WASHINGTON—For her unwavering commitment to her students and colleagues, Christina “Tina” Sharp, a retired teacher from Newburg, N.Y., today received an American Federation of Teachers Everyday Hero award.
Sharp retired from teaching in 1983, but her energy and “can-do” spirit wouldn’t let her rest. She served for nearly 10 years as president of NYSUT Retiree Council 43, where she took the lead in planning and organizing union activities for her fellow retirees in the state of Florida. As the leader of the council, she set up meetings with legislators to ensure retirement security for current and future retirees. She also coordinated visits from union officials, and produced conferences and workshops.
“There is so much we can do for students and teachers even after we retire from the classroom,” said Sharp, “I’m happy to have been able to help my fellow retirees realize their full potential.”
Though no longer president, Sharp is still a council delegate, actively participating in union events and meetings.
This is the second year of the AFT Everyday Hero awards, which are given to AFT members who go above and beyond the call of duty and make a difference every day in their workplaces or communities. This year, more than 350 members were nominated, and five semifinalists were selected for each AFT division (Teachers, Paraprofessionals and School-Related Personnel, Public Employees, Higher Education, Healthcare and Retirees). More than 5,000 people voted online to choose each division’s winner
The 2011 AFT Everyday Heroes are being honored at their divisional conferences. Sharp received her award today at the AFT’s TEACH conference in Washington, D.C. The other retiree semifinalists were Roger Carlstrom, AFT Washington Retiree Chapter; Rhea DeHart, Pajaro Valley (Calif.) Federation of Teachers; Bruce Norrgard, Blackduck (Minn.) Education Association; and Marlene Yospyn, Detroit Federation of Teachers.
For more information on AFT Everyday Heroes, visit www.aft.org/everydayheroes.