Contact: Sandra Jackson at 916-325-1550
The California Teachers Association today honored the memory of Dr. Mary “Lois” Tinson, the first ethnic minority president of CTA, by naming the 340,000-member teachers association’s Flex Center conference room at its headquarters after her.
A gifted educator and an activist in the African-American community, Tinson was president of CTA from 1995-1999. She died during the Christmas holidays in 2003 at a hospital in Los Angeles after an extensive illness.
“Lois Tinson was an inspiration to thousands of teachers and staff during her long career,” CTA President David A. Sanchez said today. “She wanted all children to succeed. She was instrumental in reducing class sizes in the lower grades and fought tirelessly for more education funding for our students and schools. We honor her memory today by the naming of this room after her as a reminder of her leadership.”
During her tenure as CTA president, Tinson led efforts to secure passage of the state’s landmark Class Size Reduction law, which reduced class sizes for millions of students in kindergarten through third grade. She also established CTA as a significant political force on behalf of California public schools and students, leading the association’s fight to defeat Proposition 226 in 1996, which threatened to silence the voices of teachers and working families.
Tinson served on the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and was listed in Who’s Who in Black America and Who’s Who Among International Women. She was a reading and English teacher at North Park High School in the Baldwin Park Unified School District. Her teaching career began in Arkansas City, Arkansas, before she relocated to the Los Angeles area in 1961. She received her master's and doctorate degrees from Pepperdine University, where she was also an instructor of grade school education.