“At CEA, our strength comes from our passion, people, and commitment to public education,” retiring CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg told delegates to the CEA Representative Assembly this weekend.
And after over 40 years as an advocate for public education, Waxenberg is one to know.
CEA President Sheila Cohen described Waxenberg, who will retire in June, as someone who “loves CEA and everything that we stand for in a way that I have never before seen, and his actions speak louder than his words.”
Cohen celebrated Waxenberg’s many contributions to CEA by presenting him with the first-ever Mark D. Waxenberg Lifetime Achievement Award. “I present you with this award in recognition of a lifetime of advocacy, outstanding vision, unwavering dedication, and commitment to teachers, students, and public education,” Cohen said.
After a long and successful career as a classroom teacher, CEA president, staff member, and executive director, Waxenberg knows what it takes to meet challenges head-on. And despite the many challenges currently confronting public education, Waxenberg urged teachers to persevere.
“When you turn and walk away, you’ve lost. When you turn away and restrategize how to get to your goal, you can come back ready to fight for your students and your profession,” he said.
A vital opportunity for teachers to stand up for their students and their profession is coming up on May 18. Waxenberg urged members to attend the Keep Your Promise Rally to show lawmakers that teachers are united against proposals to shift the cost of teacher retirement and education funding onto Connecticut’s cities and towns.
Watch Waxenberg’s complete remarks to the 169th CEA Representative Assembly below.