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Local Association Presidents Hit the Books

It was back to school for about 80 local Association presidents and other officer this week, as they spent three days on the campus of the University of Richmond, living in dorms, eating in the dining hall, and learning to be more effective in their roles.

VEA’s annual Local Presidents Retreat offered them a packed agenda, covering topics ranging from the roles and responsibilities of their office to building bridges with local government.

“There’s so much to learn about what a local president does,” says Riley O’Casey, who currently serves as vice president of the Prince William Education Association. “It’s overwhelming. I’m here to learn as much as I can.”
For the past two years, the program for the retreat has been created and delivered by local presidents themselves in an informal colleague-to-colleague format. Current and former local presidents offered hands-on breakout sessions focused on engaging members, creating a media presence, running successful meetings, reaching out to the community, time management, supporting building representatives, effective communication, and organizing member events.

“I’d like to improve communication between our executive board, our members and myself,” says Theresa Thompson, president of the Stafford Education Association. “I’m finding some quick and easy ways to do that.”
The retreat also featured general sessions on media relations and messaging, political action, and member benefits.

To see photos of the retreat, click here.


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