Colorado’s largest union for teachers gets a new leader

Jenny Brundin/CPR News
Educators and members of the Colorado Education Association march down Grant St. chanting “What do we want? Funded schools? When do we want them? Now!” Feb. 29, 2024.

Colorado’s largest teachers union has chosen its current vice president, Kevin Vick, to lead the organization of nearly 40,000 educators for the next three years.

Vick was elected president of the Colorado Education Association at a delegate assembly Saturday, a union spokesperson said. Vick, a high school social studies teacher, has been vice president of the union for the past six years. He is set to begin a three-year term as president in July.

Vick has been on leave from Colorado Springs Schools D 11 to serve in union leadership.

“Together, we have fought for better wages, fairer workplace conditions and a fully funded education system in Colorado,” Vick said in a statement.

“I am confident that together, we will continue to champion the rights of educators, advocate for the needs of our students, and foster a culture of collective unity and strength.”

In the past year, the Colorado Education Association pushed state lawmakers to end the budget stabilization factor, which is a process of withholding K-12 education funding to pay for other priorities. The union also backed Proposition HH, a ballot measure that could have increased school funding but that Colorado voters soundly rejected last November.

Union President Amie Baca-Oehlert could not run again due to term limits. In a statement, she praised Vick’s “unwavering commitment to bettering the educational landscape in Colorado.”

“His proven track record of leadership, coupled with his profound understanding of the nuances of our education system’s strengths and challenges, uniquely positions him to steer CEA towards even greater heights of success and impact,” she said.

Liz Waddick, a Spanish teacher at Summit High School in Breckenridge and a member of the local Summit County Education Association, was elected vice president of the statewide union.