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Teachers unions’ director to leave

GLENDALE — After seven years leading the local California Teachers Assn. office, which supports the Glendale and Burbank teachers unions, Denise Jennex is leaving her post to work with teachers associations in Baldwin Park and El Monte.

Jennex has been the executive director of the Glendale-Burbank UniServ office since September of 2000. The California Teachers Assn. has UniServ, or United Services, offices throughout California to provide support services to larger local teachers associations.

“There were issues that made me decide to leave Glendale,” Jennex said. “I have no problem with [the California Teachers Assn.] at all, and I have no comment about the Glendale leadership.”

As the executive director of the Glendale-Burbank UniServ, Jennex acted as a consultant to the board of directors of the Glendale Teachers Assn. and the Burbank Teachers Assn.

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The executive director helps the boards of the teachers associations implement their decisions, Jennex said. As a California Teachers Assn. employee, Jennex works for neither of the two boards.

Jennex worked her last day as the executive director of the Glendale teachers union on Monday, she said. She will continue to work with the Burbank teachers union through December.

The executive director role at both unions will be filled by retired staff members from the California Teachers Assn. until a permanent replacement is found, Jennex said.

At the Glendale Unified School District board meeting on Nov. 20, the school board presented Jennex with a plaque commending her for her service to the teachers and students of the school district.

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“She really has been . . . a warrior in protecting the rights of teachers,” Supt. Michael Escalante said.

While he and Jennex have gone “nose to nose” on several issues, Escalante said, and there have been difficult negotiations between the school district and the teachers union, Escalante said he appreciates the integrity and work ethic that Jennex brought to her job.

“I believe that the very best values of the [California Teachers Assn.] were embodied in Denise,” board member Mary Boger said.

Jennex would not elaborate on the issues that prompted her to leave the Glendale-Burbank UniServ.

“I’m not placing blame on anybody,” Jennex said. “I’m just saying there were issues.”

Jennex said it was her understanding that the two teachers unions planned to stay in the current arrangement in the UniServ office, but that that decision was up to the leadership of the two unions.



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