Education Minnesota names Lucking as new executive director

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ST. PAUL, Minnesota. Oct. 4, 2021 – The governing board of Education Minnesota has selected veteran policy analyst, political strategist and social studies teacher Carrie Lucking as the next executive director of the largest labor union in the state of Minnesota.

“The experiences and strengths Carrie brings to the table are going to help our union achieve its goal of providing every student with a safe, welcoming and well-resourced school, no exceptions,” said Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota. “She brings the whole package for moving the organization forward.”

The Education Minnesota Governing Board made the decision during its regular meeting Saturday, Oct. 2. Lucking will replace Executive Director Sara Gjerdrum, who is stepping down Nov. 19. Lucking will start in her new role Nov. 22.

“I’m inspired to do the work because our union believes every student deserves access to a great public education,” Lucking said. “We all know that means resources, but our schools won’t allocate those resources in the right ways unless we raise up the voices of all our educators, especially those who have been marginalized in the past, and really listen to the professionals in the classrooms and campuses every day.”

From 2014 to 2020, Lucking led the Education Minnesota department that supports the union’s think tank, the Education Policy and Innovation Center, which produced reports on topics including helping students recover from disrupted learning, reforming school discipline, expanding preschool and full-service community schools and recruiting and retaining teachers, especially teacher of color.

Her department also supported the union’s anti-racism efforts, including the FIRE (Facing Inequities and Racism in Education) and Racial Equity Advocate programs. It helped create affinity groups of educators of color and developed the popular Degrees Not Debt program to reduce the burden of education debt on teachers and other educators.

Since 2020, Lucking has been the director of policy and public affairs for the union. Her responsibilities include advancing Education Minnesota’s policy, electoral and legislative goals.

During her time with Education Minnesota, Lucking took a leave of absence to manage the Walz/Flanagan gubernatorial campaign in 2018. Before coming to Education Minnesota, Lucking was the executive director of the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, where she was the chief strategist for 29 legislative campaigns and coordinated communications research for progressive organizations throughout the state.

Lucking spent the first 10 years of her career as a social studies teacher, where she was active in the Hopkins Education Association and sat on the governing board of Education Minnesota. She coached the high school debate team, which does not surprise anyone who has met her.

About Education Minnesota
Education Minnesota is the voice for professional educators and students. Education Minnesota’s members include teachers and education support professionals in Minnesota’s public school districts, faculty members at Minnesota’s community and technical colleges and University of Minnesota campuses in Duluth and Crookston, retired educators and student teachers. Education Minnesota is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.

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