Kathy A. Chavez

Kathy Chavezq

AFT Vice President

Kathy Chavez is president of the Albuquerque Educational Assistants Association (AEAA) and executive vice president of AFT New Mexico.

Chavez began her career as a bus driver. From 1979 to 1981, she worked with medically fragile children at Casa Angelica. From 1981 to 1997, she worked helping children with severe cognitive and physical disabilities as an educational assistant in Albuquerque's Mark Twain Elementary School. While at Mark Twain, Chavez joined the Albuquerque Educational Assistants Association and served as a building representative for the union.

Chavez became AFT New Mexico's vice president for paraprofessionals and school-related personnel (PSRP) in 1990 and in 1995, she became executive vice president for AEAA. In 1998, she was elected AEAA's president.

In 1995, Chavez was elected executive vice president of AFT New Mexico. She has served as an AFT vice president since 2004.

Among Chavez's many accomplishments is the passage of New Mexico House Bill 304. Chavez lobbied for the measure, which establishes a minimum pay plan for educational assistants and is linked to NCLB's requirements. The bill was approved by the New Mexico Legislature and was signed into law by Governor Bill Richardson in March 2004.

Chavez is a recipient of the 2004 Albert Shanker PSRP Pioneer Award. She serves on the AFT PSRP program and policy council and is a member of the AFT's task force on NCLB, the AFT organizing committee, and the board of trustees of the New Mexico Federation of Labor, AL-CIO.