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L-R: Al Shanker, Paul Bradford, David Bloomfield.

Three decades before he became a GothamSchools contributor, education lawyer David Bloomfield was a young teacher trying to organize his colleagues.

While working to unionize teachers at the New Lincoln School, a now-defunct experimental private school in Manhattan, Bloomfield got help from United Federation of Teachers founder and then-president Al Shanker. In the background of the photograph they took together is Paul Bradford, the UFT liaison assigned to New Lincoln who now heads the union’s retiree chapter on the West Coast of Florida.

Bloomfield sent us the picture after coming across it before the New Lincoln reunion held last weekend. “To go back and see my once-third-graders grow into adulthood and to be thanked for work done 30 years ago is a ‘Wonderful Life’ experience that, perhaps, only comes from teaching,” Bloomfield wrote in an email. “I felt like Mr. Chips!”