Lily Eskelsen García

Lily Eskelsen García

Lily Eskelsen García is a 6th grade teacher from Utah whose work in education spans from her beginning as a lunch lady to president of the largest union in the United States, the 3-million-member National Education Association.  Her career includes service as her state’s Teacher of the Year, as president of the Utah State Retirement system, as her party’s nominee for U.S. Congress and as Commissioner for President Barack Obama’s White House Commission for Education Excellence for Hispanics.

 

Lily and her husband, Alberto Garcia, are the author/illustrator of the bilingual book, Rabble Rousers: Fearless Fighters for Social Justice, which they published to raise funds to help undocumented Dreamers.

 

Lily believes that no matter how students arrive, no matter what their learning conditions, their home conditions or their health conditions, that educators have the sacred duty to be professionals and to care for the whole student – mind, body and character. She believes that professionalism carries the responsibility to take action, individually and collectively, to fight to make the promise of public education a reality and to prepare the whole and happy child to succeed in becoming a whole and happy adult.

In this photo taken Sept. 19, 2014, National Education Association (NEA) President Lily Eskelsen Garcia answers questions during an interview with The Associated Press in her office at NEA headquarters in Washington. Garcia is a Spanish speaking, guitar playing author and a former Utah teacher of the year who doesn't shy from criticizing what she describes as "toxic" testing. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)