Thomas H. Reece, a former president of the Chicago Teachers Union, died Sept. 17. He was 68 and had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage.
He took over the union after the 1994 death of Jacqueline B. Vaughn, who was known for her advocacy and leadership of repeated strikes. He was re-elected three times, during a period of relative quiet and partnership with the district. In 2001, he lost his position to Deborah Lynch Walsh, who charged that the union had been co-opted by the administration into a role that left its members unprotected.
Mr. Reece was a science teacher and assistant principal before becoming an officer of the union, where he served as the financial secretary and vice president before Ms. Vaughn’s death. He also served as the president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers during the time he was the president of the CTU. Both unions are affiliates of the American Federation of Teachers.
A version of this article appeared in the October 04, 2006 edition of Education Week