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Candidates for VEA Office 2016

VEA will be holding elections at this year’s Delegate Assembly for the offices of President, Vice President and one Education Support Professionals Alternate At-Large seat on the VEA Board of Directors. Voting will be done at the VEA Convention in Richmond in April.

Carol Bauer of the York Education Association, currently one of Virginia’s representatives on the NEA Board of Directors, ran unopposed for re-election and will begin a new three-year term on August 1, 2016.

Here are campaign statements from the three candidates for President, the two candidates for Vice President, and the two candidates for ESP At-Large, along with a statement from Bauer. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order.


Jim Livingston
Prince William County

I am Jim Livingston and I ask for your vote for President of the Virginia Education Association. 

I believe in the VEA and I believe through my dedication, passion and vision for the future we can build a stronger, more vibrant VEA.

To grow our organization, we must position ourselves as the foremost authority on public education in the Commonwealth.  It is time for the VEA to take the lead in establishing the agenda for improving student achievement, establishing effective mentoring programs to enhance professional standards, and championing the human and civil rights of every student and employee in every school in the Commonwealth.

With my work at the local, state, and national levels I believe I have the training and the experience to guide our organization on that pathway to leadership.

I ask for your support and together we will lead the Virginia Education Association into the future!


Joey Mathews
Loudoun County

My name is Joey Mathews and I am running for VEA President.  I currently serve   as President of the Loudoun Education Association, VEA Executive Board Member, and NEA Director. 

I believe we can grow and strengthen the VEA by establishing strong relationships between leadership, management, staff and members all working collectively for the common good of the VEA.  Crucial issues face us in the coming years, including confidence in our education system, strengthening the VEA, and adapting to a fluid political landscape. I have worked with local, state, and national leaders on education and organizing issues to ensure positive outcomes for our employees and students.  I will bring these experiences and the necessary skills of collaboration, compromise, and a vision to the Association, and will work diligently for the success of the VEA and our members. 

It would be a privilege to be YOUR President.


Sarah Patton

Keeping the VEA strong is my goal. That will occur as I work with you to increase membership and respect so that the VEA continues to lead in all educational matters. I plan to capitalize on the diverse strengths of our members and staff to make the VEA a force that achieves our goal of great public schools in every community. I have unique strengths. I listen, organize, unite people, foster respect, honor diversity, operate ethically, include all voices, and value all members equally. My service as local president, VEA and NEA Board member, committeeperson of numerous state committees, and facilitator/trainer for VEA projects has prepared me for this position. As an educator who has taught K-College, in small and large locals, I advocate for all members. I care passionately for the success of the VEA because I care passionately for the success of every VEA member and every student.


James Fedderman

Accomack County

As a Virginian reared in public education, I understand and appreciate the work of our educators. As a long-time VEA member, I am energized by what we have accomplished and look forward to what the future holds.

Working together, we can achieve a true representation of all diverse viewpoints and strive to address the need for smaller class sizes, increased funding, improved testing, and a more collegial workplace. We can increase awareness of social justice issues and teach our students in a way that respects the communities where they live.

My main priorities, with your support, will be to cultivate and grow our membership, empower small-and medium-sized locals, and promote a positive, united community to ensure every educator has a voice. Let’s work together to ensure our goal of a great public school for every child in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Public education is our promise to America’s future.


Donald Wilms
Chesterfield County

Leadership is a practice, not a position. Having been local president twice, without and with full-time release, I have dual experience with the time and dedication needed to support the work of our association. Serving on the VEA Executive/Budget Committee adds another level to my experience.

All members deserve a say in the direction of our union. I will engage with every local so that no voice is ignored. It’s time to return to an organization of action where we work together. We can support statewide leadership and staff working together to build activism and engagement of every member, finding solutions to local issues. We can recognize our strength in diversity and continue to bring others into our work and organization. 

Give me the opportunity to harness the potential power of our membership to make our organization a national leader in advocacy, activism and involvement.


Gwen Edwards
Prince William County

I am Gwen Edwards, an ESP member with 20 years of experience in Prince William County Public Schools.  It is a privilege to serve on the VEA Board of Directors, and now I seek your support for re-election.

If re-elected to the VEA Board, I will continue to be:

*A voice and resource for ESP members in Virginia  
*A proactive part of the decision-making process at the state level
*Able to bring insight to address issues our ESPs are facing across the state
*Advocate for professional development for ESP members in Virginia

As a Co-Chairperson of the VEA ESP Committee, we held the first-ever “Pre-Caucus” training session for all ESP members attending the VEA Convention. 

I am active and engaged at the local, state, and national level.

As your VEA ESP Director, you can count on me to be YOUR Leader, YOUR advocate, and YOUR voice.

Barbara Powell
Virginia Beach

I seek the ESP Alternate Member-At-Large Director position because I want to support the ESPs throughout the state. Whether bus driver, teacher’s assistant, custodian, secretary, or cafeteria worker, I’ll be there to speak up for members’ issues, particularly regarding salaries and increased pay and benefits.

I have been involved with VBEA and VEA for my entire career, 23 years, during which time I have worked with special education children. I am a strong advocate of the Association and have held several positions, including Secretary and Treasurer, for VBEA, as well as serving on the VEA Board of Directors as the ESP Alternate Member-At-Large.

I have a passion for education and I believe strongly that we best serve our students’ needs by advocating for the professionals who support classroom learning. With your help, I will continue to advocate for better pay for educators who are so critical to the success of future generations.

Carol Bauer to Serve Another Term on NEA Board

Gracias! Merci! Thank you! I am honored to serve as your NEA Director. I am humbled by the confidence you have placed in me, as I continue to represent all Virginia educators at the national level. I am committed to raising my voice for all our students, members, and our Association, drawing on my experiences in my classroom, as a NBCT, and as an advocate for public education.

I will continue to promote public education at every opportunity as we work together to make a difference. The opportunities that lie ahead of us as we implement ESSA are both exciting and challenging, so we must step forward and be heard.    


Click here to review procedures for voting at VEA Convention.

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