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Teacher Union Day 2021 Honorees

Teacher Union Day commemorates the 1960 strike that put the newly-formed UFT on the path to being the activist organization that it is today. On this day, we honor the past leaders who inspire us and celebrate our present leaders who continue in their footsteps by keeping the union strong through their activism and dedication. 

You can attend this year's celebration virtually by registering online. 

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2021 Honorees

Charles Cogen Award
For outstanding service to the union rendered by a veteran leader
Ellie Engler

Jules Kolodny Award
Given to an individual who has shown outstanding leadership and commitment to the trade union movement with years of leadership yet to be fulfilled
Tina Puccio

David Wittes Award
Given to a person or a group that has shown outstanding courage, dedication and commitment to the ideals of the UFT
Jackie Bennett

Audrey Chasen Award 
Given in memory of Audrey Chasen, a former teacher mentor in the New York City public schools
Jamel Holmes

Sidney Harris Award 
Given to an outstanding leader in the area of special education
Kerry Yefet

Backer-Scheintaub Award 
Given to honor the lives of Gerald Backer and Mildred Scheintaub by encouraging potential new teacher union leaders
The entire UFT Health & Safety Department

Marsh/Raimo Award 
Given in recognition of political action
Karen Davis
Zelideth Diaz
Gregory Monte
Raphael G. Tomkin
Anne Wine
Retiree Political Activists

Albert Lee Smallheiser Award 
This award recognizes the work of educators who strive to improve the working conditions of their colleagues
Patricia Crispino
Leo Gordon
Matt Kirwan
Mitchell Klages-Bombich
Seung Lee
Alain Metellus
Susan Perez
Rana Quamina
Daniel Rodriguez
Joseph Surpris

Ely Trachtenberg Award — Awarded to outstanding chapter leaders