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Vote Now for Your AFT Everyday Hero

Cast your vote now for your favorite AFT Everyday Hero for 2014!

Everyday Heroes

Semifinalists from each AFT division have been chosen, representing teachers, PSRPs, higher education staff and faculty, public employees, healthcare professionals, early childhood educators and retirees.

Read about fellow members who epitomize the spirit of public service, camaraderie and compassion, and inspire us all to reclaim the promise in our chosen fields and in our communities. Then, vote for one Everyday Hero from each constituency group. Voting is open through April 20.

The semifinalist who gets the most votes in each division will be named his or her division’s 2014 Everyday Hero and will be honored at this year’s AFT convention.

AFT Teachers

Julie Ahern
Teacher, Andrew Cooke Magnet School, Waukegan, Ill.
Lake County Federation of Teachers, Local 504

Tara Haddad
Teacher, Edsel Ford High School, Dearborn, Mich.
Dearborn Federation of Teachers, Local 681

James V. Holcombe, Jr.
Teacher, J.E.B. Stuart High School, Falls Church, Va.
Fairfax County Federation of Teachers, Local 2401

Alan Pogel
Teacher, Niagara Wheatfield High School, Sanborn, N.Y.
Niagara-Wheatfield Teachers Association, Local 2871

Douglas Sullivan
Teacher, Frost Middle School, Lawrence, Mass.
Lawrence Teachers’ Union, Local 1019

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  Vote now

AFT Paraprofessionals and School-Related Personnel

Victoria Arabanos
Academic Behavior Support Specialist,  Plymouth Middle School,
Plymouth, Minn.
Robbinsdale Federation of Teachers, Local 872

June Blackwell
Head Custodian, North Eugene High School, Eugene, Ore.
Oregon School Employees Association, Local 6732, Chapter 1

Richie Pawlak
Computer Programmer, Morton College, Cicero, Ill.
Cook County College Teachers Union, Local 1600

Maria Silva
Bilingual Liaison, Lincoln High School, Tacoma, Wash.
Tacoma Federation of ParaEducators, Local 461

Maureen "Reenie" Sperka
Special Education Paraprofessional, Old Quarry Middle School, St. Lemont, Ill.
AFT Local 604


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AFT Higher Education

Kathe Burick
Instructor, City College of San Francisco
City College of San Francisco Faculty Union, AFT Local 2121

Karen White
Working Families Program Director, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, N.J.
Union of Rutgers Administrators-AFT, Local 1766

Krystal Woolston
Assistant Director of Service Learning and Community Engagement, Montclair State University, Montclair, N.J.
Montclair State Faculty, Professional Staff and Librarians , Local 1904

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  Vote now

AFT Public Employees

Jim Cardin
Manufacturing Technology Department Head, Windham Technical High School,
Willimantic, Conn.
State Vocational Federation of Teachers, Local 4200A

Matt Collette
Life Skills Trainer, Life Skills & Transition Center, Grafton, N.D.
North Dakota Public Employees, Local 4660

Dawn Thomas
Application Architect for Systems Integration (Information Technology), University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Conn.
University Health Professionals, Local 3837

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AFT Healthcare

Linda Burbank
Registered Nurse, St. Joseph Medical Center, Tacoma, Wash.
Washington State Nurses Association, Local 5901

Maureen Knowles
School Nurse, Scott High School, Toledo, Ohio
Toledo Federation of Teachers, Local 250

Emily Lewis
Registered Nurse, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio
Ohio Nurses Association, Local 5903

Sherri Lukes
Dental Hygienist and Associate Professor, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Ill.
Illinois Dental Hygienists’ Association, Local 5124

Lisa D’Abrosca
Stephanie Johnson
Harry Rodriguez
Presidents, AFT Connecticut Locals 5049, 5051 and 5123
Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, New London, Conn.

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Early Childhood Educators

Maria Alamo
Paraeducator, Marshall School, Hempstead, N.Y.
Hempstead Teaching Assistants Association, Local 4664

Mackenzie Childers
Teacher, Martin Luther King Center, Charleston, W.Va.
AFT-Kanawha, Local 4444

Connie Guzman
Teacher, Hawaiian Elementary School, Hawaiian Gardens, Calif.
ABC Federation of Teachers, Local 2317

Traci Hill
Teacher, Prairie Hill School, South Beloit, Ill.
Prairie Hill Federation of Teachers, Local 4423

Susan Panchak
Special Education Paraeducator, Bush Early Education Center, Wilmington, Del.
The Federation, Local 762 (Brandywine School District Paraeducators)

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AFT Retirees

Jack Devine
Retired Teacher, Wappinger Falls, N.Y.
Wappingers Congress of Retired Teachers, Local 1989

Barbara Kaste
Retired PSRP, Port St. Lucie, Fla.
St. Lucie County Classroom Teachers Association and Classified Unit, Local 3616

Carol Keiser
Retired Teacher, Pawtucket, R.I.
Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals, Local 8037R

Mary Reid
Retired Public Employee, Bay Shore, N.Y.
New York State Public Employees Federation, Retirees Chapter, Local 4053

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  Vote now