Skip to Content

Michigan and Mississippi educators reelected to NEA executive committee

NEA Representative Assembly delegates also elect new members to the Board of Directors

WASHINGTON - July 06, 2016 -

Delegates attending NEAs Representative Assembly (RA) today reelected two members to Executive Committee of the National Education Association. Maury Koffman, an educator, leader and second generation union activist from East Lansing, Michigan, and Kevin Gilbert, a veteran educator, coach, social studies teacher, and administrator from Mississippi, were reelected to three-year terms each. This NEA leadership body is comprised of the Associations three executive officers and six NEA members elected at large by RA delegates. The RA is the top decision-making body for the nearly three million-member National Education Association.

"Over the course of their tenure on the Executive Committee, Maury and Kevin have demonstrated a deep commitment to the success of every student regardless of the ZIP code in which they live," said NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garca. "They have shown time and time again a steady leadership and a willingness to confront the most pressing issues facing public education today. Given the unprecedented and escalating attacks on students and educators, NEA is lucky to have them on our side. We are thrilled that the RA delegates continue to trust in them and we look forward to continue to have their voice on our Executive Committee."

"I am honored to continue to serve on the Executive Committee," said Koffman. "Our fight to ensure that our students have the high-quality public education they deserve continues. We must unabashedly pursue racial justice in education, combat institutional racism, and eradicate the school-to-prison pipeline. We must stand up and speak out for our LGBTQ students and members. We are united, inspired and ready to lead.

Koffman is serving his sixth-term as president of the 2,200-member Michigan State University Administrative Professional Association, the largest local affiliate in the Michigan Education Association. Koffmans mother was a union president of a local organization. He served two terms on the NEA Board of Directors, and as a member of the NEA Board Steering Committee. He earned a bachelors degree and a law degree from Michigan State University. Hes a graduate of the NEA Emerging Leader Academy.

"I am elated to be reelected to the Executive Committee for another three years," said Gilbert. "I look forward to the work ahead. We have a wonderful opportunity to position NEA to do some powerful work around the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, eradicating institutional racism, dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline, organizing early educators, and empowering our members to use their collective voice to make the dream of great public schools for every student a reality."

Kevin F. Gilbert has served on the NEA Executive Committee since 2013, and currently works as a Teacher Leadership Coordinator for the Clinton Public School District. Previously, he was president of the Mississippi Association of Educators. A veteran educator, Gilbert has worked as a social studies teacher, a coach and an administrator with the Clinton Public School District (Sumner Hill Jr. High School and Clinton High School); Rankin County School District (Northwest Rankin High School) and the Hinds County School District (Carver Middle School). His educational experience includes substitute bus driving while working in Rankin County, and substitute teaching with the Jackson Public School District. Gilbert is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi (BA94; MS96) and Mississippi College (Ed.S.04, Ed.D. 15).

NEA RA delegates also voted for new members to the Board of Directors. Delegates elected the following four educators representing at-large education support professionals (ESP): Ellen Olson, a sign language interpreter from Saint Paul, Minnesota; Andrea L. Beeman, a para-educator from Maple Heights, Ohio; Ashanti Rankin, a paraprofessional from Millville, New Jersey; and James Frazier, a security officer from Union Township, New Jersey.

Delegates also elected four educators to the Board of Directors to represent classroom teachers in higher education: Loretta A. Ragsdell, adjunct professor of English from Oak Park, Illinois; Dewayne Sheaffer, professor from Lakewood, California; J. Philippe Abraham, counseling faculty from Slingerlands, New York; and Elizabeth K. Davenport, a professor from Tallahassee, Florida.

Susan Williams Brown, a college math instructor at Gadsden State was elected alternate at-large director representing classroom teachers in higher education. Delegates elected Sequanna Taylor, a parent engagement specialist from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as alternate at-large director representing ESP. They also elected two at-large directors to represent administrators: Dale D. Kaiser, an Assistant Director of Human Resources from Duncanville, Texas, and Cynthia Henderson, of Louisiana, alternate.

More than 7,000 educators from every state are gathering to address the major issues facing schools, students and the teaching profession during the NEA's 154th Annual Meeting and 95th Representative Assembly June 27July 7 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington.

About the NEA Executive Committee

The NEA Executive Committee includes the NEA president, vice president, and secretary-treasurer, plus six members elected at-large by the Representative Assembly. The committee is responsible for setting general policy and maintaining the interests of NEA and acts for the NEA Board of Directors in between its four regularly scheduled meetings each year.

About the NEA Board of Directors

The NEA Board of Directors includes at least one director from each state affiliate, as well as representatives from both the Retired and Student members of the Association.

Follow us on Twitter at @NEAMedia and keep up with the conversation at #neara16

# # #

The National Education Association is the nations largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at


NEA's 2016 Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly