Lynda Wolfe Smith of Georgia Association Education-Retired says she’s heard the word no “a lot of times” but last week, on the final day of the two-day NEA-Retired Annual Meeting, Smith heard yes—not once, but twice.

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García used her keynote address to stress the challenges facing educators and public school. While the climb ahead is steep, she assured the more than 6,000 delegates that a growing army of activists – educators, parents and students – are showing a way forward.

THE ANNUAL MEETING IN PHOTOS