At the NCAE state convention this past weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting some people for the first time face to face although I have “known” them for quite a while.
Public school advocacy has helped me link with some of the best people, individuals whose passion for students is only matched by a selfless sense of service.
I got to finally meet Mark Jewell face to face at last week’s convention. There weren’t pleasantries or small talk. No need for that because Mark and I had known each other for a while. Once you see Mark, you do not have to review how you know each other. When you see Mark, it is the continuation of a friendship instantly forged beforehand.
Every email I have ever sent him was replied to. Every question I had about my rights and privileges of being in NCAE he answered. Every op-ed I wrote, he read. Any advice I needed as an advocate, he sagely gave. Any encouragement I needed, he gave without being asked.
Mark Jewell was vice-president for two terms serving with Rodney Ellis. In 2016, he was elected president of NCAE. His six years of service have come at the most critical time in our state’s battle for public education. Mark has been there the whole time, leading and doing what great leaders do: removing obstacles.
Endless trips around the state to visit local regions and chapters, serving on panels in discussions, engaging policy makers about issues is all for the benefit of public schools. He fights battles so that we as teachers can do our jobs better.
Today, it was announced that Mark will serve another term as president of NCAE.
2018 is another crucial election year.
I am very grateful that Mark Jewell will be there for us.