Former Volusia County music teacher to lead Florida’s top teachers union

click to enlarge Andrew Spar - PHOTO VIA ANDREW SPAR/TWITTER

  • Photo via Andrew Spar/Twitter
  • Andrew Spar

Florida’s top teachers union got a new leader Tuesday after its president for the past two years, Fedrick Ingram, was elected secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers.

The Florida Education Association announced Vice President Andrew Spar, a former music teacher in Volusia County, will serve as president of the 150,000-member organization until a 2021 union election, and Secretary-Treasurer Carole Gauronskas will be vice president. Gauronskas was an exceptional student education paraprofessional at Ketterlinus Elementary School in St. Augustine.

An interim secretary-treasurer will need to be selected. Ingram, a former Miami-Dade County teacher of the year, music educator and band director, will move to Washington, D.C. for the national role. The results of an American Federation of Teachers election were announced Tuesday.

“This is a bittersweet moment for me. It’s hard to leave my leadership role in FEA and the state I love,” Ingram said in a prepared statement. “But I leave Florida’s educators and students in good hands, and I’m excited about my new role at AFT and the work that this band teacher will take to a larger stage.”

The change in leadership comes as the FEA and the Orange County teachers union remain embroiled in a court fight challenging an order issued by Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran that mandated schools reopen brick-and-mortar classrooms five days a week amid the coronavirus pandemic. The unions contend the order violated the Florida Constitution’s guarantee to “safe” and “secure” public schools.

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