Five NYSUT members were honored
with prestigious constituent
awards recognizing their exemplary
service to their union and community.
Retiree members of the year
Retiree members of the year Louisa
Johnston, United Federation of
Teachers, and David Keefe, Hempstead
Classroom TA, have long histories
of dedicated activism.
As a UFT chapter leader and delegate,
Johnston was a leader at recruiting
and mentoring new activists
and was active in the Jewish Labor
Committee. She serves on the Retired
Teachers Chapter Advisory
Committee and is a strong supporter
of the Alliance for Retired Americans.
“I believe in unions, unionism
and helping people,” she said.
After decades of service as a
teacher and president of the Hempstead
Classroom TA, Keefe also
serves as the retired teacher member
of the New York State Teachers’
Retirement System board.
“This job has taken me to all
the counties of New York state,” he
said. Keefe, who has attended every
NYSUT RA, is a longtime member
and former chair of NYSUT’s Pension
and Retirement Committee.
SRP member of the year
Margie Brumfield of the Rochester
Association of Paraprofessionals
is recognized for her leadership
in revitalizing and strengthening her
local in Rochester and her exemplary
activism in NYSUT.
“I always spoke my conscience,”
she said, noting proudly: “We’ve
made many gains in the last 12
years.” Brumfield served with distinction
in a variety of union positions,
including building representative;
NYSUT at-large director; local president;
delegate to NYSUT, the AFT,
the NEA and the Coalition of Black
Trade Unionists; NYSUT SRP Advisory
Committee chair and NYSUT Member
Benefits Trust committee member.
Health care professionals member of the year
Cynthia McDaniel, RN, a member
of the Federation of Nurses/
UFT, was tireless in caring for her
patients during Hurricane Sandy.
She has served as chapter chair of
Jewish Home Lifecare and Hospital
Homecare and has been a member
of the NYSUT Health Care Professionals
Council since 2002. As an
RN representative for the Federation
of Nurses/UFT, she is on the
negotiating team and a leader in
political action and leadership training.
“I try to make a difference every
day of my life,” she said.
Higher ed member of year
Anne Friedman, Professional Staff
Congress vice president for community
colleges, is NYSUT’s higher education
member of the year. As an
undergraduate at City College, she
participated in the successful fight for
an admissions policy that opened the
college to New York’s African-American
and Latino populations. “The
struggle for open admissions really
began at City College,” she said.
In 1978, Friedman joined the
faculty of the Borough of Manhattan
Community College, where she
continues today as full professor. In
1995, Friedman cofounded a new
Community College Conference to
defend the rights of the city’s poorest
populations to a college education.
She is a member of the PSC
negotiating committee, the union’s
anti-racism committee and its faculty