TABCO Bulletin Fall 2018 - Page 5

Cheryl Bost Takes the Helm
By Billie Muñoz
I recently had the opportunity to sit down and have
a chat with new MSEA President Cheryl Bost, one
of at least three MSEA presidents to emerge from
TABCO in approximately the past 40 years.
following are excerpts from our conversation.
This must be a heady time to be taking on the top job.
Yes, the times are exciting, but they are also disheartening.
is a lack of respect paid to educators in the United States
does not make public education a priority.
Unfortunately, there
because the government
Billionaires are attacking unions across the
country which is also an attack on the middle class.
Did you grow up middle class?
I was born in Pittsburgh. My mom was a nurse and my dad was an air traffic
My dad was a union member. So was my grandfather, who was a union
patternmaker at U.S. Steel in Homestead, Pennsylvania. But my union and middle
class background goes back even farther to my great grandfather, who owned a
building in Homestead that he let workers from the Amalgamated Association of Iron
and Steel Workers use as their headquarters before and during the Homestead Strike of
1892, one of the largest strikes in American history. Being part of a union, and
understanding that unions are a pathway to the middle class, is in my blood.
Your background was in elementary education, correct?
My first school here in the County was Mars Estates Elementary School.
taught there for 14 years.
People said it was a “bad” school, but it was actually the
most rewarding time of my career. 70% of the students at Mars Estates lived in
poverty. It was a very transient community; 60% of the students who were there at the
beginning of the year were gone by the end of the year. The State wanted to take over
the school. But we said no. We said we know what our kids need because we work
with them every day. We came together as a community, identified what we needed to
help students, and got the funding to make it happen. And it worked. We closed the
achievement gap and turned Mars Estates into something that today we would call a
community school.
I’m very proud of our accomplishments.
See Helm page 6
Link to the complete video of Cheryl Bost’s Keynote Address in Ocean City during the MSEA Convention.

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