The Independent Community of Educators (ICE) and Teachers for a Just Contract (TJC) have chosen James Eterno, chapter leader of Jamaica HS in Queens, as their candidate for president of the UFT in the elections to take place in 2010. He will oppose the Unity Caucus candidate, expected to be Michael Mulgrew, who will be taking over for Randi Weingarten.
Eterno has been a Social Studies Teacher Jamaica High School for 23 years. For the past 13 years he has been the Chapter Leader at Jamaica High School.
He spent 10 years on the UFT Executive Board as one of the few members of the opposition caucuses.
He was one of the leaders in the fight against the draconian givebacks in the 2005 Contract.
James organized a successful rally in 2008 at the Panel for Educational Policy where 89 people from the Jamaica High School family went to the PEP to advocate for Jamaica High School, pointing out that the school was suffering from academic apartheid due to the unequal tre atment Jamaica was getting in comparison to the small schools being installed. His blog piece on the subject (Stop Academic Apartheid) received wide notice.
He authored a resolution to the State Education Commissioner calling for the empowerment of teachers, parents and students on School Leadership Teams and wrote many other resolutions, including one calling for more protections for teachers accused of corporal punishment.
He led the Jamaica High School Chapter in a 50-person grievance at the Region 3 office to have the time schedule changed in 2003 and was a winner of the UFT’s Trachtenberg Award in 2000.
James, along with ICE’s Jeff Kaufman, has co-authored the influential ICE blog, which analyzes on the activities of the UFT leadership. James has become one of the leading experts on the UFT contract and has assisted numerous teachers throughout the city who have not been ably assisted by the UFT.
He is married to Camille Eterno, a former chapter leader currently a teacher at Humanities and the Arts High School in Queens. The Eternos first child, Kara, was born July 17th.
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