Seventy early career members attended the Central Connection’s paint night on Thursday, Mar. 16. This event was hosted by Hannah Pawlak of the Highland Park Education Association and Veronica Alcuri of the South Amboy Education Association.

Rebecca Buffis of the South Brunswick Education Association led members through the process of painting a pencil. Many members added the personal touch of their name to their artwork.

Andrew Lewis of the Old Bridge Education Association spoke to attendees about painting a picture of a better New Jersey. “A picture in which our pensions are fully funded and Chapter 78 is a memory,” he said. Andrew also spoke about the elimination of high-stakes, high-stress tests like PARCC and the need for a relationship where NJEA and its members are the Governor’s partner and not his punching bag. He then told participants that they hold the paintbrush to paint this picture. Andrew then spoke about Ambassador Phil Murphy, NJEA’s endorsed candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor, and encouraged members to take the first step in painting this picture during the June 6th primary election. A short video of Andrew’s speech was uploaded to NJEA’s Instagram account, which is available here.

Members had a great time at this event. Watch the Central Connection Facebook page for information on other upcoming events for early career members in Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, and Ocean counties.

Want to help facilitate one of the upcoming events or have an idea for a new event? Email the Central Connection team at

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