Lewis said she and Byrd-Bennett did not discuss exactly how they will work together, "but the doors are both open, so I'm hopeful."
A good relationship could be vital as the district starts talking about closing dozens of schools that are half empty. One of the biggest issues during the teacher strike was ensuring that teachers from shuttered schools have a fair shot at other teaching positions in the district.
Other union leaders praised Byrd-Bennett as knowledgeable and experienced.
Adam Urbanski, president of the Rochester teachers union that clashed with Brizard, said he and Byrd-Bennett served as co-chairs of an American Federation of Teachers advisory board and she understands both teachers and unions.
"I think she has a more promising track record of being able to work more collaboratively with teachers," Urbanski said. "I'm hopeful that her experience in Chicago will help to stabilize the relationships and figure out ways to move forward together."
Associated Press writer Herbert G. McCann contributed to this story.
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