VP for Education
Mary Vaccaro is the UFT vice president for education. She was elected by the union’s Executive Board in September 2020. Mary, a graduate of Adelphi University, received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and her master’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, with a certificate in whole language.
A career public school educator who began teaching on the faculty of PS 180 in Manhattan’s District 3, Mary taught elementary school children for 26 years, mostly in Queens. For the past 18 years Mary brought her considerable skills to District 26’s PS/IS 266, in the Bellrose section.
Mary became a union activist driven by her passion to advance the profession by exercising member voice and vigorously advocating for the quality education her students deserved. She served as the District 26 representative for 16 years and continues serving on the UFT Executive Board and as well as a delegate to New York State United Teachers and American Federation of Teachers.
Over the years, Mary took stands against high-stakes testing, particularly in the early childhood grades, school overcrowding and unfair contracts for her members. She is especially proud of her work with parent, civic and community groups, as well as serving in a community that shares her core values: fostering educator voice, challenging students to higher achievement and welcoming parent involvement.
Mary remains involved with her sorority, Delta Gamma, and with many other community-based organizations.
A lifelong learner, Mary completed a fellowship from Bank Street College in Elementary Science Education. She continues to attend classes, workshops and lectures at colleges and universities to improve her craft.
Mary is married to Vincent Vaccaro, a teacher at Martin Van Buren HS in Queens Village and an adjunct professor at Queensborough Community College. She is the proud mother of two college-aged children, Vincent and Matthew.
UFT Vice President for Education Mary Vaccaro writes that the DOE will require the use of one of three evidence-based literacy programs grounded in phonics in all elementary schools by September 2024. The UFT Teacher Center is committed to doing everything it can to support educators as they make the transition.