The New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) announces the promotion of Al Beaver to the position of director of Government Relations. Beaver, a veteran organizer and NJEA staff member since 2006, previously worked as a field representative in NJEA’s Region 2 field office, covering Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties and as a field representative for Field Based Organizing out of NJEA headquarters in Trenton. He has also previously served as interim UniServ regional director in the Northeast and Central regions. He takes over from NJEA Deputy Executive Director Kevin Kelleher, who directed the division in an interim capacity following the retirement of Ginger Gold Schnitzer last year.
“Al Beaver brings tremendous experience and energy to this position,” said NJEA President Marie Blistan.” As a former NJEA member, local president and field representative, he knows that the power of our union is in the members we represent, and he understands how to harness that power to help strengthen our union and our top-rated public schools. I am confident he will help our members achieve many important victories for our profession as we strive to make our schools strong and successful for the students we educate.”
NJEA Executive Director Steve Swetsky echoed Blistan’s statement, highlighting Beaver’s diverse experience at NJEA, which includes member representation, member and political organizing, and management.
“Al Beaver brings experience, energy and a keen mind for organizing to this role,” said Swetsky. “His background in both member representation and member organizing has prepared him to help advance NJEA members’ key political priorities in his new role. Al is respected by his colleagues and has a vision for working with the staff of the Government Relations Division to equip and organize members to achieve political change.”
Beaver expressed his eagerness to get started with the work.
“I look forward to working with our talented Government Relations staff to harness the power and elevate the voices of our members,” he said. “At a time when educators are asked to do more and more under challenging conditions, it’s more important than ever that our members have a voice in the laws and regulations that affect them personally and professionally.”
As a former NJEA member, local association president, paraprofessional and history teacher, Beaver understands that the power of a union is in its members. He has often told colleagues and local leaders that it is the job of NJEA to help members find their voices and their power.
“Our members and our union must be empowered take an even more active role in shaping the future of public education in New Jersey,” he continued. “That is something I feel passionate about as a lifelong New Jersey resident and a product of New Jersey’s great public schools. I would not be where I am today if it were not for the educational support professionals and teachers of the Pennsauken public schools.”
Beaver is a former social studies teacher in the Kingsway Regional High School District and the Pennsville School District. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Rowan University and a master’s degree in school administration and leadership from Georgian Court University. He resides with his wife Kathy, a special education teacher, and their three children in Woolwich Township in Gloucester County.