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Harrison Teacher Is First Woman Elected President Of State's Largest Union

(From L to R) Martin Messner, Secretary-Treasurer; Catalina Fortino, Vice President; Karen Magee, President; Andrew Pallotta, Executive Vice President; Paul Pecorale, Vice President. Photo Credit: New York State United Teachers
Video Credit: New York State United Teachers

HARRISON, N.Y. – A Harrison teacher was named the first-ever woman president of the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), the state’s largest union, this past weekend.

Karen Magee, who was also the first woman to receive the Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body Labor Award, succeeds Richard Iannuzzi. He served as president since 2005.

A majority of nearly 3,000 union delegates elected Magee, along with her slate of officers. She will serve a three-year term.

The 30-year educator is the current president of the Harrison Association of Teachers and an elementary school teacher in the Harrison Central School District.

"Our team stands for change and our work begins now," Magee said. "That includes taking on the tough fights and communicating clearly with decision makers at every level. We will be the voice they cannot ignore. We will defend public education and public service. Period.”

Magee said a record-breaking number of delegates voted in the election, which “has revitalized NYSUT.” In the weeks ahead, she and her team of officers will travel the state to call on "each and every member to BE the union, as we unite for change."

This commitment and passion will carry us forward into a new generation of activism,” she said.

Magee is a member of the NYSUT board of directors and its Policy Council, and is an elected representative to the New York State Teachers' Retirement System. NYSUT has more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care and is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.

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