LeRoy Barr is the UFT's secretary and also serves as staff director, overseeing the daily operation of the union’s extensive field organization and both the pedagogical and non-pedagogical staff at its central office. He received his bachelor’s degree in finance from Howard University and his master’s in education from Hunter College, where he was inducted into the Hunter College Hall of Fame in the spring of 2015.
As staff director, LeRoy plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the union operates at the highest caliber and that its chapter leaders, Executive Board members and delegates to the conventions of the union's state and national affiliates have the resources and training necessary to advocate successfully for the union’s members.
LeRoy began his teaching career in 1992 as a 5th-grade teacher and math specialist at PS 154 in Harlem. The school, struggling to meet state standards, was placed on a watch list and selected for inclusion in the Chancellor’s District to receive intensive academic intervention and supports. LeRoy was PS 154’s chapter leader and in that role worked with school leaders and staff to orchestrate an impressive turnaround. PS 154 was ultimately removed from the watch list and became a national model for successful schools. LeRoy was tapped to become a regional representative for the Chancellor’s District, serving as the union’s point person for the district citywide.
LeRoy also chaired the AFT Black Caucus, helping to raise more than $20,000 that went to providing information about the AIDS epidemic to educators in Africa. He currently serves on the NYSUT Board of Directors and is a member of the AFT Black Caucus’ state chapter, the African Heritage Committee and the AFT Latino Caucus, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and the National Education Association. He completed advanced labor union leadership training at the Union Leadership Institute at Cornell University.
LeRoy has received numerous honors from both the union and civil rights organizations, including the Pioneer Award from the AFT Black Caucus, the Trailblazer Award from the UFT’s African Heritage Committee and, in 2012, and the Black Heritage Brotherhood Award from the New York Branch of the NAACP.