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Oregon physical education teacher reelected to NEA executive committee

Hanna Vaandering will start a second term on nine-member NEA leadership body

WASHINGTON - August 05, 2020 -

Delegates to the 99th National Education Association Representative Assembly reelected Hanna Vaandering, an elementary physical education teacher from Ridgewood Elementary in Beaverton, Ore., to the NEA Executive Committee. The NEA Executive Committee is the Association’s leadership body comprised of three executive officers and six members elected at large by RA delegates. Voting took place for the first time in the history of the NEA by mail due to COVID-19. 

“I am honored to work side by side with millions of NEA members at this moment in time to save our democracy and ensure that every student has access to a great public school,” said Vaandering. “Sending Betsy DeVos packing and ensuring that the Department of Education is focused on ensuring the success of all students is job one. Our students and our members are counting on us. The time to end high stakes testing is now, together we will create a learning environment that inspires learning and puts the love of learning back in our public schools.” 

Vaandering was first elected to serve on the NEA Executive Committee in 2017 after serving two successful terms as president of the 44,000-member Oregon Education Association. She taught elementary physical education for 17 years at Ridgewood Elementary. 

While at Ridgewood, Vaandering started a successful rhythms program to help her students gain a love for movement and dance. As OEA president, Vaandering helped facilitate the creation of “A New Path for a Balanced System of Assessments.” This educator-lead work lays the groundwork for creating a system of assessment that honors student learning over student testing. During her tenure on the executive committee, she helped launch the first NEA educator voice academies and create a new NEA member category, Community Allies, which allows the general public to join the NEA. 

“During her tenure on the NEA Executive Committee, Hanna Vaandering has demonstrated a deep commitment to the success of every student regardless of the ZIP code in which she or he lives,” said outgoing NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “She has demonstrated time and time again a steady hand and a willingness to confront the most pressing issues facing our students and public education. She remains committed to fighting for the rights of each and every educator, and advocating for the school funding necessary to build the schools our students deserve.”

Vaandering was born and raised in Washington County, Ore., and is proud to call the Beaver State  home. A graduate of Pacific University in Forest Grove, she was a two-time All-American and Academic All-American catcher for the Lady Boxers. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, scuba diving, water skiing and spending time with family and friends.

About the NEA Executive Committee

The NEA Executive Committee consists of nine members—three executive officers and six members. The six NEA members are elected at-large by the Representative Assembly. The Executive Committee is responsible for general policy and interests of NEA and acts for the NEA Board of Directors in between its regularly scheduled.

Nearly 8,000 educator delegates from every state came together virtually during the National Education Association’s 99th Representative Assembly on July 2-3. The RA took place remotely for the first time in its history out of an abundance of caution as communities across America face the COVID-19 crisis.

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About the National Education Association: The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, students preparing to become teachers, healthcare workers, and public employees. Learn more at

Miguel A. Gonzalez, NEA Communications
(202) 491-9532