Penny’s candidacy was unanimously recommended by the UFT Delegate Assembly on Feb. 13.
Nominating petitions for Penny are in all schools and must be returned by March 31. The petition may be signed by regularly appointed school staff members and paraprofessionals who have joined the Teachers’ Retirement System, including supervisors.
“There is no question that our pensions are stronger and safer with Debra Penny as a trustee and member of the New York City TRS board,” fellow trustee David Kazansky said at the DA.
For 28 years, Penny was a special education and early childhood teacher on Staten Island. She became the chapter leader at PS 32 and, about 15 years ago, started working as a pension specialist in the UFT’s Staten Island borough office. She ultimately left the classroom to work as a UFT educational liaison and then as a special representative. Penny became the UFT Staten Island borough representative in September 2012.
She was elected in 2016 to serve as a TRS board teacher-member and began working in the UFT Pension Department. She was recently named to the National Association of Securities Professionals’ Wall Street Hall of Fame.
Last September, Penny was elected UFT treasurer by the union’s Executive Board. She replaced Mel Aaronson, who retired after having served as treasurer of the union since 1998.
“Debra is a respected and trusted fiduciary and advocate for our pensions,” Kazansky said. “In just three short years, she has made an indelible mark on the pension world in New York City. She serves on multiple committees at TRS and has presented on panels throughout the country.”
Penny also received high praise from the other elected teacher-member of the board, Tom Brown, the union’s assistant treasurer.
“Debra understands her role as a trustee,” Brown said. “Her dedication to ensure benefits for our retirees and our future retirees remains strong. She is a defender of public defined-benefit pensions.”