2019 NEA Retired Conference

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                   Submitted By Bobbie Margo

This year’s NEA Retired Conference was held at the Sheraton Denver Downtown on March 17-18, 2019.  The actual Retiree Conference was held for only 1 day-timewise.  The Conference commenced at 1:00 pm on Sunday, March 17 and adjourned at 2:00 pm on Monday, March 18.  Joan Beaver, Julie Jagusch, Sharon Kjellberg, Bobbie Margo, Judy Rohde, Cathy Stringfield, Wes Tessman, and Lynette Wayne represented ED MN Retired.  Attendees numbered 200+ from around the country with this year’s conference theme being, “Leading and Learning.”

Sarah Borgman, NEA Retired President, opened the Conference and introduced keynote speaker NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia.  Garcia reminded us that NEA Retirees are the historical and the knowledgeable backbone of NEA.  She also reminded us that the age of retirees is often judged by whether or not one remembers green stamps-which I do!

The remainder of the day was filled with breakout sessions.  Of some note, I, myself, presented a session with 2 other NEA Retirees.  I am of the mind that it is extremely stressful to do a presentation of any sort in front of one’s peers.  My session was on Sunday and then a repeat of the session was done on Monday.  I did survive doing the sessions and have lived to tell about it-so I am able to breathe a bit more easily.

Sunday evening was a lovely banquet with John Wilson as the keynote speaker.  Wilson (North Carolina) is the former Executive Director of NEA and has been retired for 8 years.  His speech focused mainly on segments from the book, “Everything I Needed to Know, I learned in Kindergarten.”

The Conference concluded on Monday with breakout sessions and another keynote speaker.  The speaker was Laura Hall, member of the Alabama House of Representatives.  Hall was first elected to the Alabama House in 1993, and she also is a retired educator-one of us!!  One of her main legislative goals is to increase access to Mental Health Care for everyone!!!  Her message-we are all powerful when we remain united, focused, and fearless!  By the numbers: in one day NEA Retirees raised $14,000 for PAC and $2,240 for Jack Kinnamon Scholarships.  Way to go retirees!

The 2020 NEA Retired Conference is scheduled to take place (in conjunction with the NEA National Leadership Summit) in Orlando, FL on March 13-16.  This will be another chance for knowledge sharing (and perhaps Harry Potter), skill development (and perhaps Harry Potter), and networking opportunities with peers! (and perhaps Harry Potter)