Gary Ravani, 72, a fierce advocate of public education, died on November 17 after being hospitalized for acute pancreatitis. Ravani served as president of the EC/TK-12 Council from 2009 to 2015 and as a CFT Vice President for two decades.
After fighting in the Vietnam War for three years where he saw action during the Tet Offensive of 1968, Ravani earned his degree and teaching credential. He taught history, English, and ESL at Kenilworth Junior High in Petaluma for 35 years.
Ravani became involved in the union and served as president of the Petaluma Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 1881, for 19 years. He was famous for his back-to-school speeches that used his droll sense of humor to weave together observations of the current political climate. He read nearly every education study published, analyzed that information to provide foundation for his union work, and quoted statistics and detail impressively.