Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published May 8, 2014 at 8:43 PM | Page modified May 9, 2014 at 10:48 AM

  • Share:
             
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

Knapp narrowly re-elected president of teachers union

The Seattle teachers union re-elected Jonathan Knapp for a second term in a close election that drew unprecedented outside attention.


Seattle Times education reporter

Reader Comments
Hide / Show comments
@Raymond Tusk Sorry you can't seem to elect good negotiators to represent you. Not sure that justifies taking away... MORE
Congratulations to the Seattle Teachers who did not follow the headline grabbing Sawant in her desire to implant a... MORE
@westello If less than 55% voting is a sparkplug then the SEA are moribund when it comes to their own destiny. MORE

advertising

The Seattle teachers union narrowly re-elected Jonathan Knapp to a second term as president over challenger Jesse Hagopian, a Garfield High School history teacher who last year led a testing boycott that attracted national attention.

Knapp won by 45 votes, with 1,342 ballots cast in his favor.

About 54 percent of the Seattle Education Association’s (SEA) 5,000 teachers, counselors, therapists, instructional assistants, office staff and substitutes cast ballots.

“We had more than twice as many participating as ever before, and that’s a great thing for SEA.” Knapp said.

“We have to keep engaging members around the issues that are important to them and keep bringing forward their voice so that public-school educators can become the leading voice in the discussion about public education.”

Voting concluded just before midnight Wednesday, and the results were reported Thursday evening.

Knapp, an auto-shop teacher, ran a relatively low-key campaign.

He focused on talking with teachers one-on-one about his first-term record, including the union’s success this spring in getting the district to reverse some $4 million in proposed funding cuts that would have resulted in layoffs.

Knapp’s running mate, Phyllis Campano, easily was re-elected as vice president.

Jennifer Matter, a candidate backed by Knapp and Campano, received the most votes for the vacant treasurer’s position but not enough to win outright, so she will face Hagopian’s choice for treasurer, Daniel Troccoli, in a runoff election.

Union members also elected representatives to the executive board of directors.

The union represents about 3,200 teachers.

Hagopian gained a national reputation after leading a testing boycott last year of the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) tests in Seattle.

He became the public voice of the revolt, which ended last May when the district allowed high schools to stop using the MAP test.

The protest inspired teachers around the country to voice their concerns that students were being harmed, not helped, by excessive testing.

Hagopian’s campaign to lead the union drew unprecedented community attention that included endorsements from Seattle City Council members Nick Licata and Kshama Sawant and Seattle school-board member Sue Peters.

Hagopian is one of the founding members of Social Equality Educators, a group within the union that supports progressive values and backed his candidacy.

He topped a slate of candidates for officer and board positions on the organization’s “RESPECT” ticket.

“We got the best turnout in anyone’s memory,” Hagopian said. “The RESPECT slate energized our union and gave people a real vision for what the future could be.”

He said members of Social Equality Educators won several seats on the executive board, including all three positions representing high schools.

“Overall, it’s an incredible step forward for the Social Equality Educators and the idea of winning respect for educators and students in the city,” Hagopian said.

The union’s executive board and representative assembly will meet Monday to certify the election results.

John Higgins: 206-464-3145 or jhiggins@seattletimes.com On Twitter @jhigginsST



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Get ready for 2015

Get ready for 2015

The Seattle Times 12-month wall calendar features hand-picked photos of life in the Pacific Northwest. Order while supplies last!

Advertising

Partner Video

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►