Michigan and Mississippi educators Reelected to NEA Executive Committee; New Leaders Elected to NEA Board of Directors

Delegates to NEA’s RA reelected yesterday Maury Koffman of Michigan and Kevin F. Gilbert of Mississippi to serve another three-year term each as NEA Executive Committee members. The Committee is a nine-member governing body that is responsible for the general policy and interests of the nearly 3 million-member NEA.

More than 7,000 delegates to the assembly voted to reelect Koffman, an educator, leader, and second generation union activist from East Lansing, Michigan. Koffman is serving his sixth-term as president of the 2,200-member Michigan State University Administrative Professional Association, the largest local affiliate in the Michigan Education Association. Koffman’s mother was a union president of a local organization. He served two terms on the NEA Board of Directors, and as a member of the NEA Board Steering Committee. He earned a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from Michigan State University. He’s a graduate of the NEA Emerging Leader Academy.

“I am honored to continue to serve on the Executive Committee,” said Koffman. “Our fight to ensure that our students have the high-quality public education they deserve continues. We must unabashedly pursue racial justice in education, combat institutional racism, and eradicate the school-to-prison pipeline. We must stand up and speak out for our LGBTQ students and members.  We are united, inspired and ready to lead.”

Delegates also reelected veteran educator Gilbert of Ridgeland, Mississippi. Gilbert has served on the NEA Executive Committee since 2013, and currently works as a Teacher Leadership Coordinator for the Clinton Public School District. Previously, he was president of the Mississippi Association of Educators. Gilbert has worked as a social studies teacher, a coach and an administrator with the Clinton Public School District (Sumner Hill Jr. High School and Clinton High School); Rankin County School District (Northwest Rankin High School) and the Hinds County School District (Carver Middle School). His educational experience includes substitute bus driving while working in Rankin County, and substitute teaching with the Jackson Public School District. Gilbert is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi (BA’94; MS’96) and Mississippi College (Ed.S.’04, Ed.D. ’15).

“I am elated to be reelected to the Executive Committee for another three years,” said Gilbert. “I look forward to the work ahead.  We have a wonderful opportunity to position NEA to do some powerful work around the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, eradicating institutional racism, dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline, organizing early educators, and empowering our members to use their collective voice to make the dream of great public schools for every student a reality.”

NEA Board of Directors

NEA RA delegates also voted for new members to the Board of Directors. Delegates elected the following four educators representing at-large education support professionals (ESP): Ellen Olson, a sign language interpreter from Saint Paul, Minnesota; Andrea L. Beeman, a para-educator from Maple Heights, Ohio; Ashanti Rankin, a paraprofessional from Millville, New Jersey; and James Frazier, a security officer from Union Township, New Jersey.

Delegates also elected four educators to the Board of Directors to represent classroom teachers in higher education: Loretta A. Ragsdell, adjunct professor of English from Oak Park, Illinois; Dewayne Sheaffer, professor from Lakewood, California; J. Philippe Abraham, counseling faculty from Slingerlands, New York; and Elizabeth K. Davenport, a professor from Tallahassee, Florida.

Susan Williams Brown, a college math instructor at Gadsden State was elected alternate at-large director representing classroom teachers in higher education. Delegates elected Sequanna Taylor, a parent engagement specialist from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as alternate at-large director representing ESP. They also elected two at-large directors to represent administrators: Dale D. Kaiser, an Assistant Director of Human Resources from Duncanville, Texas; and Cynthia Henderson of Louisiana, alternate.

Their three-year terms begin September, 1, 2016.