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Special Education Staff

Blue hexagon with symbol of a bar and text reading "Raise the Bar" representing UFT Special Education Committee

Emma Mendez

A Queens native, Emma began her career in education in 1997 as a guidance counselor and college and career advisor for both general and special education students at Brooklyn's Grady Career and Technical Education High School. During her eight years at Grady, Emma became a union delegate and new teacher liason; she was also a member of the School Leadership Team and the school's PTA. It was at Grady that she developed her passion for both career and technical education and for working with special education students.

Between 2005 and 2009, Emma served as a related service provider and academic advisor for special education students at the High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology, also in Brooklyn. She was elected the school's chapter leader in February 2007 and also joined the UFT Guidance Counselor Chapter's executive board as a member-at-large during her tenure at the school. At the same time, Emma pursued her interest in CTE, working as a part-time staffer in the UFT's Office of Career and Technical Education under then-vice president Michael Mulgrew.

Since leaving Telecommunication Arts and Technology in 2009, Emma has worked full-time at the UFT, serving as a liason to the Office of Special Education. Her primary responsibility is to make sure that services for special education students in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island are, in fact, provided. She is knowledgeable on all special education compliance issues and is interested in promoting opportunities and support for special education students in career and technical education. She is particularly passionate about the role of the related service counselor in assisting special education students with the transition from high school to college or the workforce.

Emma is also the high school vice chair of the union's Guidance Counselor Chapter.

Liz Truly