Region 6 Officer and NEA Representative Assembly Delegate Profiles

Profiles for all the candidates running opposed for Region Officer or NEA Representative Assembly delegate.

Region Chair

Jody Bosomworth

My name is Jody Bosomworth and I am running to serve you as IEA Region 6 Chair.

Once a Redbird, always a Redbird! I graduated from Alton High, as did both of my sons and my great-nephew. My great-niece still attends Alton High. I spent 8 years as a
parent volunteer for Marching 100 and I have always strongly supported the district’s fine arts and sports programs. I am also union strong! My father retired as a union machinist and my father-in-law retired as a custodian from the Alton School District. My
mother-in-law worked in the cafeteria, and my youngest son has worked as a para for the district. My husband spent his earliest years on Lawn Street in Alton Acres and one of his first jobs was as a school custodian while he was in high school.

As an Alton educator with 23 years of experience in the district, as both a
paraprofessional and a teacher, I have worked at a number of buildings. I served for many years as a building rep, served for two terms as your AEA Vice-President, and I have been on the AEA Negotiations team many times. In these positions, I always worked to improve the working conditions and employment benefits of all members,
because I know that nothing works in a school without the input of every employee.

This past summer, I was part of a statewide team trying to find solutions to the current pension issue – an issue that we did not create – with two of my main focuses being to get rid of the two tier retirement system and give members a choice in how/where to
invest their money. A fair retirement should be available for all members.
Along with my time in the classroom and working with the AEA, I have also spent nearly 20 years working as part of the IEA’s Region Council. I have served as the Vice Chair for the past two terms and as the Secretary for three years before that. While serving as the Region’s Grassroots Political Activist, I was responsible for directly lobbying both state and national legislators connected to our region. I lobbied both Democrats and Republicans – Bost, Davis, Crowe, Bristow, McCann, and Durbin, to name a few – on behalf of our local and our region on issues regarding school safety, funding, and professional support. As a Co-Chair of the IEA Professional Institute team, I lobbied on behalf of southern and rural regions to get educators from those areas more involved in presenting learning sessions and for IEA to provide more training to areas like ours that lie south of Springfield.

As your Region Chair, I have many plans to help you get more for your hard-earned union dues by way of services and information. Improving the working conditions and benefits of all our members also improves the quality of education for our students. I will be a strong advocate for you at the Region level. Please vote for Jody Bosomworth.

David Watts

Hello members of the Alton Education Association. I am David Watts and a candidate to represent you on the IEA Board of Directors as your Region 6 Chair. I am a 22-year educator in the Roxana School District. I was very fortunate to serve as one of your NEA Directors for 7 years representing you in Washington DC lobbying on issues facing you as teachers and education support professionals. Those 7 years were absolutely amazing advocating for you and the students you serve. At this point in my career, I feel it is important to continue advocating for you on the IEA Board of Directors. I have made many positive relationships amongst IEA members in all educational categories; certified, education support professionals, retired, early career, student, and even administrators across the entire state of Illinois. In addition, the valuable relationships I have made from other NEA Directors across the county have made a positive impact on IEA. I was the one who took California’s policy of electing NEA Directors proportionate to the membership numbers to guarantee Southern Illinois would be guaranteed an NEA Director to represent us in DC. As a veteran leader I know the importance of getting people involved and I feel as your region chair I have this quality as well as many other that are vital to the success of our union and Region 6. I would love to represent you as our region chair and continue to advocate for you and your students on your behalf. In union there is strength and in strength there is union. 

With Gratitude,

David Watts 

Region Vice Chair

Rob Mangrum

My name is Rob Mangrum. I am running for the position of Illinois Education Association Region 6 Vice-Chair. As a lifelong member of our community, I received my bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2000 and my master’s degree from Rockford University in 2010. Over the course of my nearly two decades as an educator, I have served in a variety of leaderships roles in the Wood River Education Association and the Illinois Education Association.

