While the president of the Chicago Teachers Union plans to run for a third term in May, at least one member of the cabinet elected with her in 2010 will not seek re-election, officers said Wednesday.
Karen Lewis told the Sun-Times that she has more work to do for the union she led on strike in 2012 — despite a brain tumor diagnosis a year ago.
“I’m not done,” she said at the Chicago Teachers Union’s headquarters. “I think we need to make CPS a much better place for kids and for the adults that work with them. And we can do that if we work collectively and work together.”
CTU financial secretary Kristine Mayle confirmed that she will not run again.
“After working 50- to 60-hour weeks for the past five-plus years, I’m going to complete this term then spend more time with my family and get my life back to something a little more normal in terms of schedules and commitments,” the special-education teacher told the Sun-Times.
Mayle was the union’s face this summer and fall against budget cuts that deeply affected special-education students. Her anger was palpable as she spoke at rallies and directly addressed members of the Board of Education.
“CPS is an extremely frustrating entity to deal with, and I am beyond tired of the harm they are doing to children,” she said Wednesday. “I’m sure whoever replaces me will pick up where I’ve left off, with renewed energy.”
Mayle last taught at Eberhart Elementary School. Before that, she was at De La Cruz Academy near Western and Cermak avenues until it closed in June 2009. She said she doesn’t yet know what she’ll do once her term ends.
“All I know for sure is that I want to take at least the summer off and will use that time to figure out what to do next,” she said.
Neither CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey, who stepped up during Lewis’ illness to lead the union and has been doing a lot of the union’s heavy lifting in public as she recuperated, nor recording secretary Michael Brunson returned messages seeking comment about their plans.
The four officers were voted into office in 2010 from the progressive Caucus Of Rank and File Educators party known as CORE that spoke out strongly against the expansion of charter schools in the city. Nominations are due to the party by October 11.