Kerri McCaffrey is a 5th grade teacher and in 2005, after a lifetime of hiding, had male to female gender reassignment in Montreal. She did this in the middle of her teaching year because she was not tenured. She also had to hide her surgery until the end of that year–in essence, reverse cross dressing to keep her job. She risked everything to become Kerri, but after a very public battle with her school district she went back to teaching that next September. She has been successfully teaching in this public school district ever since.
While prominent television shows like Barbara Walters’, “The View”, and interviewers such as Paula Zahn wanted to make her story more public–she declined all interviews in order to keep her teaching position safe. She is now tenured and has gained much respect from within her district.
A NJ State swimming champion in high school and an All-American in college, she recently returned to the pool in her first competitions as a female. In 2012 she was ranked ranked as high as 5th in the nation in the US Masters Swimming Final Top Ten Rankings, 2012. She has had to risk everything as transgender people are still not allowed to use the locker rooms in some of the states in which she competes.
Today, she continues to teach and lives quietly with her two loving sons. She recently published a poetry book entitled, In the Valley of Glow Trees (available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble) and is completing a memoir as well.
As the only successful openly transgender teacher in New Jersey she presents a stirring message of hope, healing, and courage–a message that urges people to be themselves no matter what the cost because we can’t help others unless first we help ourselves. Come and meet this courageous woman at our next meeting, which will be held on January 8 at 7:30 pm in the sanctuary of St. John’s Episcopal Church…Refreshments will be served. (See our home page for more meeting information.)
Several documents detailing her life are:
“Mendham Teacher Offers Lesson in Tolerance” (Daily Record of Morris County)
“Real Life Lesson When He Returns to Teach as a She