In the Wood River Education Association, I have held the offices of building representative, executive committee member, contract negotiation team member, IEA region council representative, and secretary. I have regularly seen the pressing issues that impact the membership of the Wood River Education Association. In addition to representing the WREA on the IEA Region Council, I have been a member of the Region 6 executive committee. Presently, I am serving as the current IEA Region 6 Elections Co-Chairperson.

In addition to these leadership positions, I have been a Student Council advisor for nineteen years. In my tenure, I have been the IAJHSC Southwest District Adult Director for over a decade. I have been the voice of approximately nine to ten schools to the Illinois Association of Junior High School Student Councils executive board. In 2010, I had the honor of being named the IAJHSC State Service Project co-chairperson. Working with our IAJHSC Southwest District Representative and student councils throughout the state of Illinois, we were able to raise nearly $20,000 to help The Cradle. The Cradle is a nonprofit, licensed child welfare agency headquartered in Evanston, Illinois. The Cradle has provided infant adoption services, counseling and educational support to families throughout the state of Illinois for over one hundred years.

Bobby Rickman

I am running to be the Region 6 Vice Chair for the next three years. I have worked in the Alton School District for 10 years, and currently serve as the President for the Alton Education Association. I have worked in education for almost 18 years in Tennessee, Missouri, and Illinois.

I have been active in the AEA, IEA, and NEA over the last several years being a delegate to the IEA and NEA Representative Assembly. I have served for 5 years on IEA statewide committees including 4 years on the Legislative Committee. I have been a participant at both the IEA and NEA Leadership Conferences, other state and national training and a presenter at the NEA ESP Conference.

I believe in advocacy for our members and students to provide a more equitable education system for all. As Region 6 Vice Chair I will continue to fight for the issues that impact our members and schools.

NEA Representative Assembly Delegates for Alton EA – Elect Five

Jody Bosomworth

My name is Jody Bosomworth and I am running for a position as a delegate to the NEA Assembly this summer. I have had the honor of representing our district at this assembly in the past and would like to continue my work on your behalf.

Some recent lobbying that I have done on your behalf includes advancing the Racism Free Schools Act in the legislature and promoting the (approved) move to income based dues in our state.

I have served on the legislative committee and co-chaired the LTI (Leadership Training Institute)
for IEA. Currently, I am your Region Six Vice-Chair. I also provide professional development training for IEA, National Board and ISBE.

Please vote and allow me to continue my service for you!

Sara Carter-Witt

My name is Sara Carter-Witt. I am a lifelong resident of the Alton area. I have been teaching in the district for twenty years, served as the union vice president, treasurer, and member of the PN committee. I have been a representative at both the IEA and NEA RA in previous years. I am looking forward to representing the AEA at this year’s RA.

Lisa Embrey

Hi I am Lisa Embrey I  have been with the district 23 years. I work at East Elementary. I am currently the Vice President of the Educational Support Professionals (ESP’s)) I would like to represent you as a delegate for the NEA/RA.  I want to advocate for all education professionals. To vote on vital issues that impact all America’s public education and help set association policies and activities for the coming year. I would also work   to unite our members and as well as our nations NEA to fulfill the promise of education and to prepare every student to be successful in this diverse world. Lastly, I want to help our district fight for racial, social, economic justice in public education.

Ray Greenberg

Hello!  My name is Ray Greenberg and I am a proud union member of the Alton Education Association.  Along with that, I am an Educational Support Professional, or E.S.P., representative at Eunice Smith Elementary School, which is also where I have spent the entirety of my educational career; I also serve on the Alton Education Association as the Treasurer.

Being elected to the Region 6 Council and as a E.S.P representative has not only allowed me to represent the AEA and the Region 6 throughout the state.  The IEAESP has started a campaign called “rESPect,” which stands for “raising educational support by evaluating careers together.” The other members of the team and I have worked toward many great accomplishments, such as: FMLA lowered to 1000 hours, campaigning for to the ESP’s minimum wage to be $22 an hour by 2025-2026, better unemployment benefits, improving insurance coverage, and more. 

