- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 8, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Utah woman who began her career as a lunch lady and was later named the 1989 Utah Teacher of the Year has been elected to lead the nation’s largest labor union.

Lily Eskelsen Garcia was elected president of the National Education Association last week. She will begin her term Sept. 1.

Outgoing president Dennis Van Roeke predicted Eskelsen Garcia will be the most dynamic spokesperson the NEA has ever had, and will continue to push equity and social justice.

Eskelsen Garcia was an elementary teacher for the Granite School District and later served as president of the Utah Education Association. President Barack Obama selected her to serve on the White House Commission on Education Excellence for Hispanics, and she is the current vice president of the NEA.

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