August 7, 2012

PSEA remembers Marc Kornfeld

Marc Kornfeld photos

Marc Kornfeld, longtime friend and colleague, passed away on August 5, 2012.

Marc came to PSEA in 1971 as one of the original group of the Association’s UniServ Representatives hired after NEA created the UniServ program. He served the members of PSEA for more than 41 years, working closely with college and university educators - members of PSEA as part of the Pennsylvania Association of Higher Education (PAHE) - and educators in PSEA’s Southern Region.

“We have lost an irreplaceable advocate for public education and organized labor,” said PSEA Executive Director John Springer. “Marc Kornfeld’s commitment to working men and women, to public education, and to students in Pennsylvania is a powerful example of a life dedicated to serving others. We offer our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and all whose lives he touched.”

Marc’s education and work prior to his tenure at PSEA demonstrate his dedication to advocating for working people. He received a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University in 1963, followed by post-graduate study at Temple University and the London School of Economics.

Marc served as a research officer for the Electrical, Electronics, and Telecommunications Union of Great Britain, and as assistant to the president of Local 1436 Retail Workers International Union.

Aside from professional responsibilities, Marc served as a Democratic Committeeperson, member of the board of his synagogue, coach for the West Shore Soccer Club, and volunteered for other community organizations.

As a UniServ Representative, Marc worked with educators and local associations to bargain contracts, organize members, and advocate for educators, students, and public schools. His friends and colleagues remember him as a tireless advocate for educators and public education.

“I worked very closely with Marc over the past 10 years, and many of my colleagues have worked with him since we achieved the right to collectively bargain in 1970,” noted PAHE President Jane Munley. “Marc was an invaluable source of information and support for locals and individuals who were struggling. He had a way of making you feel that everything was going to be ok, and gave us immeasurable strength.”

“I met Marc in 1988, when he was brought in to be the new UniServ representative for the Harrisburg Education Association,” said PSEA Southern Region President Mary Wills, a teacher in the Harrisburg school district. “He guided us through everything over the decades. He was an integral part of the HEA family and we think of him as an honorary member. His legacy is a lesson: always fight for what you believe in. Because that’s what he did.”

Marc has been an invaluable part of the PSEA team and will be sorely missed. Marc dedicated his life to helping and advocating for workers. He was committed to his members and the organization, and was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and brother, committed to his family. Marc’s passing will leave a huge hole in the hearts of all who knew him.   


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