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Local Presidents Training

The National Education Association’s (NEA) Local Presidents Training equips incoming local presidents with a set of fundamental skills aligned with NEA’s Leadership Competencies, including organizing, advocacy, communication, governance, and strategy & fiscal health. These fundamental skills provide local leaders with the tools to address both internal local issues, such as membership growth and representative structures, as well as to tackle pressing issues in their school districts and communities, such as student success, as well as social, racial, and economic justice. Find more information on NEA’s Leadership Competencies here.

NEA’s Center for Organizing and the National Council of Urban Education Associations (NCUEA) partner to conduct the national Local Presidents Training. NCUEA is an autonomous political body within NEA that represents and advocates for urban education associations and the students that they serve. Click here for more information on NCUEA, its work, and on how you can join and become a NCUEA member.

This training is led by current or former local presidents – all of whom have successfully completed NEA’s Local Presidents Training. Most, but not all trainers, are from NCUEA member locals. NEA’s Center for Organizing provides all other staffing, resources, and support for this program. For a complete list of the LPT/NEA Training Cadre and their bios, click here

National Local Presidents Training
Program Structure, Costs, and Details

The Center for Organizing currently facilitates four (4) Local Presidents Training sessions per year. The program typically accepts 20-25 applicants per session. We have found that this is the optimal number to ensure robust participant discussion and enable understanding of training content.

The training lasts for 2-3 days, and is traditionally held at NEA’s Washington, D.C. headquarters. Trainings will be held on the following dates:

  1. October 10, 2019 - October 12, 2019
  2. January 30, 2019 - February 1, 2020
  3. May 28, 2020 - May 30, 2020
  4. August 6, 2020 August 8, 2020

Costs. The Center for Organizing pays for accepted applicants to attend the national Local Presidents Training program, including covering travel and hotel accommodations. NEA also reimburses participants for meal costs.

Trainers. All local president training trainers are alums of the program itself. Most are still local presidents, but we also maintain a roster of talented cadre trainers who may no longer be local presidents. All trainers, regardless of elected position, are members of their state affiliate and the National Education Association.

Interested in learning more? Check out the sample training agenda below.

National Local Presidents Training Program
Application Notification & Process

NCUEA member locals are given advance notification to apply and register for the Local Presidents Training. NCUEA’s president sends the email invitation directly to leadership at NCUEA’s member locals. Members of the Urban Directors Association are also notified at this time.

State presidents and state executive directors are also notified and invite to share the invitation with locals in their respective affiliates.

State Affiliate-Based Trainings

Due to the national Local Presidents Training program’s popularity and the limited number of slots available per year, we have received requests for the local presidents training team to facilitate in-state trainings. These are requests are handled on a case-by-case basis, as we try to our best to accommodate our state and local affiliate needs.

Please submit in-state training requests to Michael Schoettle, NEA Field Manager, at and Latoya Johnson, NEA Organizational Specialist, at

Testimonials from New Local Presidents Training

The New Local President’s Training allows you to learn from past, present and future presidents from around the country. You have the opportunity to learn what everyone wishes they had known before they start, the challenges they faced, and most importantly who they over care those challenges. This training doused my fears and ignited flame of excitement to be a champion for our public schools.

--Dave Lockley, President District 12 Educators' Association, CO

The New Local Presidents Training provided me with resources and practical advice I would not have known to ask for. Working with experienced trainers and other presidents gave me valuable perspective on the importance of delegating responsibility, setting priorities, and building the framework for a sustainable leadership structure. I left the training with a fresh sense of my role as president: to make sure others on my executive committee have the tools they need to do their jobs effectively.

--Randall Miller, President, City Colleges Contingent Labor Organizing Committee, IL

First, let me say that being among your peers is always worthwhile & rewarding! I was comforted to discover that I was not alone in my ignorance nor was I completely ill prepared for the role. Still, several of the sessions allowed me the time and creativity to prepare me for our board retreat, leadership events, and of course, organizing around issues and bargaining! It was really exciting to get new ideas from other new presidents - like peeling back multiple layers of the creativity onion! I can’t imagine fulfilling this role without this support!

--Margaret Chaney, President, Tucson Education Association, AZ

When my Union called this past year, I said yes, then I wondered what the heck I had just gotten myself into! In the blink of an eye, I went from newly elected VP to Incoming President - diving from the comfort of my middle school classroom to the fresh waters of an office and a sea of teachers and admin in need, and the terror set in. Enter the New Local Presidents Training.

This training was fantastic! Meeting with experienced and positive trainers, hearing about the struggles and successes of other new local presidents, and gaining insight into the hows and whys that are at the heart of our Union was powerful - it gave me hope and moved me from terrified toward excitement (#excitified). I have renewed confidence that I can be a positive, proactive problem-solver, make a difference for my members and those we serve, and have a life outside of work; and I have the tools and support system to make it happen.

I am a HUGE fan of this amazing training!

--KaCee Ballou, President, Missoula Education Association, MT

The New Local Presidents training was amazing. I found it so helpful to make connections with other local presidents. We still text, email, and Facebook each other with questions and ideas. In addition to the relationships I built, the materials I received were invaluable. I tailored those materials for my local and we are still using several of them to this day e.g. the BIN (building information network). I would recommend this training to any new incoming president and am blessed to have had the opportunity myself.

--Yvonne Speckman, President, Davis Education Association, UT

I highly recommend the New Local Presidents Training! I learned about the importance of having systems in place, managing time and tasks according to urgency, and most importantly, how to share leadership with others. This training gave me ideas that I was able to implement immediately.

--Denise Sheehan, President, NEA Las Cruces, NM

The most anchoring experience in preparation for my upcoming term as Local President was this year's New Local Presidents Training through NEA. Not only did I walk away with a plethora of resources and ideas based in research and successful implementation, I walked away with a network of colleagues and friends who are embarking upon a similar journey to my own! Much of the work I do during the first month of my term will be built off of practices and suggestions I gained from the NEA facilitators or from the New Local Presidents in attendance. I'm entering this new role feeling far more confident with these resources and people to lean on!

--Kari Van Nostran, President, Vancouver Education Association, WA

Local Presidents Training Cadre:

For a complete list of the LPT/NEA Training Cadre and their bios, click here.

NEA Center for Organizing - Affiliate Zone Map: Identify the NEA Center for Organizing Associate Director for Affiliate Relations and Growth responsible for affiliate support in your state.