Gail Rasmussen of Eagle Point has been named president of the Oregon Education Association, the first classified employee and first African-American to serve in the OEA's highest office.

Gail Rasmussen of Eagle Point has been named president of the Oregon Education Association, the first classified employee and first African-American to serve in the OEA's highest office.

Rasmussen was elected during the OEA's annual representative assembly Saturday in Portland. Hanna Vaandering, a Beaverton physical education specialist, was elected vice president. Both will assume their two-year terms in July 2009.

Rasmussen has served two terms as OEA vice president, first elected to the office in 2005. Before that, she worked in the Eagle Point School District for 18 years, starting as a receptionist at Eagle Point High School. She worked as attendance coordinator, administrative assistant to the athletic director, and coordinator of the school district's Occupational Internship Program, a joint partnership with the Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics.

In 1999, Rasmussen was named National Education Support Professional of the Year by the National Education Association.

The Oregon Education Association represents 48,000 public school employees throughout the state and is an affiliate of the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.