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VEA Members Wrap Up Conference, Launch New Alliance with PTA

Day Two for the 300-plus educators at the VEA IPD conference featured everything from intense breakout sessions on hard-hitting classroom topics to a lunchtime fashion show, and wrapped up with the announcement of a bold new effort going forward for the Association.

Under the banner “Put Kids First,” VEA will join forces in a coalition with the Virginia PTA to create a new, more intense focus on the needs of public education in our state. Part of that effort will be a joint rally at the State Capitol on Saturday, April 18, 2015. More information will be available soon.

At the conference, members spent the day learning from and with each other in workshops on topics including promoting literacy, motivating students using classroom management strategies, integrating technology and the Internet into instruction, dealing with difficult people, achieving national certification, and building family-school-community partnerships. Other offerings included training targeted to education support professionals and a session called “Why Don’t Decision-Makers Listen to Teachers?”

With the help of Stein Mart, attendees were treated to a look at some new professional looks during the fashion show. Ten VEA members and one VEA staff member served as models, walking the stage and drawing appreciative applause from their colleagues.

“First impressions make all the difference,” said Jan Suttenfield of Stein Mart, who served as emcee for the fashion show. “You set the expectations for the level of professionalism you expect.” The retailed outfitted all the models.
The day began with a look at VEA’s proud 150-year history, provided by Bill Johnson, a retired VEA communications director and author of a recent book on the Association. Among VEA’s many accomplishments in that century-and-a-half, Johnson pointed to its critical role in the development and launch of the commonwealth’s public schools.

For conference coverage go to: and for photos go to


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