Our Presidential, VP, and Officer Candidates

Jia Lee


Jia Lee 

The Earth School

Jia is currently a 4th/5th grade Special Education teacher and chapter leader at the Earth School in District 1 and a public school parent. She began teaching in 2001 at P12X in the Bronx (D75) and after, taught at P.S. 63. As chapter leader, she supported staff consultation committees on issues from micromanagement and professional conciliation and fostered mediation to support a democratic culture. In January of 2015, she testified before the U.S. HELP (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) Senate Committee, on the reauthorization of ESEA. She is an opt out organizer with Change the Stakes and NYC Opt Out, a Teacher of Conscience, member of the Stronger Together Caucus and a national network of social justice caucuses.


Camille Eterno


Camille Eterno 

Humanities and the Arts High School

Camille Eterno has been an English teacher in New York since 1996. In her second year as a teacher, she was elected to chapter leader at the Queens Gateway to Health Sciences. Camille won grievances that even the UFT leadership said were not winnable. She helped organize her chapter into an activist force that was a major presence at many union rallies. As a leader in the Independent Community of Educators, she was instrumental in the nearly successful battle against the giveback laden 2005 contract. She is currently serving delegate from Humanities and the Arts High School in Queens.


Assistant Secretary

Carol Ramos-Widom 

PS 219K

Carol has been a teacher at PS 219, Kennedy King for 21 years from Pre- K through 2nd Grade. For the past four years, she has been the art cluster teacher in this central Brooklyn elementary school. Carol has been to Albany with the union to lobby for funding for our schools and participated in NYC demonstrations to demand a fair contract and respect for our rights as educators.

Kate Martin_bridge


Kate Martin-Bridge 

DeWitt Clinton HS

Kate has been teaching high school math in the Bronx for a dozen years. She has been UFT Delegate at Dewitt Clinton, Worldview, and now Schuylerville Preparatory High School. Kate served the last three years as a New Action At Large member of the UFT Executive Board. As the mother of three daughters, Kate played multiple roles in Parent Teacher Associations. Before becoming a teacher, Kate worked for ten years as an auditor for New York State Comptroller’s Office.

Greg Distefano

Assistant Treasurer

Greg Distefano 

Retired Teacher/UFT Organizer

Greg is a 33 year teacher and 46 year UFT member. During his career, he taught at every level, elementary, middle, and high school. In high school (Tottenville) he taught math. Greg has been a long-time activist and leader of New Action. He worked on the UFT Organizing Committee. And for the last two years he has been an outspoken advocate and will continue to work for unjustly fired probationary teachers for as long as it takes.


Vice President Elementary Schools

Lauren Cohen 

P.S. 321K

Lauren started teaching in February 2005. Currently, she is a 5th grade ICT teacher and Chapter Leader at P.S. 321 in District 15, Brooklyn. As a member of the MORE Caucus in NYC, she noticed a stark disconnect between the rhetoric of union leadership and the interests of working teachers. The Common Core is fundamentally undemocratic – not only in its implementation but in its conception. Handing teachers rigid, scripted curricula benefits corporate interests while neglecting students’ need for developmentally-appropriate and well-rounded education. Teachers’ hands have been tied as the emphasis on testing and labeling harms the most vulnerable children. Lauren is running to advocate for teachers’ professional autonomy.

Nelson Santiago

Vice President Junior High Schools

Nelson Santiago

Formerly IS 63R


Nelson Santiago was the Chapter Leader of IS 63 on Staten Island. He is currently an ATR.


Vice President High Schools

James Eterno 

Middle College High School

James is a UFT Delegate and Social Studies Teacher at Middle College High School, Queens. An 18 year Chapter Leader at Jamaica High School, UFT Executive Board 1997-2007. He believes that together, we can restore dignity to teaching. Every UFT member should join the fight to repeal horrific state laws that include rating teachers on cookie cutter 1-4 Danielson rubrics and student test scores, presuming teachers are guilty until proven innocent in termination hearings and replacing teachers without any due process in receiver schools.  Mulgrew thinks everything is just fine.

chris (1) (1)

Vice President Career and Technical Education

Christine Gross 

Alfred E. Smith CTE High School

Christine Gross began teaching in 1997 as a substitute in Philadelphia public schools. She decided to become a teacher and obtained a M.S. in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. After one year, she moved to New York City and, in 2000, began her career teaching history at Alfred E. Smith CTE High School. In January of 2003, she was elected Chapter Leader and served in this position until she was improperly excessed in July 2011. After filing a motion with PERB in May 2013, the UFT finally scheduled my arbitration. She won her  case and was restored to her school in September 2013.

Margarget Shand

Vice President Special Education

Margaret Shand 

Committee on Special Education

Margaret is currently working as a Social Worker for the Committee on Special Education 6. Margaret obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work from New York University in 1985. She has worked for the NYC Department of Education since 1987. In addition to working with CSE Margaret also works directly with Elementary and Middle Schools in a school based support team. She has two children both of which have attended NYC public schools; and has been an active member in her children’s Parent Teacher Associations.

Mindy Rosier

Vice President Education 

Mindy Rosier 

P.S. 811M

Mindy Rosier is a native New Yorker who graduated from Marymount Manhattan College with a B.A. in Psychology and Elementary Education and Fordham University with an M.S. Ed in Early Childhood Special Education. She has been a teacher for over 17 years, including 3 years at the NY Foundling Hospital and currently more than 8 years with the Department of Education in a District 75 school. After seeing the hardships that her school has endured and after researching the education system itself, she became active to promote an improvement in the quality of education for all children.


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