New President Elected to Lead Statewide Teachers Union

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OFT President Melissa Cropper (2nd from R), Rec. Secty. Evans, 2nd VP Black, Treas. Kessler, 1st VP Obrenski, AFL-CIO's Tim Burga.

OFT President Melissa Cropper

Melissa Cropper will be new vision, voice for Ohio Federation of Teachers

The Ohio Federation of Teachers Feb. 24 elected a full slate of new officers during the organization's 2012 annual convention held in Cincinnati. Melissa Cropper, a library media specialist, was elected to lead the statewide teachers union as its president.

Cropper hails from Georgetown along the Ohio River east of Cincinnati where she teaches in the Georgetown Exempted Village Schools. This is her 14th year teaching. She brings a strong history of leadership to the new post having served as president of the Georgetown Federation of Teachers since 2005 and as a member of the  OFT Executive Committee for the past five years.

"There's no doubt that our public employees are the fabric of our communities. Our members, ranging from  teachers to bus drivers to college professors to children services employees, and many others make a difference in the lives of the children and families they serve every day," Cropper said. "I want to support and empower our members by leading their vision and being their voice."

While president of the Georgetown Federation of Teachers, Cropper collaborated with district officials to  participate in the federal Race to the Top grant program which includes funding for reforms to improve education. She also has been an active leader in the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative,  a comprehensive approach for transformational change in rural education.

Cropper was elected to succeed Cincinnati native teacher Sue Taylor. Taylor served as OFT president since 2007 after serving six years as president of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers and 23 years teaching in Cincinnati schools.

Other officers elected to lead OFT:

• Shari Obrenski, a member of the Cleveland Teachers Union and past OFT recording secretary, was elected First Vice President.
• Lee Black, a member of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, was elected Second Vice President.
• Brian Kessler, a member of the Berea Federation of Teachers, was elected Treasurer.
• Betty Evans, a member of the Toledo Federation of Teachers, was elected Recording Secretary.

New officers were sworn in Feb. 25.

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