Saturday, April 2, 2016

MORE/New Action Middle School Candidates

Middle schools have been a somewhat dead zone in UFT elections. The vote totals for both Unity and the opposition have been minuscule. The opposition won these 5 seats back in 1991 for the only time in UFT history. Can it happen again this time?

In past elections we didn't always have an easy time gathering candidates and petition signatures. But this time it was fairly easy - I believe we got close to 200 signatures, double what we needed.

I don't know all the candidates well and met Andrea and Rob only once or twice. Richard is an old colleague of James Eterno and I saw him at the DA recently.

Francesca has been a core MORE and Dermott Myrie, whom I only met in the past few months, has become very active in the election campaign and hopefully will remain involved in MORE in the future.


Richard Covelli

I.S. 25

Richard is a Math Teacher at I.S. 25 in Queens and is also a UFT delegate.  He believes teaching as a profession has become politicized to the point where young people out of high school are deciding on another career avenue.  Teaching needs to be restored as a noble and worthwhile choice.  Educators as a stakeholder group have had little or no input on important issues like learning standards and evaluations.  The very fabric of public education is being challenged by those who are not in the field.  The sanctity of public schools needs to be restored.


Rob Diefenbach

I.S. 230

Rob has been teaching middle school for 13 years. He teaches band and music at I.S. 230 in Jackson Heights, Queens. Rob is excited to be a part of MORE’s revolution within the UFT.


Francesca Gomes

New Voices MS 443

Francesca has been teaching Humanities for 15 years at New Voices Middle School in Brooklyn.  She has worked closely with three chapter leaders at her school and served as her school’s UFT Delegate for several terms.  However, she feels the past several contracts have been gradually eroding our rights, and the Unity Caucus leadership is responsible for negotiating and pressing UFT members to accept them as “the best we can do.”  Francesca believes that only through collective, democratically-decided action can the UFT regain the ability to protect members, students, and families and work to truly address the problems in public education today.


Andrea McManus

I.S. 230

Andrea McManus is in her 13th year teaching middle school Social Studies. She is the delegate at I.S. 230 in Jackson Heights, Queens. Andrea has experience teaching diverse groups of students including English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities.


Dermott Myrie

M.S. 391

Myrie is a UFT Delegate and Social Studies teacher at M.S. 391 in the Bronx.  He believes that for too long, teachers, students, and schools have been valued based on standardized test scores, and it is time to say “stop”. Myrie joined MORE because of its mission and vision of social justice activism and because MORE is fighting back against standardized tests. He has spoken to many educators about their working conditions and has heard their call for change, and he believes that the New Action/MORE UFT slate for this year’s election can provide a voice to voiceless members.

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