Congratulations to Dolores McCracken on her new appointment as president of the state teachers union. Dolores currently serves on the board of directors of the Council Rock Education Foundation since 2007.

Dolores McCracken

Dolores McCracken

Story by Chris English, The Intelligencer

Council Rock School District support staff member Dolores McCracken will become president of the state teachers union Sept. 2.

McCracken, vice president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, will take over the helm when Jerry Oleksiak leaves to become Pennsylvania’s secretary of labor and industry. 

The PSEA vice president since September 2015, McCracken also has been its treasurer and served on the organization’s board of directors. She will serve as president through Aug. 31, 2019, or the remainder of Oleksiak’s latest two-year term.

“As president, my main goal will be to talk and work with the community and others to improve the perception of public education in this state,” said McCracken, 63, a Northampton resident.

“My main focus will be on the kids that we serve. I want every student in the state to have access to the same kind of quality education that my children had in Council Rock.”

An affiliate of the National Education Association, the PSEA represents about 180,000 active and retired teachers, other school employees and healthcare workers in Pennsylvania.

The PSEA pushes for legislation and policy favorable to quality public education and assists with teacher contract negotiations, said PSEA spokesman David Broderic. However, he said, the organization’s main role in negotiation is establishing basic principles like fair compensation packages but not getting deeply involved in the specifics of talks at school districts across the state.

“Dolores is going to be an excellent president,” said Broderic. “She has been a PSEA leader for a long time and is absolutely committed to serving its members and doing everything possible to make public education in Pennsylvania the very best it can be.”

McCracken said she will stand for election for another two-year term as president before the PSEA house of delegates in May 2019. If not elected, she will return to her job in Council Rock, she said.

McCracken has not actually worked in Council Rock since 2011 when she assumed the first of her full-time jobs with PSEA. She said she continues to receive her $30,000 annual salary from Council Rock, but that the district is reimbursed that amount every year by the PSEA.

At Council Rock, McCracken was a paraprofessional, assisting teachers with special education students at Rolling Hills Elementary School in Northampton.