Nordgren challenged one-term incumbent Rob Panning-Miller, soundly defeating him by a vote of 952 (67 percent) to 457 (32 percent).
Two years ago, Panning-Miller was the challenger who defeated incumbent Louise Sundin, 22-year Local 59 president, by winning 56 percent of the vote.
Nordgren served previously on the MFT executive board for 12 years. She ran as the head of a 11-person slate of candidates which won four of the five officer positions and six of nine executive board positions (only one slate member failed to win election, losing an executive board seat).
Local 59\'s educational support professionals also elected a new president for their unit. Linnea Hackett defeated incumbent Dale Pomeroy in a close 86-84 vote. Hackett had been serving as first vice president of the ESP unit.
Local 59\'s latest contract, approved under threat of a state deadline in January, likely contributed to the leadership turnover. The percentage of teachers voting "yes" on the contract, the union reported then, was the lowest level of support for a contract proposal since 1999.
Incoming president Nordgren, who lives in north Minneapolis, has worked for the Minneapolis Public Schools for 31 years. She served 17 years as a teacher in the classroom, teaching regular classes, special education, and gifted students. For the past 14 years, she has been on special assignment working with peer assistance and review, professional development, and alternative compensation.
"I\'ve really been carrying out union work through my district position," Nordgren said.
"I ran on teachers’ voices being heard, garnering the respect they deserve."
Nordgren takes office as the school board recently announced a campaign for a $60 million school levy referendum for this fall.
"Public schools are the cornerstone of any community," Nordgren said. "Our whole community needs to start getting behind public schools in Minneapolis."
Steve Share edits the Labor Review, the official publication of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. Visit the federation\'s website, www.minneapolisunions.org
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Learn more about Lynn Nordgren at her website, www.lynnforpresident.org