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Union Leadership Reelected Unanimously at IFT "Power Forward!" Convention

10/23/2013
Dan Montgomery to serve as President of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, new VIDEO released

WESTMONT – Delegates at the Illinois Federation of Teachers Convention this weekend unanimously reelected Daniel J. Montgomery (President), Karen GJ Lewis (Executive Vice President), and Marcia Campbell (Secretary-Treasurer) to serve new three-year terms. The trio of leaders were first elected to serve as Officers in 2010 and previously served on the IFT Executive Board and in other local leadership positions.

The IFT also premiered a new video which shares its title with the convention theme – "Power Forward!" The video features members from across Illinois who, amidst great challenges, are pursuing the statewide union's four strategic priorites: to champion public education and services, advocate for a fair economy, forge community alliances, and engage younger members.

"It's an honor to represent the teachers, support staff, higher education faculty, and public employees who serve Illinois families every day, and I'm humbled to have their trust to lead our union," said IFT President Dan Montgomery.  "Between cuts to public education to brazen efforts to strip us of our fundamental rights, we have faced enormous challenges that threatened our ability to stand up for students. But the tide is turning, and this weekend IFT delegates recommitted themselves to building on victories and harnessing their collective power with a renewed sense of unity, energy, and unmistakable focus.  I am inspired by our members and will work as tirelessly for them as they do for our communities."

The Chicago Blackhawks' national anthem singer, Jim Cornelison, kicked off the triennial event on a high note for more than 500 delegates and guests in attendance. The convention featured numerous programs and engaging guest speakers including U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten, author John Nichols, Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan, Chicago Federation of Labor President Jorge Ramirez, and more.

Delegates also elected 40 members to serve as Vice Presidents on the Executive Board. Along with the three officers, these leaders from across the state will set policy and guide the organization's work. The full list of 2013-2016 Executive Board members is available here.

The 2013 IFT Convention was held at the InterContinental O'Hare Hotel in Rosemont, IL from October 18-20. More information is available on the IFT website.

President Dan Montgomery has worked tirelessly on behalf of public education and the rights of working men and women for more than two decades. In addition to being a union leader at the state and national levels, Montgomery is a dedicated and experienced educator who taught high school English for 18 years in Skokie, IL (Local 1274). Montgomery lives in Evanston, IL with his wife and three children.

Executive Vice President Karen GJ Lewis is President of the 30,000 member Chicago Teachers Union and led Local 1 through their widely-publicized strike in 2012. A veteran educator and National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT), she taught high school chemistry for 22 years in the Chicago Public Schools. Lewis lives in Chicago, IL with her husband, who was also a public school teacher in CPS.

Secretary-Treasurer Marcia Campbell has been an accounting specialist at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville, IL (Local 6600) for 25 years. As a long-time union leader, she has put a special emphasis on working to promote the interests of paraprofessional and school-related personnel (PSRPs). Campbell is a proud mother and grandmother and lives in O'Fallon, IL with her husband.

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