Tom Mooney (educator)
|Born||September 12, 1954|
|Died||December 3, 2006
Columbus, Ohio, USA
Cause of death
|Alma mater||Antioch College|
|Occupation||Labor leader, teacher|
|Known for||Presidency of Ohio Federation of Teachers|
Board member of
|National Board for Professional Teaching Standards|
|Spouse(s)||Virginia Rhodes, Debbie Schneider|
|Children||Ruairi Rhodes, Leilah Mooney|
|Parents||Don Mooney Sr & Marguerite Mooney|
|Relatives||Don Mooney Jr, Tina Mooney & Lee Mooney (siblings)|
Tom Mooney (September 12, 1954 – December 3, 2006) was an American and public school teacher.
Tom's mother, Marguerite Mooney, and his late father, Don Mooney Sr., had three other children, Don Mooney Jr. and Tina Mooney, both living in Cincinnati, and Lee Mooney, of Philadelphia.
In 1990, Mooney was elected a vice president of the AFT. He served on the AFT's executive council, the governing body of the national union, and in 1998 became part of the council's executive committee—a body of executive council members close to the president of the AFT, which advises the president and debates and formulates policy before bringing it to the council. On the executive council, Mooney served on the human rights and community relations, organizing, and affiliate accountability committees. He was also chair of the "program and policy council" for the union's teacher division.
In 2000 he became president of the Ohio Federation of Teachers.
Mooney was member of the Board of Directors of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and the Albert Shanker Institute. He was also a founding member of the Teacher Union Reform Network (TURN) and of what was renamed in his honor, the Mooney Institute for Teacher and Union Leadership.
Mooney's approach to teacher unionism emphasized the union's role as the professional voice of teachers. As chair of the AFT's Professional Issues Committee, Mooney remained focused on the classroom teacher's perspective and voice. He believed the union must lead reform, collaborate with the administration whenever possible, engage the adversaries of public education, but always put forward a strong teachers' voice, with bold ideas. Some of the ways that Tom Mooney's life and work provided inspiration to reform-minded teacher union leaders is captured on the Mooney Institute's Web Page devoted to Tom
Reputation and opinions
Mooney had a reputation as an articulate, aggressive, and progressive labor union activist. He frequently clashed with school district administrators over his bold ideas. He was a vocal critic of charter schools, and an advocate of teacher professionalism and education reform. Very much in-touch with his Irish family roots, Tom Mooney was an internationalist who drew inspiration from teacher unionism across the globe, from Australia, to Europe, Latin America and Africa. He brought lessons from the much more political teacher union movements in other countries to inspire union leaders in the US to build social movements and connect with broader movements for social change.
Mooney was married to Debbie Schneider, who lives in Washington and works for the Service Employees International Union as the director of Global Organizing Partnerships. They had a daughter, Leilah Mooney. Tom had a son, Ruairi Rhodes, from his first marriage to Virginia Rhodes.
- Kemme, Steve. "Teachers' advocate dies." Cincinnati Enquirer. (December 4, 2006)
- "OFT Mourns the Sudden Death of President Tom Mooney." Accessed Dec. 4, 2006
- Albert Shanker Institute shankerinstitute.org
- American Federation of Teachers aft.org
- Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, Local 1520, AFT, AFL-CIO cft.mwg.org
- National Board for Professional Teaching Standards nbpts.org
- Ohio Federation of Teachers, AFT, AFL-CIO oh.aft.org
- Mooney Institute for Teacher and Union Leadership