Lorretta Johnson Recognized as a Heroine of Education

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Lorretta JohnsonReflecting on the importance of education to "lift us up in life," U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) in his column in the current issue of the Baltimore Afro-American praises AFT executive vice president Lorretta Johnson as a heroine in the field.

"During Black History Month, we should remember (and applaud) the educators who gave us the power to succeed. Last Friday, for example, I had the privilege of personally thanking one of those heroines—a woman who exemplifies much of what we should be learning from our history," Cummings writes of Johnson.

He reviews the highlights of Johnson's career, from starting as an elementary school teacher's assistant in Baltimore in 1966 to her pioneering leadership of the Baltimore Teachers Union's paraprofessional chapter to her current post as one of the AFT's top national officers.

"Dr. Johnson never stops reminding us that the education of our children is the single most important force in building our future prosperity," Cummings writes. "We ignore her lesson at our peril."

The column appears in the Feb. 6 issue of the Baltimore Afro-American; scroll to page A-11. [Dan Gursky, Baltimore Afro-American]

February 5, 2010