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Local VEA Leaders Hone Skills at Annual Retreat


It was Leadership 101--with some 201 and a little graduate work thrown in, too, as local Association presidents and other officers from around Virginia wrapped up three days of learning and networking at VEA's annual Local Officers Retreat today.

Some of the officers were brand new in their positions; others had years of experience. All of them had access to breakout and general sessions, some on the nuts-and-bolts of serving as an officer and some on broader education topics. Participants also heard presentations from Dr. Steve Staples, Virginia’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Dr. Earl Wiman, a member of the National Education Association’s executive committee.

"I want to be an effective leader," said A. Ramon Moore, newly-installed president of the Richmond Education Association, coming out of a session on internal and external communications, "so I wanted to spend some time with some veteran presidents."

The event opened with a panel discussion on building relationships with superintendents and school board members. Some of the follow-up breakout sessions focused on community engagement, the Every Student Succeeds Act, running effective meetings, supporting ESPs, digital communications, and using member benefits to connect with members and prospective members.

James Puckett of Russell County has already been a VEA District leader, but is now taking over as local president, too. "I want to learn management skills--both in the classroom and on a larger basis," he said. "I want to be sure that everything we do in our schools is done for the kids, and that our teachers and other educators have what they need."

VEA President Jim Livingston called the Association “the preeminent provider of professional development in the state” and outgoing Education Association of Norfolk President Charletta Williams agreed. “Whether you’re a new or seasoned teacher,” she said, “you always learn something new at Association events. It’s the best way get the hours of continuing education that teachers need. This retreat has been outstanding.”

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