Two special educators, Robert V. Rodriguez of California and Christine Sampson-Clark of New Jersey, were elected this week to the NEA Executive Committee, NEA’s highest-level governing body, by NEA Representative Assembly delegates.
Rodriguez, a San Bernardino, California, teacher for 14 years, the son of immigrants, and a champion for diversity and LGBTQ rights in schools, was first elected to the Executive Committee in 2018. He previously served on the NEA Board of Directors, NEA Budget Committee, NEA Hispanic Caucus, and NEA-LGBTQ+ Caucus, as well as the California Teachers Association (CTA) Board of Directors and CTA’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identification Committee, and was president of his local teachers’ union, the San Bernardino Teachers Association.
“We welcome Robert’s continued participation at the national level in helping to make sure every student has caring, qualified, and committed educators and well-equipped schools where they can learn, be inspired, and thrive,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García.
Sampson-Clark, a special education teacher in New Jersey’s Trenton School District, began her career in education 30 years ago as an education support professional. She has taught in special education programs and alternative education programs, and also provided literacy intervention through the Reading Recovery program.
Sampson-Clark currently serves on the NEA Board of Directors and Black Caucus. Previously, she has chaired a number of NEA boards and committees, including the Friends of Education Committee. She is passionate about her community involvement with the Not in My Neighborhood community advocacy group and the Rising Over Sexual Abuse (ROSA) Warriors.
“I’m honored to join NEA’s Executive Committee and look forward to representing the voices of my fellow education professionals in this role,” said Sampson-Clark. “Our members deserve professional respect as well as the resources needed to provide all our students with great schools. NEA is vital to these goals.”
The NEA Executive Committee consists of nine members—three executive officers and six members—who are elected by RA delegates to three-year terms. Sampson-Clark will replace Kevin Gilbert, former president of the Mississippi Association of Educators, who was first elected to the Executive Committee in 2013.