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From Miami High School Band Director To National Teachers Union Leader: Ingram Gets A New Job

Fedrick Ingram is the new secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers.
AFT Facebook page
Fedrick Ingram is the new secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers.

Fedrick Ingram moved up from a local teachers' union to the statewide union and now to a leadership position with the American Federation of Teachers.

Miami. Then Tallahassee. Now Washington, D.C.

That’s been the path for Fedrick Ingram, a teachers union leader who is now taking on a new national role.

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Ingram led the United Teachers of Dade before getting elected president of the statewide Florida Education Association about two years ago. On Tuesday, he accepted a new job: secretary-treasurer of the national American Federation of Teachers union.

During a virtual ceremony, Ingram said the inequalities he witnessed his students experience while he was a teacher in Miami inspired him to become a union leader. He was a band director at Booker T. Washington and Miami Carol City high schools.

“They were treated less than. They didn’t get the same resources as other kids in richer neighborhoods. They didn’t get the same chance at success. They were tested ad nauseam,” he said. “And why? For what reason? Because they were less deserving? Not for one minute were they less deserving. I knew these kids deserved more and so, I fought for them.”

Ingram’s advance marks the first time someone from a Florida affiliate has clinched one of the top three positions in either of the two national teachers’ unions.

With Ingram’s departure, the new leader of FEA is Andrew Spar. He was the vice president under Ingram and, previously, served as president of the teachers’ union in Volusia County.

Watch Ingram's full acceptance speech here:

Jessica Bakeman is Director of Enterprise Journalism at WLRN News, and she is the former senior news editor and education reporter. Her 2021 project "Class of COVID-19" won a national Edward R. Murrow Award.
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