Member Spotlight: Meghan Durkee

Get to know Meghan Durkee, who is President of the Woodbridge Education Association (WEA) and an educator at Phyllis Wheatley Elementary School.  WEA represents over nearly 250 teachers, specialists, and education support professionals across the district's four schools.

 ... on why she chose a career in public education

"I chose a career in education because I knew I wanted to make a difference in the lives of children. My family was a foster home for many children over the course of several years. This experience taught me that a positive role model in a child’s life is invaluable and can change the trajectory of a child’s life, and I decided that becoming a teacher was the best way I could make a difference."


... on how she first got involved with her union

"Honestly, I joined right out of college without really knowing anything about the union or what they have to offer. As the years went on I learned that the union fought for our salary increases, our time, and helped support initiatives that support our students."


... on why she became a local leader for her union

"The monumental changes in education that occurred during Covid peaked my interest in what was happening at a union level. I wanted to stay on top of what decisions were being made at a state level and how those decisions were affecting local schools. I also got involved with the local school board campaign. From there I became a building representative, followed by president."


... on how public education has changed for the better

"The MTSS process has really improved over the course of my career. We now take more of a whole child approach when determining how to help struggling students. By looking at academics, behavior, social and emotional challenges, and bringing a variety of stakeholders to the table, we are able to provide a more individualized plan to help students succeed." 


... on what public education needs to fix going forward

"Teacher burnout and teacher retention is an issue that we have to fix. There is more on teacher’s plates now than there ever has been. We need to value their time, provide the support they need, pay teachers more, and hire and keep effective teachers in the profession. Ultimately, our kids deserve the best. We can’t give them the best without providing the best teachers possible.


... on what she wants potential members to know

"Ask questions about what your local union has done for you lately. Think about becoming a part of your local in order to help support the initiatives and improvements that you benefit from."


... on what she wants current members to know

"First, thank you for being a part of the WEA. The union is not just one person or leadership team. It is everyone collectively. With that being said, speak up when something doesn’t seem fair or right. Be involved with the local district and learn what board member candidates are fighting for. Go to board meetings or read the minutes to learn what the district is supporting and who is supporting it. Lean on the union for support when you need it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help."