“You have immense knowledge and experience that is crucial for the growth of our organization,” CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg told CEA Retired members at their Annual Spring Business Meeting this morning. He added, “We are a more robust organization because of the involvement of members — from college students to retirees.”
More than 150 retired educators discussed business and held elections at this morning’s meeting at the Aqua Turf in Southington. The assembled members elected Gloria Brown president, Bill Murray vice president, Pat Foley secretary, and Ina Smernoff treasurer.
Besides Waxenberg, members also heard from CEA President Sheila Cohen, outgoing CEA Retired President Jon-Paul Roden, Brown, outgoing CEA Retired Vice President Greta Stanford, and Al Campos of NEA’s Government Relations Department. Cohen thanked the CEA Retired members for all that they do. “I was so thankful to have so many retired members behind me when I testified before a legislative committee about the Retired Teachers Health Insurance Fund,” she said.
Speaking about Roden, who serves on the NEA-Retired Executive Council, Cohen said, “Jon-Paul is so well-known on the national level, and the work he does brings pride to Connecticut.”
Campos, the keynote speaker, gave members an update on issues before the U.S. Congress. He told members about what NEA is doing about legislation potentially affecting Medicare, Medicaid, and GPO/WEP (Government Pension Offset/Windfall Elimination Provision). We will post further details here on Campos’ presentation in the coming weeks.
The newly elected CEA Retired officers will begin their three-year terms August 1. Brown told the retirees “CEA Retired members are more than historians — we made history. We went on strike in Bridgeport and the list of our accomplishments is long.”
“We still care deeply about public education,” Brown added. “I challenge you to work with me as part of CEA Retired to be become even more active in advocating for teachers and public education. There is more CEA history to be made, and I hope you will join me in being a part of it.”
Brown thanked Stanford, the first CEA Retired president, who is stepping down from the CEA Retired Advisory Council, for founding the organization and for her strong commitment to retired members. “Greta is our founding mother,” Brown said. “We are all here today because of Greta’s strong work.”
Stanford told the retired teachers, “Teaching is a noble profession. You represent all that is decent, right, and just about our society. There is no other profession that has such an important impact on the lives of children.”
Stanford continued, “When someone asks you what you did before you retired, say, ‘I was instrumental in making this world a better place. I taught.’”