Press Release

AFT Announces 2012 Everyday Heroes

For Release: 

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Lance Jones

Awardees Donate Time, Resources to Positively Impacting the Lives of Others

WASHINGTON—This week, the American Federation of Teachers announced its 2012 AFT Everyday Heroes after a nationwide nomination and voting process. Six remarkable union members will be honored at the AFT's national convention in July. One AFT member is recognized from each of the union's six divisions (representing teachers, paraprofessionals and school-related personnel, higher education staff and faculty, healthcare professionals, public employees and retirees) for going beyond his or her daily responsibilities and making a difference every day in the workplace or the community. The 2012 Everyday Heroes are:

  • A teacher from New York state who heroically responded to devastating flooding caused by Hurricane Irene.
  • A Louisiana food service manager who not only takes good care of her school's students but also those who need food and shelter in her community.
  • A college professor from Michigan who has raised more than $1 million for charities affecting countless lives worldwide.
  • A Baltimore correctional officer who protects his community and his country in his spare time as a volunteer firefighter and National Guardsman.
  • A Connecticut school nurse who fights for funding to ensure that there is one nurse in every school.
  • A retired New York state high school math teacher who raises college scholarship money for deserving students.

Twenty-seven semifinalists, selected by the AFT from a field of more than 300 nominees from across the United States, received close to 15,000 online votes from teachers, students, parents and colleagues—more than three times the 2011 vote tally. The AFT put out a call for nominations of members who go above and beyond the call of duty.
"At a time when public employees are more often demonized than admired, these awardees are a small sample of the tens of thousands of other everyday heroes who inspire and change lives in big and small ways every day of the year," said AFT President Randi Weingarten. "We salute the AFT's Everyday Heroes and all Americans who educate our nation's children, protect our communities, keep our families healthy and dedicate their lives to the service of others."

2012 AFT Everyday Hero Awardees

AFT Teachers
Martin Messner
Teacher, Schoharie High School
Schoharie (N.Y.) Teachers Association, Local 2993
Martin volunteered for and organized desperately needed relief efforts to address the damage caused by Hurricane Irene.
AFT Paraprofessionals and School-Related Personnel
Lynette Thomas
Food Service Manager, St. Martinville Primary School
St. Martin (La.) Federation of Teachers and School Employees, Local 6451
In addition to providing healthy food and inspirational activities for her school's students, Lynette's reach extends deep into her community by providing food and shelter for the less fortunate.
AFT Higher Education
Bonnie Jobe
Professor, Henry Ford Community College
Henry Ford Community College Federation of Teachers (Dearborn, Mich.), Local 1650
Since 2002, Bonnie has raised $1.3 million for various charities.
AFT Public Employees
Michael Morris
Correctional Officer, Baltimore County Department of Corrections
Baltimore County (Md.) Federation of Public Employees, Local 4883
The definition of selfless, Michael is a correctional officer as well as a volunteer firefighter and a National Guardsman who has saved lives while fighting fires in the United States and during his three tours of duty in Iraq.
AFT Healthcare
Saundra McCauley
School Nurse, Washington Elementary School
West Haven (Conn.) Federation of Teachers and School Nurses, Local 1547
As school districts eliminate school nurse positions at a time when the number of disadvantaged students is increasing, Saundra fights for funding to ensure a nurse in every public school.
AFT Retirees
Joe Satriano
Roslyn (N.Y.) Teachers Association, Local 2966
To date, Joe's foundation, the Susan Satriano Foundation, has distributed more than $130,000 in scholarships to deserving students.
For more information on AFT Everyday Heroes, visit


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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.