July 21, 2011

PSEA honors Gary Smith

Gary SmithPSEA honors longtime colleague Gary Smith, who passed away July 17, 2011, after a year-long battle with cancer.

He worked for PSEA for 17 years, in a variety of positions, most recently as PSEA’s Region Field Director for Mideastern Region. 

"Gary Smith was a universally respected colleague who will be deeply missed by members, leaders, and staff," said PSEA Executive Director John Springer.  "He was a tireless and creative advocate for public education and our members.  His positive spirit and dedication were invaluable. We send our sincere condolences to his family."

Gary joined PSEA staff in 1994, after serving as an active member and leader in both the United States and Australia. Born in Sydney, Australia, Gary came to the United States in 1988 after 14 years as a teacher in the New South Wales Department of Education, where he was president of the teachers’ federation.

After relocating to Pennsylvania, he became active in the Central Bucks Transportation Association, serving as chief negotiator, treasurer, and grievance chair. In 1994 he became a temporary Education Support Professionals Association Representative in Mideastern Region; then worked as a temporary UniServ Representative in Southern Region, before being named a permanent UniServ Rep-ESP in August 1995. In March 2008 he was named Region Field Director.

His family said of Gary: “He became a UniServ Rep for PSEA and found his calling as a rep, a negotiator and friend with many of his union co-workers. He loved his job.”

He was a skilled and talented professional who worked closely with local and regional PSEA associations representing thousands of members.
Gary was well-known for his positive attitude, sense of humor, loyalty, wisdom, and dedication to members, colleagues, friends, and family.

Outside of his role supporting educators and public education, Gary was an avid member of the Doylestown Rugby Club, spending nearly 25 years as a fan, player, coach, and mentor.

Gary’s decades of service to Pennsylvania schools and PSEA made him a dedicated advocate for public education, for teachers, education support professionals, and students. He will be greatly missed by his colleagues at PSEA and the thousands of members he served.



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