Leah VanDassor elected president of the Saint Paul Federation of Educators
ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA. May 11, 2021 – Longtime Highland Park Middle school teacher Leah VanDassor has been elected president of the Saint Paul Federation of Educators.
VanDassor will start her new role as head of one of the largest educator unions in Minnesota on June 15. Current president, Nick Faber, is retiring after 35 years in Saint Paul Public Schools. He spent the last four years on leave as union president.
VanDassor has taught 8th grade English in St. Paul since 1996, all at Highland Park Middle School. She got more involved in her union in 2010, when SPFE started to shift its focus to using the union’s collective voice to advocate for both students and their families at home.
She said she looks forward to enlarging on SPFE’s past successes, building the public schools students and educators deserve. Expanding restorative practices, increasing mental health supports for students and improving pay and working conditions for Saint Paul’s multilingual educators, particularly education support professionals, are among union priorities.
“I promise to keep showing up to work with and for Saint Paul educators. I’ll keep showing up to fight the good fight for our students. And I’ll keep showing up to fight against injustices to our Black and Brown students and their families who are, too often, left out of the conversations and decision-making in our public schools,” VanDassor said.
VanDassor served as a building steward and member of the Contract Action Team, bargaining team, executive board and eventually her current role as vice president. She was currently working as a liaison with the district around COVID-19-related issues.
The Saint Paul Federation of Educators is made up of more than 3,500 teachers, educational assistants, school and community personnel and other licensed staff who work at over 65 sites in Saint Paul Public Schools. SPFE is affiliated with Education Minnesota, the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.