CTU officially announces new team

Fresh from an upset in which the activist CORE slate beat the machine of Union politics the UPC and Marilyn Stewart to run the Chicago Teachers Union, the new leadership and its staff have been announced on the revamped website.

The new elected officers who will be sworn in at the September 15, 2010 House of Delegates meeting this Wednesday are president Karen Lewis, vice president Jesse Sharkey, recording secretary Michael Brunson, and financial secretary Kristine Mayle.

The entire interim team at the CTU, which president Lewis announced after the election at a CORE meeting was named to assure a smooth transition until interviews were conducted and the best candidates selected (over 200 applied according to the CTU), have all been hired on as full-time Union employees.

They include Jackson Potter, staff coordinator; Sara Echevarria, field service director; Liz Brown, media relations; Kenzo Shibata, member communications; Carol Caref, QUEST center coordinator; Norine Gutekanst, organizing coordinator and Michael Harrington, director of union operations in the office of the president.

The new administrative staff hired after the interviewing process was completed about a month ago include active CORE members Nate Goldbaum, member communications; Alix Guevara-Gonzalez, organizer; Lois Jones, part-time grievance writer; John Kugler, city-wide member services; Annette Rizzo, health and benefits coordinator; and Linda Newsome, part-time grievance writer.

There were two new staff members from the CSDU party of Ted Dallas, who was fired as vice president of the CTU under Stewart, including Antoinette Barnes (who helped organize the displaced teachers) and Jose Jimenez (who ran as recording secretary on the CSDU slate). Both named part-time grievance writers.

A few new names hired included Matthew Luskin, organizer; Karl Hubert, Track E coordinator; and Eric Kutz, part-time grievance writer.

The following staff have been currently retained from the UPC, including Michael Baldwin, financial officer; Lue Esther Jackson, office manager, Audrey May, secretary to the president and Lynn Cherkasky-Davis, assistant coordinator, national board certification initiative and teacher quality.

The following field representatives are still employed who were hired under the former UPC leadership and have contracts until 2011: they include teacher field reps Marsha Allen, Gregg Cox, Nate Dickson, Ted Hajiharis, Sharon Orlowek, James Riley, and Maria Rodriguez.

The PSRP field reps include Anita Burks, and Anthony Lopez.

June Davis apparently has been changed from a PSRP field rep to a PSRP field coordinator.

Various consultants have also been hired at the Union, including Substance editor and reporter George Schmidt who is doing budget analysis on a full-time basis.

The entire CORE steering committee or leadership team is now working at the Merchandise Mart save for Jennifer Johnson, currently a teacher at Lincoln Park High School.

After this article went to press, CTU President Karen Lewis asked this reporter to make the following clarification: "The entire transition team is not working at the Union. Lois Ashford and

Jen Johnson are not. In addition, Cristel Williams, a UPC Executive Board member has been hired as an organizer. George Schmidt is not a full-time consultant. He has been hired for a limited number of hours subject to renewal."

Five new members have been elected to an expanded CORE steering committee comprised of 11 people. The five newly elected steering committee members include Jim Cavallero, Zulma Ortiz, Al Ramirez, Nate Goldbaum and George Schmidt. 


September 14, 2010 at 8:58 PM

By: Isabell Scott


Who is in charge of courage?

September 17, 2010 at 6:45 AM

By: Jean Schwab

Transition Team

The team is great! I would like to see Debbie Lynch on the team. She has the experience and has done very well at voicing staff positions on education. She would be a great person to have involved with the CTU decision making body. I'm glad that so many different people that supported Karen and her slate for the run off are now working at the CTU now.

September 17, 2010 at 4:33 PM

By: Jose M.


The CTU now has CORE and UPC (new,old, CSDU, they're all UPC) working there. There are a lot of back stabbers still there.

Where are the others that Lewis promised to include to get votes from Pact people. Why wasn't Lynch at the very least given Quest? She created it! and there are others more qualified than some of the Core people.

But that would be too democratic.

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