NEA and TEA Waking Up To The “Right” Smell of Coffee

Check out this article from the September 2007 teach Magazine. I am not a fan of labor unions and even teacher labor unions. However, the leaders on the national NEA and even in the Tennessee TEA organizations realize that to reach out to Republican educators will help them sustain themselves in the long term.

Michelle Bowman is a native Knox Countian, having been a product of the Knox County School System. She is a former Knox County Educator and has been employed in the Sevier County School System for the last few years. She has been and continues to be an active member of the KnoxGOP in South Knox County.

Here is the article.

Sevier County EA member Michelle Bowman and Henderson County EA member Mary Woodall were TEA’s official representatives to the National Education Association’s first-ever Republican Leaders Conference in Minneapolis MN, August 2-5, 2007. Robertson County EA member James Snider also attended as a presenter. The trio joined 80 Republican NEA members from across the nation at the event.

Sponsored by NEA’s Government Relations Department to assist NEA Republican members in becoming more active in their local and state Republican parties, the conference featured panel discussions by NEA Republican members who are state legislators and party activists. As part of the conference, the NEA hosted a reception for Republican National Committee (RNC) members that was also attended by NEA President Reg Weaver; GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann; the campaign manager for Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, Mike DuHaime; and the White House political director, Jonathan Felts.

“Meeting Mitt Romney and his wife at the reception was a highlight of the event,” said Bowman. “Although they were only able to stay a short time because of being on their way to the ABC debate in Iowa, many of the conference delegates were able to make video tapes of questions for posting on You Tube that have the potential for being used in the Sept. 17 national Republican debate.

Attendees also heard from political consultants who advised NEA Republicans to get involved in party activities, participate in political campaigns at all levels and work to become party leaders and delegates to county, state and national Republican conventions. TEA member James Snider presented a workshop on how to get more involved in local political activity.

NEA’s approximately one million Republican members have the potential to have a significant impact on Republican Party activities, organization and platforms in 2008.

The NEA Republican Leaders Conference was held in Minneapolis at the same time as the RNC’s summer meeting. The Twin Cities will also host the Republican National Convention, September 1-4, 2008. Conference attendees heard a presentation from the chair of the Convention Host Committee, Jeff Larson about preliminary planning for that event.

RNC staff participated in many NEA Republican Leaders Conference activities, and Republican National Committee members from many states attended the August 3 reception, that featured remarks by NEA President Weaver, who reiterated NEA’s commitment to bipartisanship in its political and legislative advocacy.

Attendees were asked for three steps they will take in the future to become more active in organizing their fellow Republicans at both the local and state levels.

The NEA Republican Leaders Conference was part of NEA’s initiative to recognize the support
of its Republican members, increase its presence in Republican Party activities and support pro-public education Republican candidates levels. Bowman and Woodall are both library media specialists — at Northview Elementary and Beaver Elementary respectively — and Snider teaches math at Springfield High School.

They also have the following announcement within the publication. They are genuinely reaching out to the Tennessee GOP leaning Educators:

GOP members wanting to connect?

TEA members who are Republicans can communicate via an e-mail list at, and NEA Republican members now have their own Web site at www.elephant

The MSM (Main Stream Media) will NEVER report this Republican movement within the educator community because they (the MSM) are liberal leaning Democrat demagogues.

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