RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Dr. James J. Fedderman was elected as Virginia Education Association President on May 7 which makes him the first African American male in the 150-plus year VEA history to serve in office.
Currently, Fedderman has served as the VEA vice president since 2016 and he is a choral music teacher in Accomack County. He begins his two-year term on August 1.
“It’s long overdue,” Fedderman says of his groundbreaking election, “and a testament to the progress we’ve made as a Union and to our acknowledgment of the importance of relevant, meaningful leadership. I’m very proud to have been chosen for this position.”
Fedderman said he welcomes the challenges that will come with assuming office amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“In uncertain times, only effective and experienced leadership will demonstrate how being tested will become our testimony,” he said. “I will work tirelessly to empower every one of our members with a voice and a platform.”
The doctor holds his Ph.D. in organizational leadership from the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore. He said that one of his main priorities will be helping local VEA Unions implement the new collective bargaining law for educators.
“Negotiating contracts with local school divisions is one of our best ways to advocate for children and for public education,” explained Fedderman. “Educators deserve a seat at the table when public education policy is made, and we’ll be preparing teachers and support professionals to step into that role when the new law becomes effective next May.”
The VEA has had three African American women elected to the presidency but Fedderman is the first black man elected as both vice president and president.
In office will also be Carol Bauer as the new vice president and Kevin Hickerson as the new VEA representative on the NEA Board. Bauer is a fourth-grade teacher from York County and she will take office August 1. Hickerson is a middle school special education teacher from Fairfax.
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