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A Message from Board Chair Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh

As Board Chair of the NEA Foundation, I want to take this moment to not only thank you for caring about public education and our public school educators, but to tell you a little about myself and why the Foundation holds a special place in my heart.

I was inspired to become a teacher by Kecia, a young neighbor I had when I was growing up. She had Down Syndrome and would visit me every day after school. We became fast friends. Her mother told me, and I’ll never forget, that Kecia would tell her “I am smart ‘cause Sharon told me.” Kecia was my reason for entering the field of education and special education. To be able to teach, and more importantly, learn from my students is priceless, just like Kecia.

As a career educator, I know firsthand the good you are doing for educators and students across the country by supporting the NEA Foundation. When I talk to teachers who have been impacted by the Foundation as a grantee or the recipient of our Awards for Teaching Excellence, they all emphasize the importance of being valued as professionals. They are grateful for the changes they were able to initiate in their classrooms and school systems, and for the positive impact on student learning made with the Foundation’s support. Teachers work tirelessly on behalf of the children they serve. They amaze me every single day. And they need more people like you supporting them.

I feel very fortunate to be an educator. Public education is open to every single blessed child. It is the key to unlocking potential. It is the great equalizer and the elevator of greatness. Through your generosity, children are being empowered to grow, learn, and be agents of change in the world.

With deepest thanks,

Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh
Board Chair

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