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President Melanie Hameed: A Season of Service

So many times we look upon leadership as a position of power. Because we aren’t directly involved in the happenings with leadership, we may view their lives as glamourous and adventurous. I have often looked through Facebook or Ohio Schools and have seen wonderful pictures of the travels of our OEA leadership. I see Scott DiMauro, Mark Hill, and Jeff Wensing in one place in the morning and in a totally different place in the afternoon. I would fawn over how fabulous it must be to be able to travel across our great state and see the wonderful people and places they had visited. Just recently, I saw that NEA Vice President Princess Moss was traveling to Singapore to represent NEA at the International Summit on the Teaching Profession. How exciting to travel to different countries and take in different cultures. I believed all of this until I became a part of leadership.

In all of that travel and exposure, there is a great deal of work being done. I started my own journey in Warren, Ohio, doing the work of the Warren Education Association as a building rep and serving on the governing board and the executive committee. As my passion for this work grew, it led me to serve on several of our committees. I was grievance chair and Vice President and then President of WEA. I moved on to the NEOEA Board of Directors and then the OEA Board of Directors where I met huge champions of this profession, all DOING THE WORK OF THE ASSOCIATION. As I close out my time as President of NEOEA, I look back at all of the great travel and exposure I have enjoyed, and then I look at the body of work that was being done.

NEOEA Past President Rob McFee told me that I would fall in love with NEOEA. I didn’t know what he meant. I do now. The vast experience it is to be involved in all of the happenings in this great district. The work and building of leaders that goes on because you or someone around you decided to support, encourage, and cheer you on to do your best thing and to become your best person is immeasurable.

It is my great hope that while I was buzzing around from Warren to Vermilion to Ashtabula to Medina to Youngstown, that I encouraged, uplifted, and cheered some of you on to be your best person, your best advocate, your best representative of this great union. May your season of service be a lifetime of service and may you travel a bit on this journey.

By Melanie Hameed, NEOEA President

Published in our Summer edition of News & Views

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