, Utah , United States
|| May 01, 1955
Apr 19, 2017 07:54pm
|Info||Teacher of the Year - Utah (1989) |
Secretary-Treasurer, National Education Association
Lily Eskelsen, an elementary school teacher from Utah, is secretary-treasurer of the 2.7 million member National Education Association.
The well-known Hispanic educator, who has more than 20 years classroom experience, claimed the third highest spot in the nation's largest professional employee organization during the NEA's Representative Assembly in Dallas in July 2002.
As an "army brat" reared in Texas, Georgia, Washington, Alaska, Colorado and Utah, Lily began her education career as a lunchroom worker and later a kindergarten aide. A woman of many talents, she worked her way through the University of Utah as a part-time legal secretary and folk singer. Lily graduated magna cum laude in elementary education in 1980 and later earned a master's degree in instructional technology from the same institution. She taught fourth, fifth, and sixth grades for 10 years before being named Utah Teacher of the Year in 1989.
In 1990, Lily won a write-in election as president of the 18,000-member Utah Education Association, her first elected position in the Association. She served until 1996. Her staunch advocacy for children and public education has included writing a weekly column on parenting that appeared in 22 newspapers throughout the state, organizing and chairing The Utah Children at Risk Foundation, being chosen her party's nominee for U.S. Congress in 1998, and serving as a member of President Clinton's White House Strategy Session on Improving Hispanic Education in 2000.
An articulate, polished communicator, Lily Eskelsen is regarded as a dynamic advocate for children and public education and has been the invited keynote speaker for more than 100 educational events in 30 different states. Her advice to parents has appeared in Women's Day, Working Mother and Time magazines.
Lily has served on the Utah Council of La Raza Education Committee and also served as president of the Utah State Retirement System, only the second woman in the history of the fund to be elected to the top position. She is currently on leave of absence from her teaching position at the Christmas Box House Children's Shelter, a one-room school and residential facility for k-6 children awaiting foster homes.
Lily and her husband, Ruel, now live in Washington, D.C. and frequently visit their two sons and grandchildren who live in Utah.