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Minnesota native elected new NEA-Student Program chair

Chelsey Herrig will lead influential 60,000-member group

Denver - June 29, 2014 -

The National Education Association Student Program has elected a new leader, Chelsey Herrig of Jackson, MN, at its annual leadership conference, which takes place just prior to the NEA’s yearly Representative Assembly.

During her two-year term as chair, Herrig will work full time out of the NEA headquarters in Washington, D.C., and work with members of the NEA-Student Program to provide visibility on campuses and organize future educators. Herrig will lead the 60,000 student members, which represent 1,100 college and university chapters in 50 states.

Herrig is hoping to “close the gap” between student members and active NEA members, who aren’t always familiar with efforts of the future teachers. “Student members are activists that really want to be involved and utilized within the union. My goal is to help all of NEA understand the value of the student program. We are problem solvers and we want to use our teacher brains t0 find solutions in a collaborative way.”

Herrig says her strong suit is building relationships. “Educators are problem-solvers by nature. We are not just going to complain about a problem, we are going to make a positive difference for our students.”

A graduate of Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Herrig majored in elementary education with an emphasis in math and minored in special education. She will be a prominent face of NEA’s Degrees Not Debt campaign, which works to make student debt more visible and to make college more affordable for all who choose to attend. “As NEA-Student leaders, we are educated on issues that impact public education. We’re already informed and active when we enter the classroom, which really helps us fight for everything our students and schools need.”

The NEA Student Program (NEA-SP) is the largest and most influential student group for future educators. It was formed in 1982 by the NEA Board of Directors when Student NEA (SNEA) merged with the National Education Association (NEA). The student program aims at developing quality teachers prepared to deal with today's diverse student population and also to prepare informed leaders who will move themselves, the profession, and the Association forward.

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The National Education Association ( is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing nearly 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.

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