Friday, March 27, 2015

Day One Wrap-Up

When an unfriendly legislature in North Carolina made things difficult for that state’s students and educators, members of the North Carolina Association of Educators fought back, led by their president, Rodney Ellis. They got involved in elections, took to social media, held rallies, filed a lawsuit, and took part in “Moral Monday” protests at the State Capitol. One of those protests led to Ellis’ arrest.

                “Anything it takes, I’m willing to do it,” Ellis told delegates to the 2015 VEA Delegate Assembly in his keynote address Thursday night in Hampton. “If you’re going to lead, you’ve got to lead by example.”

                NCAE’s battles serve as both an object lesson and inspiration, Ellis said, urging VEA members to get off the sidelines to defend public education: “We can’t be about ‘Go get ‘em’ anymore—it’s got to be ‘Let’s go get ‘em.’”

                The convention’s opening session also featured the introduction of Joey Mathews, president of the Loudoun Education Association, as the newest VEA representative on the NEA Board of Directors (shown here), and a stirring invitation by Bristol VEA Co-President Tracey Mercier to delegates to join her at the Put Kids First Rally in Richmond next month.

                To see convention photos, visit