January 23, 2013 FEA Europe Update

January 23, 2013

1. Spring Election Information
2. Area Directors' Travels
3. Read Across America 2013
4 DDESS Information
5. Staffing Documents
6. Candidates for RA
7. Honor Jazz Fest
8. Mark Your Calendars
9. VERA, VSIP, and Transfers
10. Update
11. IRS Forms and Publications
12. FEA President Visits
13. Fort Bragg
14. European Elections
15. W-2
16. Astronaut Mail

1. Spring Election Information - Election information packages are being prepared now for distribution to schools in FEA Europe. Ballots will be mailed to FRSs January 31, 2013. Ballots must be postmarked for return to the Area Director's Office by March 1, 2013, with the results published by April 5, 2013. The only contest this year in Europe is for delegates to the NEA Representative assembly.

2. Area Directors' Travels -- Last week I was in Wiesbaden for a JCC and then went on to visit Landstuhl. I am staying in Vilseck for the next 4 days but then beginning next week will be visiting Bitburg, Spangdahlem Schweinfurt, and Bamberg. This is a very busy time with lots of uncertainties so I feel that it is important that I get out to visit schools, especially those undergoing changes.

3. Read Across America 2013 -- "Grab your Hat and Read with the Cat" will be the 2013 theme of NEA's Read Across America celebration as we return to the beloved Dr. Seuss tale of mischief and celebrate the joy of reading across the nation on Friday, March 1, this year's official Read Across America Day. For more information. I find it hard to believe that this event is so close. I always associate it with the very early Spring. Looking out of my window here in snowy Bavaria it is almost hard to envision Spring ever coming again !

4 DDESS Information -- We often get questions about the possibility of teaching in a DDESS school, or the differences between DoDDS and DDESS. The attached information sheet will tell you a little about those differences. This was compiled with the help of management as well as Terry Arvidson, FEA Director for DDESS, and Dorothy Lee, DDESS UniServ attorney.

5. Staffing Documents -- Staffing documents are now being received for SY 2013/14 in all European Schools. A word of caution however; we have been told and firmly believe that there will be adjustments so do not panic if they show unexpected loss of staff. FEA will closely monitor this until we get what we believe are the final and fully accurate documents.

6 .Candidates for RA -- The following are the European candidates for the NEA Representative Assembly to be held this July in Atlanta. Voting timelines and other information can be found in number one above.

Bavaria District (Vote for Two) -- Noemi (Mimi) Cuadrado, Alex Veto
Isles District (Vote for One) -- Kathy Douma, Anita Lang
Heidelberg District (Vote for Two ) -- Nancy Almendras, Alathea Daniels, Virginia (Gini) Dugan, Chuck McCarter
Kaiserslautern District (Vote for Two) -- Open

All District ballots will contain a space for write-in candidates.

7. Honor Jazz Fest -- Last Thursday afternoon while visiting Landstuhl I had the opportunity to attend the DoDDS Honors Jazz Fest that I made mention of here in my last Update. It was truly unbelievable. I realize that I am very fortunate in that I was able to attend but I honestly think that you would enjoy the concert even now from your own living room. It can be found here.

8. Mark Your Calendars --
January 24 -- Second Quarter/First Semester ends
January 25 -- Teacher Work Day
February 1-28 -- Black History Month
February 18 -- Presidents' Day (Federal Holiday)

9. VERA, VSIP, and Transfers -- Vera and VSIP have still not been announced as of this writing. We are still cautiously optimistic on these programs. A check of my archives indicates that in most years it has been near the end of January when the official announcements went out. As soon as we hear anything we will get the word out immediately. If what happened in the past happens again there will be a very short suspense to apply so be prepared. As we all know the Transfer Program has been suspended for now. DoDEA HQ will open the transfer data base program in case there is a change in the fiscal situation and HQ decides there is sufficient time and resources to conduct the program. FEA has made sure Ms. Fitzgerald knows how important the Transfer Program is for our teachers and our system. FEA Washington will monitor the situation and notify us of any updates.

10. Update -- Lisa will be sending out the next Update on or about January 16th . I will be back on the 23rd . It is possible it could be a little late as I will be on the road that week. As always, if there is breaking news, we will get it out to you. Also remember to check for current information.

11. IRS Forms and Publications -- As tax season approaches, this site has all of the forms and publications that you will need to complete your 2012 tax filing. Most can be done electronically. Here is the link to the site.

12. FEA President Visits - Michael Priser, FEA President, will be traveling through Europe beginning on January 21st so hopefully you will get a chance to speak with him as he visits your area. Check with your FRS as to whether or not and he might be visiting your school your school. There is no way for Michael to visit every school but you should be able to catch up with him somewhere near you. He is currently in England.

13. Fort Bragg -- The attached report from the Fayetteville Observer of January 20th details some proposed plans for Fort Bragg. It is interesting to us because of the DDESS schools which are there and the general discussion of plans for force reduction in to the future.

14. European Elections - Elections will soon be held for FEA Europe NEA RA delegates. This is the only election being conducted by the Europe Area Council this year. The remainder of the elections for at-large offices (president, etc.) will be conducted by FEA HQ in Washington. Information regarding the elections will be forthcoming soon. Thank you to all who have applied to attend the RA this summer in Atlanta. Election materials will be sent to each school's FRS in the near future.

15. W-2 -- I received my W-2 in the mail yesterday so I know that they are currently being mailed. In addition, they should now be posted on the MyPay website. If you are one of the lucky ones anticipating a refund then file early. You can find the forms at #11.

16. Astronaut Mail -- Thanks to Doug Rauscher of Vilseck HS for sharing this beautiful collection of photos from space. In viewing these photos I found a sense of relaxation so I am including them in this Update. With all that is going on we all can use a little serenity each day ! (I think I should also credit Astronaut Douglas Wheelock for taking them) !

Go Ravens !


Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel: 0160 2388051