In a presentation that is always a highlight of the NEA-Retired Annual Meeting, attendees last week recognized Barbara Matteson as the 2017 winner of the Distinguished Service Award. The recognition, presented annually since 2000, is the organization’s highest honor.
Matteson, a member of the Arizona Education Association, was nominated for the award by Julie Horwin, president of Arizona Education Association-Retired, and a member of the NEA-Retired Executive Council.
“Barbara works tirelessly on behalf of public education.” Horwin says, “From public school funding and making sure every child has a quality public school education to protection of Medicare, pensions, and Social Security, she has never hesitated to make a difference. It’s a pleasure to see her hard work recognized in this meaningful way.”
Matteson joined NEA-Retired in 1989, and is a past president of Arizona Education Association-Retired. “It’s a great honor for me to join this illustrious group,” she told Annual Meeting attendees.
Tom Curran, president of NEA-Retired, called Matteson a “visionary” team player—soemone who is “encouraging” and “caring.”
While accepting the award for her hard work, Matteson congratulated NEA-Retired members for their efforts. “You are doing the service—mentoring new teachers, volunteering in schools, rallies, and meetings,” she said. “You’re door knocking, recruiting and being an advocate for public education . . . I know distinguished service when I see it, and I see it in all of you.”