Fortune places West Virginia teachers on ‘Greatest Leaders’ list

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Fortune magazine released its annual list of “the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” on Thursday, which included political figures, business leaders and West Virginia teachers.

Educators from the Mountain State took the 31st spot in the rankings for their work during the statewide work stoppage earlier this year, which led to actions in other states such as Arizona and Kentucky.

“For years, it has been universally acknowledged that American public school teachers are woefully underpaid — and considered a given that it has to be that way,” the publication wrote. “Late last year, thousands of West Virginia teachers rose up and said, ‘Enough,’ mobilizing on Facebook and defying their union to strike for fairer pay and higher standards.”

Schools statewide were closed for nine days as teachers and service personnel demanded better pay and benefits. The byproduct of the action was a 5 percent raise for all public employees and a task force dedicated to finding a solution for rising insurance costs for these workers.

“The Students” took the top spot on the list, with the publication noting the work of the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School regarding gun violence.

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