Two longtime educators and union activists were recognized for their commitment to the labor movement. Jeanette Pietrantoni and Elizabeth Langiulli were awarded the "Not For Ourselves Alone:" The Sandy Feldman Outstanding Leadership Award.
The lifetime achievement award recognizes the contributions of outstanding NYSUT female activists.
"Since it was introduced in 2002, this award has been presented to 10 extraordinary women," said NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira. "This year's honorees are no exception."
Pietrantoni, a retired teacher and former longtime president of the Syracuse TA, called the award an honor for her generation - the teachers and professionals whose vision and hard work created unions in New York. "They understood the benefits of unionism for themselves, their students and their communities." For a brief time in the 1960s, Pietrantoni left her New York classroom to teach in Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer. She would later continue that humanitarian mission as an AFT delegate to two international conventions.
United Federation of Teachers retiree Elizabeth Langiulli has long been guided by the belief that a union's strength lies in its chapters and locals.
A retired high school English teacher, Langiulli served as one of the first female high school chapter leaders in New York City. After serving as a UFT district rep, Langiulli was appointed a Queens borough rep by then-UFT President Feldman. Langiulli called Feldman a woman of courage. "She never wavered in her belief that a quality education was the way for students to achieve a better life. I shared that belief and I am both honored and humbled to receive this award."
Pietrantoni and Langiulli, who served as directors on the NYSUT Board, both recognized the work of other union pioneers.
The award commemorates Feldman, who died in 2005 after a long and valiant fight against breast cancer.