Wednesday, July 24, 2024


Cambridge’s Paul Toner was re-elected president of the 107,000-member Massachusetts Teachers Association at the association’s annual meeting of delegates Saturday, with Brockton’s Timothy Sullivan re-elected vice president.

Both have held the positions for two years and will begin serving their second and final two-year terms in those offices in July.

In winning a second term by a wide margin, Toner defeated a challenge from the floor by Ron Colosi, president of the Arlington Education Association.

“My years of experience as MTA president, MTA vice president, an MTA Board member, local president in Cambridge, a middle school social studies teacher, a lawyer and a public school parent have prepared me to lead our state association,” Toner wrote an his pre-election statement. “My vision of the MTA is as a union of professional educators serving two equally important functions. First, as the largest labor union in the Commonwealth, we are a proud voice for workers’ rights, collective bargaining, due process in the workplace, improved compensation and benefits, human rights and social justice. … In addition to being a strong union and voice for the middle class, I believe the MTA must also be the voice of our profession and public education.”

Toner taught social studies and reading to seventh- and eighth-grade students at the Harrington Elementary School in Cambridge from 1993 to 2001, when he was elected president of the 1,100-member Cambridge Teachers Association. In 2006, he was elected vice president of the MTA.

A graduate of Boston University and the University of Massachusetts in Boston, Toner also holds a law degree from Suffolk University. He lives in Cambridge with his wife, Susan Connelly, and his children, Grace and Jack, who are in Cambridge Public Schools.

Sullivan, a middle school reading teacher and computer lab manager, was president of the Brockton Education Association before his election as MTA vice president in 2010.