NJEA Appoints Kevin Kelleher as Executive Director

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The NJEA Executive Committee has named Kevin Kelleher as the association’s next executive director.

Kelleher, who served as deputy executive director of the union since December 2019, will succeed Steve Swetsky, who will retire on March 1, 2023.

Kelleher first joined the NJEA staff in 2003 as associate director of the Economics and Research Services Division. He then became director of that division and acting director of government relations. Prior to joining the NJEA, he was a math teacher and local union leader in Mendham Township.

NJEA President Sean M. Spiller, Vice President Steve Beatty and Secretary-Treasurer Petal Robertson expressed their enthusiasm for Kelleher’s promotion. “Kevin has been a valued member of our management team for three years. He brings both a deep understanding of the challenges facing NJEA members and a thoughtful vision of how we can continue to grow and strengthen the NJEA as a justice-centered union. We are confident that he is the right choice to lead our staff and ensure that the NJEA remains the strong and effective union that our members expect and deserve.

Swetsky echoed those sentiments. “Kevin has been a great partner over the past three years. He is a creative thinker with a tremendous work ethic. I know the NJEA will thrive under Kevin’s leadership. I look forward to working as closely as ever with him over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition into his new role.The NJEA is in very good hands.

Kelleher expressed his gratitude for this opportunity. “I am grateful to the Executive Committee for entrusting me with this responsibility. I look forward to working with Sean, Steve and Petal, and all of the dedicated leaders and exceptional staff of the NJEA, to keep our union on an upward trajectory. We have hard work ahead of us to rebuild the pool of educators and strengthen the profession so that our schools remain the best in the country. I am convinced that we will succeed in this work.

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