Antonia DeFreitas has created history by becoming the first woman to lead the TT Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA).
DeFreitas was declared the winner on Tuesday night with a total of 3623 of the votes cast earlier in the day.
In a keenly contested race that saw three women vying for the top position, the senior teacher at (St Charles) Tunapuna Girls’ RC School edged out her closest rival, Nirmala Chinebas-Dindial, by just under 300 votes.
Chinebas-Dindial, Upper Carapichaima Presbyterian Primary School principal, captured 3326 votes while Eastern Boys’ Government School principal, Jemma Riley, finished a distant third with some 604 votes.
Approximately 8,000 of the 11,500 teachers participated in the election process which saw 14 candidates contesting six positions – president, first, second and third vice president, treasurer and general secretary.
The results were announced in writing by Edward Ramsumair, secretary of TTUTA’s elections commission.
Receiving the highest number of votes, 4969, was Marlon Seales, the new first vice president, while 2458 votes went to his competitor Hannah Lackraj-Maurice.
Tuesday’s election also saw Kyrla Robertson-Thomas returning for a second term as second vice president with a clear mandate of 4465 votes. The other candidate contesting this position, Ronaldo Rollocks, collected a total of 2899 votes
Also in winners row with 3993 votes was Darren Lee Him, edging out his competitor Sharida Sagar-Ramnarine who received 3283 votes.
There were three candidates contesting the position of general secretary, but in the end, Kady Beckles triumphed over her competitors with 3908 of the votes cast. Roxane Romeo amassed 2221 votes, while Wayne Gransam secured 1354 votes.
Some 4483 teachers elected Cuthbert Joseph to serve as their treasurer instead of Eric Floyd who received 2874 votes.
The new executive will be sworn in on October 31 for a three-year term.
Outgoing president Lynsley Doodhai said while the swearing-in is usually done on the sixth working day after the election, given that next Monday will be the Divali holiday, the sixth day falls on Thursday, October 31.
Doodhai and those who served with him will remain at TTUTA for the next month to ensure a smooth transition.
They will return to their substantive teaching positions in December.