NJEA members have elected Marie Blistan as NJEA president, Sean M. Spiller as NJEA vice president and Steve Beatty as NJEA secretary-treasurer. NJEA officers are elected by a vote of the entire membership and serve a maximum of two consecutive two-year terms in each office. Their terms will begin Sept. 1, 2017.
Marie Blistan, a special education teacher from Washington Township in Gloucester County, currently serves as NJEA’s vice president, a position she has held since 2013 following four years as secretary-treasurer. Before her election to NJEA office in 2009, Blistan served as president of the Gloucester County Education Association and held a number of offices in the Washington Township Education Association including, among many other positions, executive vice president and grievance chair. Prior to teaching in Washington Township, Blistan was a teacher in Somerdale, where she served as president of the Somerdale Education Association.
“I look forward to working with Sean and Steve as we face current and future challenges,” Blistan said. “We will fight to see Chapter 78 repealed, make sure our members’ pensions and retirement health benefits are secure, protect collective bargaining, end privatization, demand full funding of our public schools and community colleges, and fight for social justice for families in the communities we serve.”
Blistan also plans to continue elevating the work of NJEA members.
“The vilification, undermining, and underfunding of teachers and educational support professionals by political leaders and corporate ‘reformers’ who seek only to profit from public schools must end,” Blistan said. “Our members—from preservice through retired—must be respected as the experts in what it takes to provide a first-class education to all of the children in New Jersey.”
Blistan will succeed Wendell Steinhauer, whose term expires on Aug. 31.
Spiller elected vice president
Sean M. Spiller, a science teacher at Wayne Valley High School in Passaic County, will be NJEA’s next vice president, following four years as secretary-treasurer. Before his election to NJEA office in 2013, the former president of the Wayne Education Association held a number of other leadership roles in NJEA, including serving on the Delegate Assembly, NJEA’s policy-making body. Spiller is also a councilman in Montclair.
“I am honored to serve as NJEA’s next vice president and will fight for our members, our profession, our students, and the values we share,” Spiller said. “Together, we will face our challenges and return to a place where we are respected for the work we do and appreciated for the difference we make in the lives of our kids.”
Beatty elected secretary-treasurer
Steven Beatty, a social studies teacher at Bridgewater-Raritan High School in Somerset County, is the newest addition to the NJEA leadership team. Beatty is currently the president of the Somerset County and the Bridgewater-Raritan education associations, and holds a number of other leadership roles in NJEA, including serving as chair of the Government Relations Committee and on the Delegate Assembly.
“I’m humbled and excited to have been elected as NJEA secretary-treasurer and to have the opportunity to work with Marie and Sean on behalf of all of our members,” Beatty said. “Thank you, NJEA. Time to get to work!”