By Jerry Cornfield
Everett Education Association president Kim Mead won election Friday night as the next president of Washington’s powerful union of public school teachers.
The Washington Education Association first announced the news on Twitter and Facebook.
Mead will serve a two-year term as leader of the 82,000-member association. She will succeed Mary Lindquist who has served six years and could not run again due to term limits.
She captured the seat in a run-off with WEA vice president Mike Ragan. Oak Harbor Education Association president Peter Szalai also sought the position but failed to get enough votes to advance to the final round of balloting.
Mead, 53, of Edmonds, taught middle school in Everett before becoming the Everett Education Association president in 2000. She also serves on the WEA executive committee and on the board of the National Education Association.
The WEA has nearly 82,000 members in 376 local affiliates. Most are certificated teachers employed in the state’s 297 public school districts.
WEA also represents non-certificated classified personnel in several districts. And its membership includes faculty at 10 community and technical colleges, the three regional universities – Western, Central and Eastern – plus the Evergreen State College.
Roughly 1,200 delegates, chosen by members of the locals, were expected to cast ballots tonight during the WEA Representative Assembly in Bellevue.
Most of them are expected to travel by bus Saturday morning for a rally on the steps of the state Capitol. Gov. Jay Inslee is among the scheduled speakers.