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The leadership team of the DFT, Officers, Executive Board Members and Trustees, recently participated  in a retreat. Wearing "red for ed" is one way they demonstrated our union solidarity. The participants went over the roles, responsibilities and expectations of serving as leaders of the union. 


WHAT'S NEW: Official List for Executive Board Vacancy and Election Committee

From the DFT Election Committee, here is the official list of candidates for the upcoming election of one (1) Executive Board member and three (3) Election Committee members. It is possible more names will be added to the list once the grievance process, as outlined in the 2023 Calendar is completed.

Executive Board (one vacancy)                                                                                    

  • Gavin Buckley
  • Stephen Conn
  • Rachele Green
  • Kwesi Matthews
  • Kimberly L. Mitchell

Election Committee (three vacancies)

  • Cheryl Constantino
  • Hope Gibson
  • Theodosia Gulley
  • Tamika Merchant
  • Jacqueline Robinson
  • Queen Watkins

My name is Angela, and I’m writing to you as a high school student at Cass Tech, and a member of Congress of Communities in southwest Detroit and the 482Forward Youth Organizing Collective. You’re invited to the Grand Opening of our Youth-Led Art Exhibition: Your Brain on School, taking place Saturday, February 11th 4-8pm in southwest Detroit.

It's important for you and Detroit's educators to see how students truly experience our schools. Over 200 youth from across the city have contributed to an immersive art project highlighting the impact of stress, over-surveillance and lack of resources on


WHAT'S NEW: 3 Members Honored by District

The DFT sends its congratulations to three of our members who recently received awards at the 9th annual Champions of Education, DPSCD Teachers and Leaders of the Year gala. We are proud of these union members:

  • Candice Jackson, a third-grade math and science Master teacher at Mann Learning Community, Teacher of the Year Award
  • N’Shan Robinson, counselor, Mumford High School , DFT Instructional Support Staff of the Year Award
  • Natassia Szpaichler, ESE teacher, John R. King Academic and Performing Arts Academy, Rookie Teacher of the Year Award

This annual celebration is held by the district, in collaboration with the DPS Foundation. 


The Election Committee has announced the 2023 election for one (1) executive board vacancy and three (3) election committee members. The executive board vacancy is a partial term (March 2023-January 2025) and the election committee are the full two year terms (April 2023-March 2025). The duties of the Election Committee are outlined in the 2023 Election Committee Guidelines document. Please use this nomination form for either executive board or election commitee. A member must be in good standing and cannot run for two positions. As outlined in the 2023 Spring Election calendar the nominations open today. Voting will take place in person at the March general membership meeting. For any other questions, please reach out to the Election Committee at Please allow them time to respond as they are busy teaching and working during the school day.

WHAT'S NEW: Farewell to Terrence Martin


It is time to say farewell to Terrence Martin, who has stepped away from his role as President of the DFT. He has been a participating member of Local 231 since his first days of teaching, back in 1998, when he began teaching elementary school with DPS. In his second year with the district, he was elected as building representative and has gone on to be actively involved with the union ever since. He was elected as DFT treasurer, then hired to work in the union office with job duties including labor relations administrator, political action, community engagement and negotiations. These skills served him well when he was named as executive vice president in 2015. He ran for President in 2018 and 2020, winning both elections. He will not be far away from DFT members as he is currently the secretary-treasurer of the state federation and is one of the national vice presidents for AFT. You will see him  out and about in the community as he continues to be involved in many organizations such as the Michigan Democratic Party, the Black Leadership Advisory Council with Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Education Justice Coalition. His legacy of doing what's right and what's fair for students, their families, educators and the community will not be forgotten. Terrence has been an advocate for social, economic and education justice for his entire career and that will not stop. We wish him all the best as he pursues other opportunities.