NEA-Student Program Chair Herrig to Speak at SMSU

Published Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Chelsey Herrig
Chelsey Herrig

National Education Association Student Program chair Chelsey Herrig, a Southwest Minnesota State University senior, will give a talk at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 22 in the Conference Center Ballroom at SMSU.

Herrig is in her second year as the NEA-Student Program chair. She was elected in June 2014 for a two-year term.

As the Student Program chair, Herrig works full time from the NEA headquarters in Washington, D.C. to provide visibility on campuses and organize future educators. She leads the 60,000 student members, which represents 1,100 college and university chapters in 50 states.

Herrig is a Jackson, Minn., native. She has just her student teaching experience remaining before she receives her degree. She plans on returning to SMSU in the fall semester 2016 for her student teaching experience.

Herrig will be speaking to a number of education classes during her three days at SMSU.

The daughter of Kristi Herrig and Chuck Paine, she picked SMSU “because when I was growing up, everyone told me the best educators come from SMSU. I knew the program would challenge me to be the best I can be. I visited and I liked the atmosphere — I knew I belonged there.”

She travels extensively as part of her NEA-Student Program position, and has been collecting souvenirs for her future classroom. “I am certified K-8 in special education and math, but I think my heart lies with kindergartners,” she said.

Herrig has become an advocate for public service student loan forgiveness, and is a supporter of the teaching profession in general. “Why wouldn’t you want to be a teacher?” she asked. “It’s rewarding, you change the lives of students. As a member of the NEA, you will never be alone and face your challenges alone,” she said.

Her noon talk on Sept. 22 in free and open to the public.