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New state union president is a longtime Memphis teacher and principal

Barbara Gray, a longtime Shelby County educator, is the new president of the Tennessee Education Association.

Gray is an assistant principal at Northaven Elementary School. She began her career in Memphis City Schools in 1972, and is a longtime member of TEA, as well as the National Education Association, and TEA’s Memphis affiliate, according to a press release. She was previously the vice-president of TEA.

The outgoing president is Gera Summerford, a high school math teacher in Gatlinburg. The new vice-president is Beth Brown, an English teacher at Grundy County High School. 

The president and vice-president of TEA are chosen by a group of union delegates who are elected locally.

TEA is the largest teachers union in the state, with a membership of more than 46,000. The organization is a vocal opponent of many of the education policies promoted by Gov. Bill Haslam, including tying student test scores to teacher evaluations, the expansion of charter schools, and proposed voucher legislation.