Wright, Sausa, Burd, Clements, Dodulik-Swern to take helm at NJREA

NJREA Election Results

It will be a historic first this September when a new leadership team takes the helm of NJREA for the 2021-23 term. Joan Wright will be NJREA’s first president of color. She will be joined by Harriet “Kitty” Sausa, Ronald Burd, Mary Clements, and Doriann Dodulik-Swern who will serve as first vice president, second vice president, secretary, and treasurer, respectively.

Wright, Sausa and Dodulik-Swern were unopposed in the bid for their offices.

“I have been blessed to see many firsts and the privilege to blaze the trail with many firsts: the first member of color female leader of my local, the first member of color as retired president in my county and now the first member of color as president of NJREA,” Wright said. “Staff and students need our voices, as well as our support and service during these times. Now more than ever, we must stay true to our core values of equal opportunity, a just society, as well as collective action.”

Wright retired after 44 years in education from Conackamack Middle School in 2010, where she taught sixth grade math and served as president of the Piscataway Township Education Association, among other leadership positions. Wright has served as first vice president and secretary of NJREA. She has also served as the president of the Middlesex County Retired Educators’ Association.

In 2007, Sausa retired after 35 years in education from North Haledon where she taught middle school health and physical education. In addition to other local leadership positions, Sausa was president of the North Haledon Education Association. In 2017, she was elected as secretary of NJREA and is first vice president of the Passaic County Retired Education Association.

Burd and Clements ran in contested elections.

“I am excited about being elected,” Burd said. “I will work to the best of my ability to keep the trust of those who voted for me and work equally hard to earn the trust of those who didn’t. I can’t wait to get started!”

In 2015, Burd retired after 42 years in education from the Lebanon Township School District where he taught middle school science. He currently serves on NJREA Government Relations and Planning committees, and is the chair of the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Advisory Committee. He is also the president of the Hunterdon County Retired Educators Association (HCREA.)

Clements retired in 2014 from Hamilton Township in Mercer County, where she was a high school English and English as a second language (ESL) teacher. She has served as the Camden County Retirees’ Education Association (CCREA) corresponding secretary, spent two summers on NJEA’s Fellowship Program, sat on the county’s Legislative Action Team (LAT), and was a delegate to the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

“Thank you to all who voted for me,” Clements declared. “I am honored and promise to work hard and do my best to serve as your NJREA secretary.”

Dodulik-Swern retired in 2016 from the Burlington County Special Services School District, where she was a special education teacher throughout her 40-year career. Using her long-time experience as an association treasurer, Dodulik-Swern has served as the BCREA treasurer since 2018, while also serving as the organization’s special events chairperson. She is a member of the NJREA Planning Committee and currently serves as the NJEA Convention Committee’s retiree representative.

“I am excited and looking forward to the start of my position of NJREA Treasurer,” Dodulik-Swern said. “Even though I’m nervous, I think it’s safe to say, ‘Once a treasurer, always a treasurer!’”

Judy Perkins, in her final term as NJREA president, knows the power of the organization’s membership and credits their ongoing efforts to make a difference.

“The county REA leaders and committee chairs faced numerous challenges this year, but kept members, conducted virtual meetings and supported our efforts to increase NJEA PAC donations and membership,” said Perkins. “I thank them and am confident these leaders will continue to promote the goals of our newly-elected officers.”

NJREA elections

In addition to voting for a new officer team, NJREA members elected representatives to the NJEA Delegate Assembly and the NEA-Retired Representative Assembly (RA), and the NEA RA.

NJEA Delegate Assembly

Barbara J. James

Roger Baker

Jacqui Greadington

Delegate Assembly-alternates

Joanne M. Palladino

Joan Jensen

Linda C. Calandra


Joanne M. Palladino

Anita Schwartz

Betty Meeks Manning

Susan Maurer

Barbara J. James

Susan Jaysnovitch

William Brady

John Zurka

Roger Baker

Ronald Burd

Henry Varriano

David E. Brady

Mary E. Clements

Robert L. Carr

Arlene Pepe

Randy Allshouse

Ethnic-Minority Concerns Delegates to NEA-R/NEA-RA:

Anita Schwartz

Tauheedah Muhammad

Robert L. Carr

Barbara J. James

Betty Meeks-Manning

Barbara Jennings

A complete list of results can be found at njea.org/njrea.

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