Longtime labor leader and activist Josephine Sano died July 17 at the age of 97. Sano, a social studies teacher for 44 years, was a feisty union pioneer who served as president of the Albany Public School Teachers Association.
Sano believed in using the collective bargaining process to improve teaching and learning conditions. When she won NYSUT's Not for Ourselves Alone: The Sandy Feldman Outstanding Leadership Award in 2006, she reminded new teachers that the benefits they enjoy today were the result of difficult battles.
"Tenure, maternity leave, health insurance, prep time, class size, are some battles you must keep fighting. Nothing is secure forever," Sano said. Her indomitable spirit is best summed up by one of her favorite phrases by Hubert Humphrey: "It is better to live one day as a tiger than to live a lifetime as a chicken."
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Plainedge Federation of Teachers
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Nassau BOCES Central Council of Teachers
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Rochester Teachers Association
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