Texas AFT is governed by an Executive Council of local union presidents across the state. Officers (president and secretary-treasurer) are elected every two years by delegates at our union’s state convention.
President Zeph Capo
Zeph Capo is the current president of the Texas American Federation of Teachers. Previously, he was the president of the Houston Federation of Teachers.
Capo believes that a quality public education and old-fashioned hard work are requirements for a robust economy, and public schools are the key to a robust civil society. Before becoming a union leader, Capo was a science teacher.
Capo is known for his honest and direct approach to solving issues and building lasting relationships in the communities he serves. In 2011, he spearheaded community meetings to develop a paradigm in how neighborhoods can effect change in a community. Capo believes in strengthening the school-to-work pipeline and dismantling the cradle-to-prison pipeline. To do so, he believes we must improve the learning conditions for our students which also happen to be the teaching conditions of our members.
Capo has served on several community boards that have added perspective and developed cross-sector relationships that will benefit Texas AFT as we forge a new direction. Texas AFT must invest the time to listen to our leaders and members on the ground and be committed to building a shared vision for our future.
Secretary-Treasurer Ray McMurrey
Ray McMurrey is the current secretary-treasurer of the Texas American Federation of Teachers. He is a former president of the Coastal Bend Labor Council and the Corpus Christi American Federation of Teachers, which was also the home of two former Texas AFT presidents: John Cole and Linda Bridges. Ray built a fierce reputation as a fighter for public schools and advocate for public-school employees. He championed employee voice through the consultation process and developed and a strong union led professional development program.
McMurrey is a seventh-generation Texan, born in Houston in 1965. He was raised in College Station and realized at an early age he wanted to become a teacher. In high school at A&M Consolidated, he joined Future Teachers of America and became a state finalist for Texas Mr. Future Teacher of America his senior year.
McMurrey attended St. Edward’s University and played on its men’s tennis team, which won the NCAA Division II, Heart of Texas Conference championship in 1990. He graduated Magna Cum Laude and was nominated for the Presidential Award, the university’s highest honor for academic success, service, and leadership. He later earned a master’s degree in government and history from Sul Ross State University in Alpine.
In 1995, McMurrey was selected as the only teacher from Texas, and one of 25 educators in the United States, to receive a full scholarship from the National Endowment for the Humanities to attend UCLA and study the U.S. Constitution through the Center for Civic Education. This group was fundamental in writing and reviewing the first national history standards in the United States, known then as Goals 2000.
Before serving as the four-term president of CCAFT and president of the Coastal Bend Labor Council, he was an 18-year secondary social studies teacher. His teaching experience included seven years in Eagle Pass ISD, along the Texas-Mexico border, and 11 years in Corpus Christi ISD. He taught Advanced Placement and Dual Credit Government and Economics. McMurrey also coached the highly ranked Mary Carroll High School varsity tennis team during his time CCISD. Ray also taught in the Texas higher education system for ten years as an adjunct faculty member at Southwest Texas Jr. College, Del Mar College, and Sul Ross State University.
Ray has been married to Veronica McMurrey, a retired public-school teacher, for 26 years. They have two daughters who have both graduated from college. Ray enjoys traveling, fitness, history, his two German Shepherds, and all things Texas. He is a certified professional fitness trainer and a member of the Texas State Guard. He enjoys staying active as a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. Ray also has a professional certification for Human Resource Management by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
Ray has served as the Texas AFT secretary-treasurer since 2015.