Chicago Teachers Union President Thomas Reece won re-election by a wide margin, but challenger Deborah Walsh made the best showing in recent history, garnering 41 percent of the vote.

In addition, six members of Walsh’s slate, the candidates for high school functional vice president, were elected, making them the first challengers to win in recent history. “Reconstitution hit the high schools hard, and the membership responded by sending a message to Mr. Reece,” says Walsh.

The previous high for a challenger came in 1988, the year after the union’s longest strike, when George Schmidt took 37 percent in a run against incumbent president Jacqueline Vaughn. Walsh ran against Reece two years ago but took only 27 percent of the vote.

The new high school functional vice presidents are: Howard Heath (Lane Technical), Sarah Loftus (Kelvyn Park), Martha Pedroza (Schurz), Rosagitta Podrovsky (Sullivan), Louis Pyster (Austin Community Academy) and Elizabeth Wagner (Bogan).

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