Press Release

AFT National Officers Mourn Death of Founding St. Thomas-St. John Federation of Teachers President and Former AFT Vice President Hugo Dennis Jr.

For Release:


Alexis Lopez

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, Secretary-Treasurer Fedrick Ingram and Executive Vice President Evelyn DeJesus issued the following statement on the death of Hugo Dennis Jr., founding president of the St. Thomas-St. John Federation of Teachers and a former AFT vice president:

“A labor leader, an educator and a man deeply devoted to public service—for decades, Hugo dedicated his life to serving and advocating for the working families of the U.S. Virgin Islands. He was a pioneer in bringing the agency and activism of our movement to the islands, and his commitment to ensuring people’s voices were heard endeared him to everyone he encountered. As the founding president of the St. Thomas-St. John Federation of Teachers and the Central Labor Council of the Virgin Islands, and as a senator in the Legislature of the Virgin Islands, Hugo changed the lives of countless working people, helping ensure their jobs were respected and they had access to opportunities to build better lives for their families.

“Today and every day, we celebrate Hugo’s legacy. We send our deepest condolences to his family, friends and all who loved him. He was a once-in-a-generation leader who found great joy and camaraderie in bringing people together. His tenacity will never be forgotten.”

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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.