Whitmer responds to death of former Michigan Education Association President


East Lansing, Mich. (WLNS)– The Michigan Education Association announced the death of former President Steven Cook, who passed away earlier this week after battling a non-COVID-19 illness.

The longest-serving officer of any NEA state affiliate, Cook was the first education support professional to serve as president of Michigan’s largest school employee union, serving in that role from 2011-2017.  Prior to that, Cook served as the union’s secretary-treasurer and later vice president, totaling 26 years of leadership of MEA and Michigan’s educators.

A community-school liaison for the Lansing Public Schools, Cook served as the local president of the Lansing Educational Assistants prior to becoming an MEA state officer.

“Steve was a fierce believer in the collective power of both public education and unions to change lives,” said MEA President Paula Herbart. “He was a resolute leader who always stood up for what he believed was right for school employees and students.  His loyalty – to both his union and to those lucky enough to call him a friend – was his trademark.

“The labor movement and the cause of public education are both worse off today for losing a champion in
Steve Cook.”

Cook, 63, is survived by his wife, Sarah, and son, Wayne.  The family asks for privacy during this difficult time.

Gov. Whitmer issued the following response Wednesday on Twitter:

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