ORLANDO, Fla.—Becky Pringle, a science teacher from Philadelphia with more than 33 years of classroom experience, was reelected today to continue leading America’s educators as president of the 3 million-member National Education Association (NEA), America’s largest labor union. Before becoming the president of NEA in 2020, Pringle previously served two three-year terms as NEA vice president and two as secretary-treasurer. She is known as a fierce social justice warrior, staunch defender of educators’ rights, and an unrelenting advocate for all students and communities of color.
“When I came into this role, I said we cannot and will not put off for one more second creating an education system that serve the needs of all our students, and that now is the time to address the systemic inequities that beset the most vulnerable students,” Pringle said. She praised the educators participating in the Representative Assembly (RA,) noting that delegates "embrace the magnitude of what you’ve been called to do. Deliberate and unafraid, you continue to demand that every student is seen and supported; that every educator is respected as the professional they are. Unbowed and unbroken, and with a resolve that is unwavering, NEA, you are leading the work to promote, to protect, and to strengthen public education!"
Throughout Pringle’s years in NEA leadership, she has worked relentlessly to combat institutional racism and spotlight systemic patterns of racism and educational injustice that impact students.
Delegates also reelected Princess Moss, an elementary music teacher from Louisa County, Va., as NEA vice president. A champion of children and public education at the local, state, and national levels, Moss distinguished herself for six years as NEA secretary-treasurer before assuming the vice presidency in 2020. Previously, she also served two terms on the NEA Executive Committee, where she participated in the Elementary and Secondary Education (ESEA) Advisory Committee, steering the association’s strategy for the law’s pending reauthorization, and the Dropout Prevention Advisory Committee, helping develop relevant tools for NEA members.
Every student, regardless of where they live, or their race or family income, can grow up to be a successful teacher, scientist, future entrepreneur, Moss believes—if students and educators are provided with the support and resources they need. “We must continue to be unapologetic and relentless in fighting for our diverse population of students so that they receive the support they need to ensure their success,” said Moss.
With Moss as president from 2005 to 2008, the 62,000-member Virginia Education Association increased its membership and advocated successfully for greater investment in public education at the state and local levels. She also served as VEA vice president and on the Board of Directors for NEA and VEA for more than 10 years.
Moss earned her bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Mary Washington and received the university’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2006. She also earned a master's degree in elementary and secondary administration and supervision from the University of Virginia.
Additionally, Texas educator Noel Candelaria was reelected NEA secretary-treasurer. Prior to his role as secretary-treasurer, Candelaria served as president and vice president of the NEA-affiliated Texas State Teachers Association. He has held leadership positions at the National Council of State Education Associations and served on numerous national committees and task forces, including the NEA Human and Civil Rights Committee.
“I know that public education is the heart of the American dream,” said Candelaria. “We know from experience that every student can learn. We also know that shortchanging our schools today could shortchange our children for a lifetime.”
Candelaria and his wife Patty, a National Board Certified Teacher, are committed to the success of every student in their community, across Texas, and the nation. As a son of hard-working immigrants in El Paso, Candelaria appreciates the opportunities provided by public education.
In addition to reelecting the three leaders, the RA delegates also voted to elect two members to the NEA Executive Committee, which is comprised of three executive officers and six members elected at large by RA delegates. Delegates voted to reelect to a second three-year term Mark Jewell, an elementary school teacher from Guilford County, North Carolina, and the former president of the North Carolina Association of Educators. Shannon McCann, a middle school special education teacher and current president of the Federal Way Education Association in Washington State, was also elected to a first term on the executive committee. Previously, McCann served as chair of NEA’s Legislative Committee and was twice elected to our NEA Strategic Plan and Budget Committee.
Pringle, Moss, Candelaria and the new executive members will assume their new duties on September 1, 2023.
Follow Becky on Twitter @BeckyPringle
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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.
- Richard Allen Smith
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