United Federation of Teachers
Louisa Johnston was nominated for this award because of her long devotion to UFT and NYSUT and what our union stands for. She was a chapter leader in District 3, Manhattan, who always volunteered for everything. She then transferred to work as a teacher at the School for the Deaf. As a chapter leader and delegate, Johnston never failed to support UFT's objectives and actions. She was always there with her husband, John, also a teacher unionist, at rallies, demonstrations and meetings. She was union proud and proud to be a UFTer.
As a union activist in District 3, Johnston was one of the chapter leaders who recruited, mentored and encouraged new activists. She was a long-term activist in the Jewish Labor Committee and very supportive of its role as the liaison between the Jewish community and the AFL-CIO.
When she retired, Johnston continued to be very involved in UFT. She became active in the Retired Teachers Chapter and serves on the RTC Advisory Committee. She can always be counted on to support RTC's continued fight on behalf of UFT's retirees. She takes her concerns for retirees a step further with her key support of the Alliance for Retired Americans. Going forward, she will help retirees in all ways possible, always functioning as a devoted UFTer. She has earned recognition by her very long service and sacrifice to better the lives of retirees.
Hempstead Classroom Teachers Association
After many distinguished years as president of the Hempstead Classroom TA, David Keefe retired from in-service teaching and was soon after elected as the retired teacher member of New York State Teachers' Retirement System board. He is vice president of the TRS board.
Keefe served as president of his local union for more than 30 years. An active member in NYSUT for most of his career, Keefe has attended every NYSUT Representative Assembly including the very first one ever held. There aren't too many delegates that don't recognize the face and the voice when Keefe approaches a microphone.
David Keefe is a long-time member of NYSUT's Pension and Retirement Committee. In past years, he also chaired that group. He always plays a key role on the floor of the resolutions committee and the convention, working to move NYSUT's priorities forward. As chair of the committee, he ensured that we had skilled and qualified members on the TRS board with a strong connection to NYSUT.
As the retired member of the TRS board, Keefe has made member service a top priority. He is a highly regarded and sought after speaker who travels around the state to many retiree events. He is well respected and recognized for his thorough review of material and thoughtful questioning at board meetings. He is a model for what it means to be a fiduciary.