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Local Presidents Ready for Action

“We are the champions for public education, and public education is what will keep our country on the right track,” VEA Vice President Dominic Melito told Association leaders from around Virginia, gathered in Richmond for the annual Local Presidents Training.

Melito also assured the presidents that they’d never be in the battle alone. “We’re all here for you,” he said. “We’ll do this together. We’re facing great challenges but we’ll help you get access to whatever you need to be effective in your local associations.”

This year’s gathering was planned and carried out almost entirely by the local presidents themselves, led by co-chairs Melito and Jaim Foster, president of the Arlington Education Association. For example, the breakout sessions, which dealt with topics including building public awareness of your local association, running successful meetings, and developing working ties with other organizations, were presented by current and former presidents, including Sam Eure of York, Malia Huddle of Chesapeake, Felicia Fox of Henrico, Rebecca Jasman of Louisa, James Fedderman of Accomack, Denise Davis of Wythe, Brian McGovern of Gloucester, Joy Kirk of Frederick, Trenace Riggs of Virginia Beach, Carol Bauer of York, and Jessica Jones of Pittsylvania.

In addition, presidents learned how to navigate the Association’s organizational structure, were updated on all that’s available through NEA Member Benefits, reviewed their financial responsibilities as Association leaders, and were given plenty of time for networking and planning.

“I definitely have a better understanding of how the Association works together and what the role of the local president is,” says Sandra Barnstead, vice president of the Spotsylvania Education Association. “Plus, I met some great people to work with.”



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