ARLINGTON, Va. — Today the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) announced the election of Mary Cathryn Ricker, a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) from St. Paul, Minnesota, as the association’s executive vice president, its third-ranking leadership position. Ricker, who also serves on the NBPTS Board of Directors, previously served as an AFT vice president and announced that she will step down as the president of the local St. Paul Federation of Teachers. She will serve under AFT President Randi Weingarten, who was re-elected to a third term.
Applauding the news, Ronald Thorpe, president and CEO of the National Board, issued the following statement:
“The National Board staff and board of directors wish to congratulate Mary Cathryn Ricker on her election as AFT executive vice president. To our knowledge, she is the first NBCT to be elected to such an influential role in a national teachers association. This is a crowning achievement in an already outstanding career as a teacher leader, from middle-school English teacher in St. Paul to the head of her local. Her vision for accomplished teaching knows no bounds. She has represented the national AFT in Finland and the Middle East, and her local on Sister City delegations to Germany and Mexico.
As a committed member of our board of directors, Ms. Ricker has worked to support more teachers in achieving National Board Certification, teaching’s highest mark of accomplishment. She continues to serve with distinction on our executive and finance committees. We look forward to working with her in her new role at the AFT to make Board certification the expectation and the norm in the profession, so that every student in America can benefit from accomplished teachers.”
Ricker holds Board certification in Early Adolescence/English Language Arts. Earlier in her career, she taught middle school in the Saint Paul Public Schools and the Saint Cloud Independent School District. In 2013, she received the Education Minnesota Peterson-Schaubach Outstanding Leadership Award.