Fedderman, Bauer Take Office as New Statewide Leaders for VEA
July 31, 2020
July 31, 2020
Dr. James J. Fedderman, a choral music teacher from Accomack County, became the first African American male elected to lead the Virginia Education Association when he took office August 1, 2020, following four years as the Union’s vice president.
“It’s a testament to the progress we’ve made as a Union and to our acknowledgement of the importance of relevant, meaningful leadership,” Fedderman says of the groundbreaking nature of his election. “It’s long overdue and I’m very proud to have been chosen for this position.”
Though he took office during a time when COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges to educators, Fedderman sees opportunities coming from crisis. “In uncertain times, only effective and experienced leadership will demonstrate how being tested will become our testimony,” he says. “I will work tirelessly to empower every one of our members with a voice and a platform.”
Fedderman, who holds a PhD in organizational leadership from the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, says helping VEA locals implement the new collective bargaining law for educators will be one of his top priorities.
“Collective bargaining is one of our best ways to advocate for children and for public education,” he said. “Educators deserve a seat at the table when public education policy is made, and we’ll be preparing teachers and support professionals to move into that role.”
In his leadership role, Fedderman also has plans to build on VEA’s leadership in the fight for racial and social justice, and is committed to expanding the Union’s leadership to include new voices from around Virginia.
VEA also has a new vice president, who also took office August 1. She is Carol Bauer, a fourth-grade teacher from York County, who has served in numerous leadership positions during her classroom career, including as a member of the VEA and National Education Association Boards of Directors, president of the York Education Association, and chair of NEA’s National Read Across America Committee.
Bauer is also a National Board Certified Teacher who was the recipient of VEA’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2016 and one of five finalists for the Horace Mann National Excellence in Teaching Award the following year.