Nellie graduated from Smith College in 2002 with a BA in Computer Science. She then spent 5 years working as a Systems Administrator, teaching, coaching, and living in a dormitory with Junior girls at Deerfield Academy. After getting a large dose of private boarding school life, Nellie returned to Smith and earned her M.A.T. in Secondary Mathematics in 2008. Public school teaching was always a professional goal for her and upon earning her MA Secondary Teaching License, Nellie spent 13 years teaching all levels of high school Mathematics at Easthampton High School. She joined the UMass Labor Center in January 2022.
In addition to high school teaching, Nellie has also served in multiple union roles through her Easthampton local (EEA) and the Massachusetts Teacher's Association (MTA). Initially, Nellie began union work as a building representative and a Political Action Leader for EEA before becoming President in 2017. Nellie served as EEA President for 4 years, leading coalition bargaining around health insurance for all employees of the city of Easthampton in 2017 and open bargaining for EEA through the COVID-19 crisis. She trained and empowered members to organize and take ownership of the local, solidifying their willingness to push back against administration on climate and policy issues. Nellie is deeply committed to and consistently works toward building rank-and-file power in unions.
With several other presidents of preK-12 locals in western, MA and MTA organizer support, Nellie helped launch the Western Mass Educator Action Network (WeMEAN) in 2018 to facilitate solidarity actions across locals in the region.
At the state level, as an active MTA member, Nellie has attended MTA Annual Meeting of Delegates since 2015, attended the MTA NextGen Leadership Training in 2017 and served on the MTA Board of Directors from 2019-2022. Nellie has also served, and currently serves on several MTA committees such as
- LGBTQ Committee
- Government Relations Committee
- New Presidents Academy Planning Team
- COVID SOS Advisory panel
- Name Change Task Force
Nellie is also active in local politics, working as a campaign staffer/manager for several candidates and contributing to ballot initiatives. She works routinely with MTA Grassroots Organizing staff on statewide campaigns doing voter outreach and speaking or MCing at community organizing events.
Now as a member of the Professional Staff Union at UMass Amherst (PSU/MTA), Nellie is co-coordinating the launch of an organizing committee.