visit meeting with Aspiring Educators at Eastern Kentucky University, and then heard from local member-leaders in Fayette County about the issues, challenges, and opportunities their schools are facing this year. Her second tour day started early with a visit to Kentucky Education Association's Day of Learning in Frankfort. “It is always inspiring to speak with members who are ready to engage with lawmakers and advocate for their schools and their students,” she tweeted before meeting with Governor Andy Beshear, a champion for public schools. Then it was off to Second Street School to talk with educators, administrators, and their students. President Pringle even got to read to 4th graders from one of her favorite picture books: <i>Change Sings.</i> The day ended with President Pringle meeting with delegates, ARs and NEA members from Eastern Kentucky at Prestonsburg Elementary School.
PHOENIX, FEBRUARY 25, 2022
Dedicated to Public Schools
It’s so critical to have allies in our state capitols fighting for our students and educators. President Pringle closes out the week by meeting with several of those staunch allies in Phoenix to hear about upcoming issues and legislation in Arizona. The visit concluded in President Pringle’s favorite place in the world—a classroom. She toured Monte Vista school in Phoenix’s Creighton District to learn about their incredible school, dedicated educators, and diverse students.
TUCSON, FEBRUARY 23, 2022
Advocating for Students in Arizona
President Pringle resumed the Joy, Justice, and Excellence Tour by meeting with retired members to learn more about the ways they continue to mobilize and organize to make a real impact for students and communities. She also met with Arizona Education Association President Joe Thomas and proud public school graduate, NEA member, and Pima County Recorder Gabriella Cazares Kelly to discuss voting rights and more. “I hope her story inspires more educators to run for office!” tweeted Pringle. She ended her day virtually meeting with Tucson Education Association members to hear how they are bringing communities together to advocate for strong safety standards to keep educators and students healthy in school.
YONKERS, UNIONDALE, AND BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 18-19, 2021
Where Everybody has a Role
President Pringle’s New York visit presented an opportunity to witness the power of community schools in action and a chance to spend time in her favorite place—the science classroom. She met with students at the Eugenio Maria de Hostos MicroSociety School, where students create a microcosm of the real world inside the school and each student has a role in running the world. The school is part of the United Federation of Teachers’ United Community Schools initiative. UCS is running 31 community schools and is expanding, setting an example that can and should be replicated around the country. “Community schools not only provide support for students, but they also offer hope, opportunity, and transformation to entire communities,” tweeted Pringle before meeting with students, staff, and administrators at community schools in Uniondale and Brooklyn.
WILMINGTON, NEW CASTLE, AND ODESSA, DELAWARE, NOVEMBER 17, 2021
Celebrating Education Support Professionals on ESP Day
President Pringle started another busy day at the Bancroft School in Wilmington, where she learned more about the Restorative Champions Program, funded by an NEA trauma-response grant. From calming corners to a center dedicated to student wellness, Bancroft educators show how schools can support the whole child: mind, body, and spirit. Then it was on to visiting staff and drivers at the Colonial Transportation bus depot. President Pringle took a ride with Delaware State Education Association member James Miller to discuss the school bus driver shortage and its impact on the safety and wellbeing of young riders. The day ended with a party for food service workers in the Appoquinimink School District. “Today, and every day, I am grateful to stand beside dedicated educators like you,” Pringle tweeted. Read more...
BRIDGEVILLE, SMYRNA, AND MILTON, DELAWARE, NOVEMBER 16, 2021
A Full Community of Support
“I can't think of a better way to spend American Education Week than surrounded by my fellow educators,” said President Pringle as she traveled to Phillis Wheatley Elementary School and Smyrna High School in Delaware, meeting with students, teachers, and education support professionals like school secretary and ESP of the Month Ginger Barkley and School Psychologist of the Year, Liz Hinkle. These educators restore students’ minds and bodies so they learn without limits. President Pringle was also inspired by the food pantry at Milton Elementary School and the efforts of social worker Gloria Ho, who works alongside food service staff to support students of all needs and backgrounds.
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA, OCTOBER 28, 2021
Partnering with Districts and the Community
NEA President Pringle visited with educators from elementary to college during several stops in Birmingham. At Minor Elementary, she met with Alabama Education Association President Dr. Susan Williams Brown and AEA Secretary-Treasurer Dr. Victoria Reese, as well as Superintendent Dr. Mark Sullivan. On the agenda? The labor-management collaboration between the district and AEA and the district's commitment to prioritizing a living wage for ESPs. Then it was on to the Southwestern Athletic Conference to meet with Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland and ASU President Dr. Quinton Ross to discuss NEA's HBCU partnership and our commitment to solving the issues they face. “We have to demonstrate to our teachers that they are respected not only with the authority as the professionals that they are—but they’re respected with the compensation that they're given and then they are supported in the work that they do,” she tweeted.
DENVER AND FORT COLLINS, OCTOBER 26, 2021
Walking and Talking in Colorado
President Pringle headed west to visit for an "incredible" few days of meeting with local leaders, talking with educators, and canvassing for pro-public education candidates at the Poudre Education Association teachers' Teacher Tuesday Walk and Knock. PEA members understand the importance of elections and taking action for better pay, balanced workloads, and more racially just schools. She heard from educators at Fairview Elementary School and the New America School in Denver and spoke with state legislators, Secretary of State Jena Griswold, CEA President Amie Baca-Oehlert, and Executive Director Kathy Rendon. “There is little more important to me than hearing directly from educators—your challenges, your successes, your experiences,” tweeted President Pringle.
