Jane Russell was elected to another three-year term as Secretary-Treasurer at the IFT’s 2019 Convention. As a union member and educator since 1972, she has been a staunch advocate for both students and working men and women for more than four decades.

Now retired, Russell taught honors chemistry for 34 years at Leyden Community High School, where she also served as the Chair of the Science Department. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and holds a B.S. in Chemistry and an M.S. in Secondary Education.

A committed union activist, Russell has been the President of the 5,700-member West Suburban Teachers Union, Local 571, since 1995, and served in other leadership capacities in the local beginning in 1982. She also served as a Vice President on the IFT Executive Board from 1998 until her election as IFT Secretary-Treasurer. During her tenure on the Board, she was a member of the Executive and Budget Committees, and Chair of both the Audit and P-20 Educational Policy Committees.

Russell’s dedication to the labor movement extends beyond the IFT. Since 2010, she has also served as Secretary of the North Central Illinois Labor Council, a member of the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL), and a delegate to the Illinois AFL-CIO Convention.

She is truly passionate about the labor movement, and her work has not gone unnoticed. Russell is a two-time recipient of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Living the Legacy Award (2004, 2014) and was recently named the 2015 Woman of the Year by the CFL.

She is equally dedicated to education and teaching, and is extensively involved with educational policy at the state level. Russell currently serves as an appointed member on the Illinois P-20 Council and Professional Review Panel.

Jane is the mother of adult twins, Katie and Kent. She resides in Rolling Meadows, Ill.