From the Classroom to the Senate

Teresa Fedor looks back at two decades of service

For nearly 20 years, Teresa Fedor has represented the Toledo area in state politics. Beginning with a seat in the Ohio House in 2000, Fedor’s career has seen her elected to the Ohio Senate in 2002, a second term in the House in 2010, and now a return to the Senate with her election in November to represent the greater Toledo area as part of the 11th District.

Before entering politics, Senator Fedor worked in another challenging forum: A room full of grade school kids.
“As a public school teacher, I am very concerned about public education, and making sure children have the best opportunities to choose whatever career they wanted. And, of course, I’m always interested in making sure our education system is modernized with the latest tools and technology, that match the working world,” Fedor said, adding, “That’s a really big challenge for everyone, and I just felt that we needed a teacher’s voice in the statehouse.”

Fedor also served in the Air Force and National Guard prior to her career in the classroom, inspired by her own father’s service and watching coverage of the Vietnam War on television. “I felt a sense of wanting to serve our country and seeing the world at the same time.”

Public service

During her career in public service, Fedor has remained focused on education while also using her elected position to fight against human trafficking. She has introduced several pieces of legislation during her time in the House aimed at protecting victims of sexual slavery. “I’ve been able to marshall resources, such as people at the grassroots level around the State of Ohio and the attention at the statehouse to start addressing [the human trafficking issue] through laws, policies and awareness. And we’ve been able to educate the population to look for it, so we are also rescuing [victims],” Fedor said of her work.

Throughout the past two decades, Fedor said one of the most heartening changes has been seeing the generation she helped guide in the classroom take steps to speak for themselves in the political arena — particularly, she noted, in the years since the 2016 Presidential Election.

“My experience over time has been a positive experience, even though I’ve gone through a whole lot in the last 20 years. I have been challenged and I’m still standing. However, after saying all of that, I believe that people have become more engaged over time, which I am happy to see.”

I have always wanted to… be an astronaut.
What do you admire most in people? Their courage.
What is your pet peeve? People not being kind to each other.
What is something that most people don’t know about you? That I was a zoo teacher for five years, even when I was a legislator. The four-year-olds had no idea!
What are the words you live by? The cause is greater than the fear that you may have in addressing an issue.
What advice would you give to the younger you? Go on more vacations. Go to more National Parks.
Who is someone you’d like to meet? Albert Einstein.
What inspires you now? The younger generation taking the helm from the more established professionals.
What’s your favorite food? Ice cream.
Favorite movie? It’s a Wonderful Life.
Who do you most admire? Martin Luther King.

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