Glamour: How One Woman Went From Lunch Lady to President of the Largest Teachers’ Organization

An editorial in Glamour:

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Lily Eskelsen García, 60, never imagined she’d go to college. After all, her parents’ biggest goal for her and her five siblings was that they make it through high school. So when the Texas native succeeded at that, she sought to work with kids, eventually landing a job as a preschool lunch lady. “And when I say ‘lunch lady,’ I’m padding my résumé,” says the half-Panamanian with a laugh. “I was a salad girl and worked my way up to hot food.”

Eskelsen García eventually became a popular kindergarten aide, and a teacher at that school suggested she consider college—even teaching. It was a move that paid off handsomely. In 1989 she was voted Utah’s Teacher of the Year.

2 Responses to “Glamour: How One Woman Went From Lunch Lady to President of the Largest Teachers’ Organization”

  1. Elizabeth Metcalf

    Lily, you are a dynamic president of the largest teachers’ union. I was present when you were elected. You never leave a doubt that you make all educators proud. I am one of those educators.

  2. Melissa Sewell

    Lily, I was there when you were elected and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting you once. I’m so excited that a mainstream women’s magazine has finally had an article about you. I’ve suggested it to another a few times. thanks from a retired educator for everything you’ve done and continue to do for teachers!


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