Kathi Griffin, President
Kathi Griffin of Schaumburg was elected president of the Illinois Education Association in April 2017.
Griffin always knew she wanted to be a teacher. She began her teaching career in Schaumburg in 1981, teaching fifth grade. Throughout her career with the Schaumburg Elementary School District, she taught students from Pre-K through sixth grade. When asked which grade she liked teaching best, Griffin’s response is, “All of them. Each grade level of students, while different, is simply a joy to work with.”
Griffin, who lives in Schaumburg with her husband, Larry, believes that being a teacher made her a better parent and being a parent made her a better teacher. She always treated her students as she would want others to treat her daughter, who is now a second grade teacher and IEA member.
Prior to becoming president of the Illinois Education Association, Griffin held many leadership roles including vice-president of the Illinois Education Association, NEA director from Illinois, a member of the Illinois Education Association’s Board of Directors and local president of the Schaumburg Education Association.
Al Llorens, Vice President
Al Llorens was elected vice president of the Illinois Education Association in April 2017, bringing decades of classroom experience to his leadership position with the association.
“The IEA advocates for equity in public education and the tools and resources necessary to create, provide and sustain that environment,” he said. “The expertise IEA members provide help deliver on the promise of public education and an opportunity for a better tomorrow for all students. The members of IEA work to create pathways to educational excellence.”
Llorens’ past experience includes teaching fourth grade phonics and middle school reading in Champaign schools; serving as the GED math and science teacher and the PR director in Kankakee; working as a high school math and science teacher in Montclair, Calif.; teaching sixth and seventh grade math in Chicago; and serving as the high school math and head girls track and cross country coach at Thornridge High School.
Llorens believes the collective voice of the more than 130,000 members works to advance the issues that are important to quality public education at the local, regional and state levels of the organization. These issues provide dignity through working conditions and a compensation system that reflects respect for the work that IEA does both while engaged in active service and during retirement.
“IEA continually strives to ensure that there are great public schools for all students,” Llorens said.
Tom Tully, Secretary-Treasurer
Tom Tully was elected secretary-treasurer of the Illinois Education Association in April 2017, shortly before completing his 22nd year as a special education teacher at Glenbard East High School in Lombard.
Tully worked on association issues for the 22 years he was a member of the IEA. He had been involved in many leadership roles over the years. He enjoyed providing trainings in a variety of areas over the years. Before being elected as secretary-treasurer of the IEA in April 2017, Tully was on the IEA board of directors and the NEA board of directors and served as the president of his local.
“The IEA needs to continue to lead on protecting the middle class and securing education funding so our students have the resources needed to succeed,” Tully said.
“I look forward to representing all of our IEA members across the state!”