John Stocks, Secretary–Treasurer, became Executive Director of the National Education Association on September 1, 2011. Stocks is a national leader in the fight to transform America’s public schools. Since 2003, he has served as a top-ranking official of the 3.2 million-member National Education Association, the nation’s largest union, with a $330 million budget and 555 staff. NEA and its 51 affiliates across the country represent members at every level of education, from pre-school to university graduate programs.
As NEA’s Deputy Executive Director, Stocks has spearheaded NEA’s top policy, political and membership priorities. He has helped chart a new course for NEA, mobilizing its ranks in support of improving the federal No Child Left Behind law, transforming its political organization, and building new strategic alliances to champion public education.
Stocks’ commitment to public education spans decades. From 1990-2003, Stocks served as the Assistant Executive Director for Public Affairs at the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), which represents 98,000 Wisconsin teachers and school employees. During his tenure, he oversaw WEAC’s Public Relations, Legislative, Political Action, and Teaching and Learning departments. While at WEAC, Stocks championed legislative efforts to expand early childhood education, improve student achievement, lower class sizes, and ensure comprehensive standards for teachers.
Prior to joining WEAC, Stocks served as the Executive Director of Idaho Fair Share, a grassroots citizen action organization dedicated to keeping utility rates affordable for working families. In that capacity, he spearheaded legislation to equalize the playing field for low and moderate income utility ratepayers.
In 1988, Stocks successfully ran for State Senate in Kootenai County, Idaho, defeating a four-term incumbent. As a State Senator, he served on the Commerce and Labor, Health and Welfare, Human Resources, and Judiciary and Rules Committees. One of his proudest legislative achievements came after he successfully shepherded legislation to improve protections for people who were facing foreclosure on their homes due to family medical crises.
Previously, Stocks was a chief architect of the Idaho Senate Democrats’ re-election strategies, securing seven new Senate seats and protecting all incumbents over three election cycles.
Stocks has been recognized by leading national organizations for his contributions to the fight for progressive social change. In 2007, Stocks was honored by the Midwest Academy, a national grassroots training institute with a long tradition of preparing progressive leaders to lead social change. During this time, he was also honored by the national Ballot Initiative Strategy Center for his use of groundbreaking ballot strategies to support sound public policy and beat back harmful measures.
Stocks is a graduate of the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. He and his wife, Connie, have two children, J.T. and Emily.