Gabriel Tanglao, an associate director in the NJEA Professional Development and Instructional Issues Division was named by New Jersey Monthly as one of 10 millennials to watch. The article, subtitled “A new generation has begun to step up and embrace leadership roles in government, education, social activism and business,” appeared in the publication’s March 2020 edition.
The article notes that Tanglao’s father emigrated from the Phillipines to New Jersey with a high school education and that his son, Gabe, holds two master’s degrees. “That arc of our story in one generation is the foundation of what defines me,” Tanglao told New Jersey Monthly. He traces his union activisim to his mother, a nurse.
New Jersey Monthly lauds Tanglao for his social justice activisim and his work on student debt, wealth inequality and access to education.
NJEA is proud that also among the 10 listed is Paterson Education Association member Zellie Thomas. New Jersey Monthly notes that “Zellie Thomas learned early on that education could be liberating for disadvantaged youths.” Thomas teaches third-grade math at Paterson School 16, where he is an association representaive. He is a also co-founder of Black Lives Matter of Paterson. The article notes that Thomas traveled to Ferguson, Missouri to protest the shooting death of Michael Brown. The article further points out that “he was arrested while protesting the death of Jameek Lowery, a Paterson resident who suffered a cardiac arrest after leaving police custody beaten and bruised.”
Most recently, Thomas was featured on “Good Morning America” for organizing a program to deliver meals to seniors who cannot get out of their homes or afford groceries in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2018, NJEA awarded Thomas the NJEA Dr. Martin Luther King Human and Civil Rights Award.
The New Jersey Monthy article can be read at njmonthly.com/articles/jersey-living/millennials-to-watch.