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Terry Herndon, executive director of the National Education Association, has announced his resignation effective May 31, 1983.

After eight years in the group's top administrative position, the 43-year-old Mr. Herndon told the nea board of directors late last month that he wants to try something new.

"I am dedicated to this organization," he said "but for 15 years of my relatively short life I have made every personal decision on the basis of nea's needs...I don't want to do that for the rest of my life."

A spokesman for the association said that Mr. Herndon's resignation did not signal any change in policies or political direction for the nea,e of the country's biggest unions and its largest teachers' group.

Under Mr. Herndon's leadership, the organization has grown from 1.4 million members to nearly 1.8 million. It also has developed considerable political influence and was a major force behind the cre3ation of the U.S. Department of Education.

Mr. Herndon's five-year, $80,000-a-year contract with the nea does not expire until spring 1984, but the executive committee agreed to let him leave earlier. He said he has no specific plans for a new career.

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