Ellen Bernstein    •     Sean Thomas    •     Dwayne Norris    •    Pamela Irvin    •    Karen Baehr

Ellen Bernstein

Goal statement: My goal as your union president is to continue to represent all educators as we win the struggle to move beyond test-and-punish policies and we reclaim our profession and our schools from those who are attempting to privatize, corporatize and profit from our public schools and the students we serve.

For Albuquerque Teachers Federation President

Ellen Bernstein, NBCT, Ed.D. ATF President

Ellen Bernstein, President of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation, was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She attended the University of New Mexico, where she earned a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education, a Master’s in Special Education, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Ellen comes from a family of educators. Her grandfather, father (now retired from Manzano HS) and sister (who currently teaches at Mark Twain ES) have all been career teachers.

Ellen began her career in public education as a sign language interpreter, prior to becoming a classroom teacher, and taught in APS elementary schools for a total of 17 years. Over the course of her teaching career, Ellen developed expertise in multi-age level teaching and inclusion.  Ellen achieved National Board Certification in Early Childhood in 1997 and renewed her certificate in 2007.

Throughout her teaching career, Ellen has been a union activist, and has worked her way through the ranks of involvement and leadership. She spent 15 years as an ATF Federation Representative. Ellen also served 2 years as ATF Secretary and then 10 years as ATF Executive Vice President prior to being elected ATF President, an office that she has now held for 16 years.

Ellen has provided leadership and stability on not only the local level, but also on the state and national level. She is active in the American Federation of Teachers as the co-chair of the AFT Program and Policy Council, a member of the Professionalism Task Force and is currently a co-director of the Teachers Union Reform Network (TURN). 
Under Ellen’s leadership the ATF has grown 15% in the number of APS employees voluntarily paying union dues, establishing ATF as the largest union in the state. Ellen’s vision for our union has been to diversify the structures and activities of the federation so that educators across the district can engage in their union in a variety of professional and political ways. For example, National Board and Dossier support as well as thousands of teachers participating yearly in e-lobbying and political activism.

As a negotiator Ellen has won contract advancements such as elementary preparation time, the mentor program, credential differentials and additional leadership positions. Until the recession, under Ellen’s leadership ATF had consistency negotiated more in raises for everyone represented by the union than what was actually allocated by the state.

Ellen at RoundHouse
  Ellen preparing to speak in the Round House surrounded by thousands of cards protesting The governor's attempt to buy teachers support with $100 gift cards.
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ATF Election 2018                      

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