From Educators to Electeds: Run for Something Teachers
It’s Teacher Appreciation Week! Since 2017, we’ve helped elect 60 teachers to state and local office nationwide. Here are a few stats about them:
- 26 have been elected to school boards
- 18 have been elected to city, county, or town councils
- 14 have become state legislators
- 1 is now a judge
There are many reasons teachers make great elected officials- take a few examples of RFS candidates below!
1. They are Strong Communicators
RFS alum and School Board member Jennifer Jenkins has pushed back against harassment in a very teacher-like fashion: by explaining exactly why it’s wrong and never letting it slow her down.
By centering students at every turn AND talking about why now, more than ever, educators are needed on school boards, she’s proving exactly what our teachers told us: bullies never win.
2. They are Strong Collaborators
James Talarico, an RFS alum, recently pulled off a rare feat. He won every single precinct in his Texas House of Representatives primary.
As a middle school teacher, James learned that you have to get buy-in from lots of stakeholders to move big goals forward. He’s done that by focusing on common sense legislation like lowering insulin prices, raising teacher pay, and calling cap when the far-right claims election fraud.
Teachers building consensus, helping working families, and speaking truth to power? We’re here for it.
3. Teachers Never Stop Learning and Growing
When RFS alum and Cincinnati school board member Mary Wineburg didn’t make the Olympic 400M open in 2008, she dug deep:
“I always strive, especially as an educator, to talk to our youth, inspiring them, making them realize that they can be their best,” she said. Wineberg said through her experience as an athlete and at the Olympics, she wanted to share that winning isn’t always the goal. “I had an opportunity to still run on a relay,” Wineberg said. “I didn’t make it in the open 400. I was upset, I was sad, but I had to pick myself back up and say you know what, you still have another opportunity.”
Mary took that opportunity and ran with it — all the way to a Gold Medal as a member of Team USA’s Women’s Track and Field team in the 400M women’s relay.
She has now taken the lessons she learned on the track and in the classroom to the Cincinnati school board where she helps create policy centered on students and teachers.
If you’re a teacher, you have what it takes to serve your community as an elected official: heart, patience, and care. We need you! Learn more and get started at www.runforwhat.net.