Elsie P. BurkhalterAFT Vice President
Elsie Palmer Burkhalter has been president of the St. Tammany Federation of Teachers and School Employees in Louisiana since the union received its charter from the AFT in 1979.
Under Burkhalter's stewardship, the federation has become one of the largest and most influential education organizations in the parish and one of the largest local chapters of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers. The St. Tammany federation is the only AFT local in Louisiana to have "wall-to-wall" representation, bargaining for all eight units of school employees in the district.
In addition to her duties as an AFT local president, Burkhalter also serves as a vice president of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers and is a member of the AFT Teachers program and policy council.
Named one of the "50 people to watch" by New Orleans Magazine, Burkhalter's influence has spread beyond the union. She has been active in local politics, serving on the Slidell City Council from 2002 to 2006, and in national politics, serving as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention for the past six conventions. Burkhalter, who also chairs the board of supervisors for the University of Louisiana system, has received numerous awards for her leadership in the community.
A lifelong resident of St. Tammany Parish, Burkhalter holds a Bachelor of Science from Southern University in Baton Rouge and an a Master of Education from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, La.