Maryland physical education teacher honored by peers for his activism

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Jason Fahie set out to become an educator, because, as he saw it, “What better thing could I do with my life than become a teacher?”

As he advanced in his career as a health and physical education teacher in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, Fahie realized there was another important role he could play on behalf of his students–that of activist. He stepped up to become a leader in his local association, holding several elected positions. He also began volunteering his time to make calls and knock on doors for local and national pro-public education candidates.

“Education is political—there is no way around it,” Fahie told EducationVotes. “We elect the people who have a say in how much money goes to our school district, or if we will get a raise. I’m 33, and I’m trying to get my peers to see what the older generation knows: Whether or not you like politics, educators must stand up and be heard.”

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Maryland educator and activist Jason Fahie.

Jason Fahie was selected by his peers as the 2016 NEA Political Activist of the Year during the NEA Representative Assembly, a gathering of more than 7,000 educators from across the nation that took place in Washington, D.C., last week.

Fahie was chosen from among five other finalists for the depth of his political activism over the past year. All of the finalists were recognized for their work to elect pro-public education candidates or raise awareness of critical public education issues.

Most recently, Fahie has been active in the new “Raise Anne Arundel” campaign, which calls on elected officials to support all of Anne Arundel County’s public schools and the educators who power them. Through phone calls and texts, Fahie helped organize hundreds of members to fill an auditorium and hold signs in support of schools during a critical budget hearing.

“It was great to see people in our county come together and realize that if we want our voices heard, we simply have to be present when decisions are being made that affect our schools,” said Fahie.

“It seems that we’re starting a wave of activism in our county.”

Find out more about Jason Fahie and the five other outstanding nominees for the 2016 NEA Political Activist of the Year award.

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