Arkanas Education Association appoints interim executive director after Tracey-Ann Nelson steps down as teacher leader.

Liz Picone, a teacher organization staffer for 28 years in several states, has been chosen as the acting executive director of the Arkansas Education Association.

Picone’s appointment follows the recent resignation of Tracey-Ann Nelson, who had served in the leadership role since 2015. Nelson became executive director of the Oregon Education Association.

Picone will lead the Arkansas Teachers and Support Staff Union for up to eight months while the association’s board of directors searches for a new director, according to an announcement from the association regarding the nomination.

Picone is described as an experienced organizational specialist, having served National Education Association members across the country. She has worked in over 35 states participating in membership drives, political campaigns, leadership development and staff coaching.

In Wednesday’s announcement, Picone said she plans to immediately focus on growing Arkansas association memberships.

“Arkansas teachers and education support professionals are at the heart of everything we do and the source of AEA’s power,” Picone said. “Our members enable us to provide professional development programs, educator support, and advocacy for students and educators locally and nationally.”

Picone taught orchestra in Texas public schools for 13 years before beginning his nonprofit career. She graduated from the University of Kansas and Eastern Illinois University, according to the announcement. She is a graduate of the Harvard Trade Union program.

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