author

Suzanne Popadin

UFT staff reporter

Latest stories

Legacy of a ‘long, hard journey’

More than 1,000 UFT members and guests — including James Geigel, his immigrant grandparents Angelina and Modesto Hernandez and his mother Nitza Hernandez — all paras or paras who became teachers — packed the New York Hilton's Grand Ballroom to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the chapter.

She sees herself in her students

Maritza Vasquez, a teacher at the Academy for Language and Technology in the Bronx, sees a lot of herself in her 9th-grade immigrant students. She said she’s able to relate “to everything they are feeling” because at one time she felt the same way. “I tell them I was a newcomer myself.”

A paragon of activism

As paraprofessionals celebrate 50 years in the UFT, members can thank Velma Hill, the chapter’s founder and first chair, for leading the charge to uplift paras and their communities by transforming their job into a secure union career.


‘Nothing to prove anymore’

More than 70 CTE educators — and the success of career and technical education in city public schools — were celebrated at the UFT’s 2019 Career and Technical Education Awards Ceremony on Feb. 8 at UFT headquarters in lower Manhattan. 


Climbing the career ladder

For many low-income workers, the most formidable barrier to higher-paying, more stable jobs is the cost of a college education.
That barrier is scaled by the UFT Paraprofessional Chapter’s career ladder, officially called the Career Training Program, a benefit fought for and won by the UFT in the first DOE-UFT paraprofessional contract in 1969.

Bronx Global charter joins UFT

Employees at the Bronx Global Learning Institute for Girls, a charter school, voted unanimously on Nov. 26 to join the UFT.


Para pride

Activist Velma Hill and UFT founder Albert Shanker had crossed paths in the civil rights movement. So when Hill, armed with a master’s in education from Harvard, decided she wanted to organize paraprofessionals, she approached Shanker in 1968.

In his class, learning equals fun and games

A five-year veteran of Major League Lacrosse, Kieran McArdle is a first-year K–5 physical education teacher at PS 48 in upper Manhattan and the embodiment of what the city’s Department of Education hopes to achieve with PE Works.

Paras get due process, extra $$ compensation

The tentative DOE-UFT contract announced on Oct. 11 features important improvements for paraprofessionals, including job protections like due process rights similar to those of teachers.

Fountain flows with UFT’s help

With the UFT’s help, a problem at the International HS at Prospect Heights is now water under the bridge and a state-of-the-art water station is making a big splash.

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