Being elected to both the IEA and NEA conventions has allowed me to communicate ideas for the continued development of these committees.
Thank you for allowing me to serve you and the Alton Education Association. Your vote counts, please vote!

Jennifer Herring

My name is Jen Herring and I’m running for a delegate position at the NEA RA in July.  I currently serve as your local Vice President, am a Region Council member, am secretary of the state special education committee and am newly appointed to the SURRE (Stronger United Recruitment, Retention, and Engagement) committee for the state. I have also attended multiple IEA RA’s and NEA RAs over the past several years. At these representative assemblies important issues are discussed and decisions are made to help with educational reform. I am passionate about my work and if elected will continue to help to make positive changes at local, state, and national levels for our members.  

Chantel Irving

I’m Chantel Irving, a paraprofessional/co-teacher at East Elementary. I am running as a delegate because I want all children to have a chance to reach their full potential. 

There is a famous African proverb that states. “The child that is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth.”

As educators, the IEA and NEA are the villages for students, parents, and guardians. To reach their full potential, public education must meet all students’ educational and social-emotional needs. However, those needs look different today than 4 or 5 years ago. Therefore, I want to work alongside the IEA and NEA to set policies that allow all students receiving a public education to be successful. 

I have attended the NEA Conference on Racial and Social Justice, and both the IEA One Conference and Ethnic Minority and Emerging Leader Training.

Jay Jackson

My name is Jerome [Jay] Jackson, Jr. and I am running for the positions of Region 6 Ethnic Minority Representative and Delegate to the NEA Representative Assembly.

I am currently in my 15th year as an educator, all at Alton Middle School.

Positions within the Union I have held: 

[ ] Alton EA Certified Secretary [current]

[ ] IEA Region 6 Ethnic Minority Rep [current]

[ ] Building Rep @ AMS [past]

I am also a 2 time Delegate to the IEA RA, serving in 2022 as an Alton delegate and in March 2023 as automatic delegate, due to my position as Ethnic Minority Representative. I have attended two [2] NEA RAs, virtually in 2021 and in person in 2022. 

I am also a member of the NEA Black Caucus, one of NEAs Minority caucuses, focusing on issues relevant to African American members of the NEA AND our students.

I recently completed the Ethnic Minority and Emerging Leadership Training in 2022 [in person this year, virtually in 2021] and hope to take other emerging leaders to the training in the future.

In my role as Ethnic Minority Rep, I have been in constant contact with Ms. Kimberly McClellan, the current Southern Ethnic Minority Representative for the IEA. I have also tried to foster a working relationship with our recently elected Secretary-Treasurer, Gina Harris, elected at the 2023 IEA RA.

I am currently running for re-election as the Region 6 Ethnic Minority Representative because, as anyone who knows me, I have a tendency to always focus on finding solutions to problems and playing the ‘devil’s advocate’ in situations, trying to make people see the other side of an issue that they may [or may not] agree with or believe.

As Ethnic Minority Rep, I would like to continue to have conversations with the other individuals across the state who address issues that relate to our educators and students of color.

As an NEA RA Delegate, I love having the ability to take a stance on issues, New Business Items [really love those] and Resolutions that we as educators support, for our own well-being and the well-being of our students.

While I may not always be described as the most ‘personable’ person in the room, I do strive to always be one of the most efficient and effective.

I would appreciate your vote for both positions.

Bobby Rickman

I am running to continue serving as a delegate to the NEA Representative Assembly. I have served as a delegate for the last 5 years, and I want to continue speaking for the members of our Association on the national level.

At last year’s Representative Assembly, I submitted a New Business Item for the NEA to promote awareness for the mental health awareness for both students and staff. Our national association has the power of over 3 million members. Our voice is powerful, and I want to make sure the needs of our members and our state are lifted up to the NEA.

I will always be the advocate for the collective voice of all our members.

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