The Caucus of Working Educators of the PFT is a member-driven organization with distributed leadership. It is led by a Steering Committee elected by dues-paying members of the Caucus. The Steering Committee provides guidance to the membership and is the central location for all communication with members. Steering Committee elections take place in September of even-numbered years; officers serve two-year terms beginning that October. The committee is comprised of 4 Caucus members from the PFT, and a fifth associate member representing our alliances with parents, communities, and other education workers. As of October 2018, the WE Steering Committee officers are as follows:
Katrina Clark has taught for 14 years, currently at The Workshop School. She helped successfully organize a union at Olney Charter, including drafting the language of its first contract. She serves as a WE regional organizer in West Philadelphia, providing development and support for rank-and-file PFT members in redefining an engaged, social justice union.
Kelley Collings has been a Philadelphia public school teacher for 18 years. She and her colleagues at Feltonville School of Arts & Sciences helped fuel the local Opt Out movement when they publicly organized 40% of the families at their school to opt out of high-stakes testing. Kelley is a founding member of the Caucus of Working Educators, as well as a leader in the Teacher Action Group of Philadelphia and a member of Teachers Lead Philly and Need in Deed.
Ismael Jimenez has worked with Philadelphia students ranging from preschool to high school for 12 years. Currently, he teaches African-American History at Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School and is an active member of its Building Committee. Ismael has also facilitated several professional development sessions at the School District on issues ranging from structural racism to bridging the knowledge gap of students that manifests between high schools and postsecondary institutions.
Jessica Way is a CTE teacher at Franklin Learning Center, where she has been the Building Representative since 2015. She has served WE as a regional organizer for schools in far Northeast Philadelphia, a member of its political committee, and a liaison for Our City Our Schools. Also, she is on the boards of Americans for Democratic Action, HOSA Future Health Professionals, and EmergePA, a non-profit dedicated to helping women win legislative office in Pennsylvania.
Monique Perry, representing WE's supporting members, taught in Philadelphia for almost a decade and currently works as a graduate student assistant at the University of Pennsylvania. Her recent efforts include engaging Penn Graduate School of Education students and faculty to join and support Caucus initiatives, and serving as a liaison between WE and Black Lives Matter Philly. In her home state of Michigan, Monique fought for student rights and race-conscious policies, and trained hundreds of people in political organizing.