Graves Schools' Powell Elected to NEA Board
By Paul Schaumburg, Graves County Schools
MAYFIELD, KY - Graves County Central Elementary School head custodian Matthew Powell recently was elected to a three-year term as one of only four at-large members of the National Education Association Board of Directors. He retains his duties with the Graves County Schools.

He spoke earlier this summer to a crowd of 10,000 educators and guests during the NEA Representative Assembly to earn votes. He assumes his board duties Sept. 1 and is only the third education support professional from Kentucky elected as an at-large NEA director.  

“Helping students succeed requires every resource available,” Powell said. “Everyone knows that teaching is important, but even the greatest teachers need support from the professionals who transport students to school, keep the building safe and clean, prepare nutritious meals, offer support in the classroom and manage the front office. Education support professionals are the first and last persons a student sees during the school day.”

He continued, “I am a strong advocate for meeting the needs of the whole student. We have to meet all of the needs of students, ensuring that they are healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. This approach can only succeed when parents, teachers, administrators and support staff all work together.”

Powell is a Graves County graduate and has been employed with the school district since August 2007 as an education support professional. During that time, he worked as a special education assistant for two years, a custodian for three years, and since April as Central Elementary’s head custodian. He also has served as a softball assistant coach/team bus driver for the past three seasons. He has worked at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

While working for the Graves County Schools, he earned a bachelor’s degree in February 2012, majoring in educational studies from Western Governors University.

He also serves as the Graves County Education Support Professionals Association president, Kentucky Education Support Professionals Association Board of Directors and as an individual member of the National Council for Education Support Professionals.

This past May, he was selected as one of only 16 classified school employees across the U.S. to take part in the National Education Association Leaders for Tomorrow program.

The NEA is the nation’s largest professional employer organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

Published 07:55 AM, Tuesday Jul. 14, 2015
Updated 12:58 PM, Tuesday Jul. 14, 2015

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