Fedrick Ingram stepped down as president of the Florida Education Association on Tuesday to become the secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers.
“This is a bittersweet moment for me. It’s hard to leave my leadership role in FEA and the state I love,” Ingram said in a news release. “But I leave Florida’s educators and students in good hands, and I’m excited about my new role at AFT and the work that this band teacher will take to a larger stage. In every forum I will always be proud to say I am a Florida educator and member of the Florida Education Association.”
Ingram plans to move to the Washington, D.C., area for his new nationwide role. This will be the first time that an FEA member has ever held one of the top three offices with either national affiliate, AFT or the National Education Association (NEA). AFT election results were announced Tuesday, with Ingram elected as secretary-treasurer.
Ingram is two years into a three-year term as FEA president. With his departure, FEA vice president Andrew Spar ascends to the top job at the statewide teacher union and FEA secretary-treasurer Carole Gauronskas climb to vice president.
“Fedrick is a great friend and colleague who is going to do great work at the national level. His leadership style was such that the transition here will be seamless,” Spar said. “FEA will continue to grow in size and influence. I am honored to be able to represent the dedicated and talented professionals who make up Florida’s PreK-12 and higher education systems.”
Gauronskas added, “I am exceptionally proud to be an advocate for the 150,000 members of the Florida Education Association and for the 2.8 million children in Florida’s public schools. It has been an honor and a privilege to work beside Fedrick Ingram and Andrew Spar. As Fed rises to the national level, I know our advocacy here in Florida will continue, and we will work hard for all of the members in our organization.”
Spar and Gauronskas will serve as president and vice president until FEA holds its next leadership elections in 2021. In the interim, a new secretary-treasurer will be selected.
Before his election as FEA president, Ingram served as vice president of the union under president Joanne McCall.
Ingram challenged her in the 2018 leadership elections with Spar and Gauronskas running alongside him. At the organization’s annual Delegate Assembly in Orlando, the 1,000 assembled voting members elevated them to power.
The moment was also history-making, as Ingram became the first African-American president of the FEA ever. He’d previously been elected as the first black president of the United Teachers of Dade.