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Reg Weaver, president of the National Education Association (NEA), will be the guest speaker at a meeting of Old Dominion University's Student Virginia Education Association (SVEA) chapter at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, in room 102 of the Mills Godwin Jr. Life Sciences Building.

The NEA is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing 2.7 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

Weaver's presentation is free and open to the public. SVEA chapters from other universities in the area, as well as local educators, have been invited to attend.

The SVEA is a professional organization for preservice teachers offering leadership and community involvement for students entering the field of education. It is part of the Virginia Education and the National Education associations.
Weaver is an outspoken advocate for public education and one of the country's foremost African American labor leaders. He was elected NEA president last year, taking office Sept. 1.

A middle school science teacher and 35-year classroom veteran, Weaver is a native of Danville, Ill., where he attended a segregated school for part of his elementary school years. As an adult, he rose through the NEA ranks, serving as a local association president in Harvey, Ill. (1967-71) and then president of the Illinois Education Association (1981-87). Weaver served on the NEA Executive Committee from 1989-95, and for the past six years has served as NEA vice president.
Weaver serves on the executive board of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and is a former member of the board of directors of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

As NEA's vice president, Weaver logged tens of thousands of miles traveling across the country as an ambassador for public education. Speaking on behalf of education reform and innovation in the nation's schools, he has addressed national conferences and public policy forums sponsored by the NAACP, University of Wisconsin, Rainbow/Push Coalition and Youngstown State University. Weaver has also represented the association internationally at meetings of the World Confederation of Organizations of the Teaching Profession and the Federal Education Association.

While at the helm of the 90,000-member Illinois Education Association (IEA), Weaver led a recruitment drive that boosted IEA membership nearly 50 percent and a legislative campaign that resulted in historic gains for members, including collective bargaining rights for teachers, education support professionals and higher education faculty. He also chaired the IEA Political Action Committee for Education (IPACE), which had a 90 percent success rate in electing pro-public education legislators.

Weaver was appointed by Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson to the Illinois Commission for the Improvement of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Illinois Project for School Reform Advisory Council, the Illinois Literacy Council and the Task Force on At-Risk Youth. He also served on the Illinois State Board of Education's Blue Ribbon Committee on the Improvement of Teaching as a Profession, the Administrator's Academy, the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory Advisory Committee and the Joint Committee on Minority Student Achievement.

Weaver has received many honors and awards, including the Ebony Magazine Influential Black Educators Award and the Illinois Education Association's Human Relations Award. He was honored as one of the Outstanding Young Men of America and is an honorary life member of the National Parent Teachers Association.

Weaver earned his bachelor's degree in special education for the physically challenged at Illinois State University in Normal and his master's at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

For more information, call 288-6396 or 622-9090.

This article was posted on: February 4, 2003

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