PALATINE, ILLINOIS, SEPTEMBER 20, 2021
Helping Students Thrive
President Pringle’s national tour crossed paths with U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona’s “Return to School Tour,” at Sundling Junior High School. “I was honored to join Education Secretary Miguel Cardona [where he] recognized the school’s work in closing the social, emotional, and academic learning gaps by awarding the school with a National Blue Ribbon,” Pringle said. Following the visit, she met with NEA members and local leaders of the Illinois Education Association to discuss the innovative ways educators are serving students during and coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic and how the union is supporting members in their work. Read more on the visit.
FARMINGTON HILLS AND LINCOLN PARK, MICHIGAN, SEPTEMBER 16-17, 2021
Better Funding Supports Our Students
In Michigan, Becky teamed up with Michigan Education Association President Paula Herbart, adminstrators and educators to tour Warner Middle School and discuss how state and federal funds supported the move back to in-person learning. Then it was on to Lincoln Park Public Schools, where Becky joined educators and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel to learn about the Resilient Schools Project they’ve championed, how these trauma-informed practices have transformed their schools to benefit students, and how American Rescue Plan funds expanded their reach.
MILWAUKEE, SEPTEMBER 15, 2021
A Meeting with First Lady Jill Biden
When parents, educators, and community stakeholders come together to build strong partnerships, we are the strongest advocates for our students, schools, and communities. This was evident at a meeting with educator and First Lady Jill Biden at Marvin E. Pratt Elementary School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “We can't know what the future holds, but we know what we owe our children,” Biden said. “We owe them a promise that we'll do all that we can to keep their schools open, and as safe as possible.”
MADISON, WISCONSIN, SEPTEMBER 14, 2021
Addressing the Most Critical Needs of Students and Educators
How can funds from the American Rescue plan benefit Wisconsin students? That was the hot topic at today's visit to Hawthorne Elementary School, where Becky met with Governor Tony Evers, Wisconsin State Superintendent Dr. Jill Lunderly, and Wisconsin Education Association Council President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen. “Hawthorne Elementary School is an example of how we can transform our schools all over the country—so that when we say ‘every student will succeed,’ we actually mean every student will succeed,” Becky tweeted. She also heard from NEA members at Creekside Elementary about our shared commitment to safe and just schools and ensuring equity for all students. Read more...
IOWA, SEPTEMBER 13, 2021
Helping Students Grow Into Their Brilliance
NEA President Becky Pringle met with the faculty and staff of the University of Iowa College of Education to discuss how aspiring Iowa educators are being prepared to help their future students grow into their brilliance. Then it was on to hear from leadership fellows in the Iowa City School District and their "Grow Our Own" initiative, which develops and supports new leaders from their district and community. The district also benefits from successful joint labor-management collaboration in which educators and leaders are doing everything they can to make sure all students are learning safely and that American Rescue funds are invested in the long-term success of their students. There was also time for a quick visit (and fashion moment) with Iowa Senate Democratic Leader Zach Wahls and Iowa State Representative Jennifer Konfrst. Read more...
DELRAN, NEW JERSEY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2021
The Benefits of Labor Management Collaboration
Becky and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona see the amazing wins for students that happen when school districts and administrators work in true collaboration with educators and labor unions. When COVID-19 hit New Jersey, Delran Township School District acted quickly, with all of their players—district administration, education association leadership, principals, and educators—pulling together to address both the academic and societal challenges in their community. “We need this collaboration everywhere!” says Becky Pringle. Read more...
PHILADELPHIA AND WEST CHESTER, PENNSYLVANIA, SEPTEMBER 7, 2021
Educators Share Ideas and Innovations
Becky and Pennsylvania Education Association President Rich Askey hosted a “Back to School” tele-townhall where she shared her vision for the profession and answered questions from NEA members from across Pennsylvania. Her visit in Pennsylvania was a homecoming. It’s where Becky spent her childhood and many years teaching middle school science in Philadelphia. She visited Girl’s High, her high school alma mater and the oldest all-girls public high school in the country and spent time listening to educators' concerns at E.N. Peirce Middle School in West Chester. Read the highlights from the townhall participant questions and answers.
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY, AUGUST 3, 2021
Setting the Standard for Dynamic Collaboration
NEA President Becky Pringle spoke to educators as part of the Deeper Learning Symposium, then she visited Evolve502, a community-focused organization created to remove the persistent barriers to a college education. “Through scholarships, grants, and wrap-around services; by facilitating change in the systems that create barriers to students' success; and through cradle-to-career support, Louisville's Evolve502 is creating the sort of powerful change that will reverberate throughout Kentucky,” said Pringle.
LOS ANGELES AND ALHAMBRA, CALIFORNIA, JULY 28, 2021
Educators Supporting and Empowering Immigrant Youth
President Becky Pringle mets with educators, parents, and students at local community schools. She toured the Dream Centers at Lincoln and Alhambra High Schools—dedicated spaces to support and empower immigrant youth. Both centers are a part of the Dream Allies Network, which has been able to grow thanks to an NEA CAPE grant! Becky participated in a community school coordinators roundtable at United Teachers Los Angeles HQ, spent lunch with the student-led activist group Students Deserve, and rounded out the day with a UTLA and California Teachers Association leadership dinner. See more images in our media gallery below.
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, JUNE 15, 2021
Why are Community Schools Expanding in Maryland?
Since 2017, Baltimore Highlands Elementary School has been in the process of becoming a full-service community school, dedicated to partnering with parents, families, and community organizations to meet the needs of its students. The work being done there has the power to transform student learning and make every student successful. It also offers hope and opportunity to the entire community. NEA President Pringle travelled to Baltimore to visit this success story. Read more...
Scenes from Schools
“No matter the school I visited or the Zoom meeting I joined, whenever two or more educators were gathered there was light.”