PRINCE WILLIAM EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
8510 Bucyrus Ct
Manassas, VA 20110
P (703) 361-2444
F (703) 361-2178
Reuben Adams is a Teacher of Students with Learning Disabilities, primarily working with students in social studies and language arts classes at Freedom HS. A career switcher, he previously worked for a decade in the juvenile justice system in Alexandria. While substitute teaching, a department chair noted that Reuben worked well with students that most teachers could not. She recommended that he apply for a position at her school that was about to post. Reuben's response? "I LOVE working with kids so I applied. Although I was not an education major, they hired me, put me on a provisional contract, and I've been in the classroom ever since!"
Reuben was recruited to serve as an Association Leader by one of PWEA's outstanding UniServ directors. (This professional staffer had provided assistance when Reuben was experiencing a personnel issue at school.) "I'm almost ashamed to say that although we have over 60 members, there was not much of a PWEA presence in my building. Honestly, we would get a few things in our mailboxes every now and then, but other than that, no mention of the association whatsoever. Members in my building have told me they really appreciate what I've done in my role as building rep. They say they now feel (and I do, too!) a part of something larger, whereas before that was not the case."
Outside of work, Reuben and his wife, a school social worker and PWEA member, have three children. The eldest will be a sophomore at Howard University in the fall, while the younger two are enrolled in PWC high schools. In addition, he currently coaches football at Woodbridge Senior HS and in PWC has coached (in addition to football) both girls basketball and girls tennis. In 2011, he was the Cardinal District Tennis Coach of the Year. In recognition of his accomplishments, Reuben has been inducted into the Howard University Athletic Hall of Fame!
Reuben has recently attended a variety of PWEA, VEA, and NEA conferences and workshops. When asked which was his favorite, he responded, "First of all, I was never aware that I could attend any training through the association. Now that I have, every event I've attended has been phenomenal! The NEA Minority Leadership Training I attended in October 2015 really opened my eyes as to the intensity of the work that we do in PWEA. The energy and passion of the people I worked with really had a big impact on me. It was a blueprint of what to expect as a member of the convention delegation. But to answer the question, I have to say that at this time, as a new building rep, the Reggie Smith Organizing School I just attended will be the most useful. I attended the Super Rep training strand, inviting two additional members from my school to attend with me. I am confident that after we speak to our staff next month, we will likely have the largest membership EVER at my school! The strategies we learned at Reggie Smith will really be helpful in how to approach/recruit non-members and also how to engage and get our present members involved. At Reggie Smith we gave a presentation and eventually applied for a VEA TOP ("Targeted Organizing Project") Grant for a creative bulletin board to attract new members, and we got it funded!"