New America Media
Stories about Lily Eskelsen García typically mention the fact her career began as a lunch lady in a local school in her native Utah. But the new head of the nation’s largest teacher’s union, the National Education Association, offers a slightly different take: “I was the salad girl,” she said. “They wouldn’t even trust me with hot food.”
On the urging of a kindergarten teacher she later returned to school, paying part of her way by singing folk songs in coffee shops around Salt Lake City. Nine years later Utah named her Teacher of the Year.