Valerie Hagglund Receives 2014 George Ritzer Labor Award

Valerie Hagglund of Jamestown has been named the 2014 George Ritzer Labor Award winner.

Hagglund is employed as a paraprofessional for the Jamestown Public Schools District and has been active in her union for the past 18 years. She served two years as secretary of the Association of Jamestown Paraprofessionals of NYSUT Local 04-217, including 16 years as president. After those 16 years she took a two-year break before running again for the post after many requests. She was elected co-president in May 2014.

Hagglund has negotiated five contracts and is in the process of another contract negotiation. She has won many grievances for her members. Hagglund is also active attending labor rallies for the Labor Council.

She has served on two interview teams for the selection of an assistant principal at Persell Middle School and served twice on interview committees for superintendents of the Jamestown Public Schools District. Hagglund has represented the supports staff on the Shared Decision Making Committee and Persell Middle School.

The Ritzer Award selection committee also cites Hagglund’s work in the community as an officer in the PTA and the PTO, a room mother for all of her children, a den mother in Cub Scouts and collecting for the March of Dimes. She has volunteered during open house and family game nights.

Hagglund is also active in the Lakewood Baptist Church, working as the Sunday school superintendent, a Sunday school teacher, helping in children’s church and serving for many years on the nominating committee and helping with vacation Bible school.

She has been a chairperson along with her husband, Stephen, on the Grace Home’s board, helping direct a group of funeral homes connected with the Lakewood Baptist Church. Hagglund served as treasurer of those homes.

At New Hope Community Church, Hagglund is on the Board of Christian Education, outreach committee and serves as church moderator. She also works in the nursery, is the children’s church moderator and serves as assistant treasurer.

Hagglund is married to Stephen Hagglund. The couple has three children: Ingrid, Eric and Nicholas; and has four grandchildren.

The Ritzer Award is named after the late George Ritzer, who served as president of the Jamestown Labor Council for more than 20 years. The first award was presented in 1984 to Robert Franco of IBOF 27. George Spitale of AFSCME Local 418 was chairman. The award is given each year in Ritzer’s memory to an individual active in the labor movement.