Pennsylvania science teacher elected vice president of nation's largest school employee union
31-year classroom veteran vows to fight for equity, diversity in public education
Becky Pringle, a physical science teacher from the Susquehanna Township School District near Harrisburg, was recently elected vice president of the National Education Association, the nation's largest union of public education employees.
Nearly 8,000 delegates cast their ballots during the NEA's Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly in Denver June 26 to July 6. Pringle will assume her duties as vice president on Sept. 1.
"From the botched implementation of the Common Core State Standards to toxic tests that are hurting our students, there are many challenges facing public education," said Pringle, a native of Philadelphia. "As vice president of the nation’s largest union of educators, I will work to ensure that NEA lives up to its rich history and legacy of human and civil rights, which is the foundation for realizing a great public school for every student."
Pringle has more than 30 years of classroom experience and has held leadership positions at the national, state, and local levels, including serving on the Board of Directors of NEA and PSEA. Since 2008, she has served as NEA's secretary-treasurer, overseeing the organization's multimillion dollar budget and fiscal integrity while advocating on issues such as professional rights and responsibilities, equity in education, and human and civil rights.
"PSEA is proud to see Becky elected NEA's vice president," said PSEA President Michael Crossey. "Her reputation as an excellent teacher and her record of dedicated service on behalf of public education and children everywhere position her well as she takes on her latest leadership role. We congratulate Becky and wish her all the best."
Pringle chaired the PSEA Human and Civil Rights Award Committee and the PSEA Task Force on Minority Representation. She also served as region chair of the PSEA Leadership Development Committee and on the Institute for Educational Leadership Task Force.
In her role as NEA vice president, Pringle will rank second among its leadership and as one of the highest-ranking African-American female leaders in the labor movement. Pringle succeeds Lily Eskelsen García, who was elected NEA president.
During her time at NEA, Pringle led a workgroup that produced the groundbreaking "Policy Statement on Teacher Evaluation and Accountability," the organization’s first broad endorsement of the need for significant change in evaluation and accountability systems. The policy states that a student-centered evaluation system must be focused on improving professional practice and respect teachers as professionals.
"The qualities that made Becky a great physical science teacher—curiosity, imagination, and the drive to challenge conventional wisdom—are the ingredients we need in our organization’s leadership," said outgoing NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. "She also understands how important it is to have the community, along with elected officials, parents, and business leaders, working together with the same goal of helping our students succeed."
Pringle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree in education from Pennsylvania State University. Pringle and her husband, Nathan, have two children.