January 28, 2015 FEA Europe Report

Alex's Update


1. Perfect Storm
2. Area Director's Travel
3. European Sports
4. Acts of Kindness
5. Transfer Tips
6. Update
7. IRS Forms and Publications
8. Deadlines
9. Mark Your Calendars
10. Area JCC
11. NEA's Read Across America
12. Running Out of Leave?
13. VSIP/VERA Application Deadline
14. European Election Information
15. Unity
16. National School Counseling Week

1. Perfect Storm -- Over the years while working with FEA I have hit moments that I have often described as a ‘perfect storm'. This is one of them. It is sometimes rare that we have issues that affect large numbers of members, rather than more individual cases. This is one of those times. Over just the last two weeks we have started to deal with excessing, VSIP/VERA, and transfer applications in addition to the driver's license issue and also the upcoming background checks. We find ourselves right in the middle of all this right now, but be assured that FEA at all levels is working these issues, and that there is a steady hand on the rudder of the ship. I say this often but it always bears repeating: to keep up with all the latest news on these and other breaking stories be sure to check on a regular basis.

2. Area Directors' Travels -- With the publication of the Unity and the conducting of the election for the Representative Assembly, I will be quite busy over the next few weeks and unable to make any school visits. However, once these tasks are completed I will be setting up school visits beginning next month.

3. European Sports -- Over the next few weeks the European Finals will be held for several DoDDS-E high school sports. As a former coach I know that this is an exciting time for both coaches and players alike. Our coaches are very hard working and deserve lots of credit. If you are free and in the area you might want to check out one of the tournaments listed below:

Boys' and Girls' Basketball/Cheerleaders' Competition - February 18-21 Wiesbaden
Wrestling February 13-14 Wiesbaden
Marksmanship January 31 Vilseck

4. Acts of Kindness -- International Random Acts of Kindness Week this year will be the week of February 9-15. Seems a pity that this is only a week-long event! For information about this week, along with tips for educators, visit this site.

5. Transfer Tips -- Connie Shanaghan, our Director of Administration at FEA Washington, is often referred to as our transfer ‘guru'. She is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to information on the transfer program. You can read her current ‘Transfer Tips" here Connie Shanaghan's Tips for Transfers.

Also, you can read her tips at For either you will need your FEA ID card to log on.

6. Update- We will always let you know if something newsworthy comes up. In the meantime, check regularly with for your best source for breaking news. My next Update will be out on or about February 18.

7. IRS Forms and Publications -- As tax season approaches, this site has all of the forms and publications that you will need to complete your 2014 tax filing. Most can be done electronically. Here is the link to the site. I know that a number of you, for a variety of reasons, like to file early. Here is that link.

8. Deadlines -- Please note that the deadline for transfer applications is Friday, February 6, 2015, 5 p.m. local time, to the Principal.

9. Mark Your Calendars --
February 1 -- 28 -- Black History Month
February 2-6 -- National School Counseling Week
February 6 -- Transfer Application Deadline
February 9-15 -- International Random Acts of Kindness Week
February 14 -- Valentine's Day
February 16 -- President's Day (Federal Holiday)
March 2 -- NEA's Read Across America Day

10. Area JCC -- As of this writing there is no Area JCC scheduled. Please be aware however that we actively trying to set a date that will work for all parties concerned. I hope to have a definite date by my next Update.

11. NEA's "Read Across America" -- It's just a little over a month away (March 2, to be exact)…the biggest reading celebration in the world. For lots of ideas on how your school can take part in the fun and help to create lifelong readers, go to this site. Remember, this is NOT just for elementary schools; there are materials and ideas for all levels. This is also a great time to reach out to parents and involve them in a fun, positive, and educational way.

12. Running Out of Leave? - Unfortunately, due to illness, family emergencies, or other issues, sometimes teachers find themselves running out of leave. For those teachers, there are two options of which they should be aware. One is Advanced Leave. According to the regulation (DS 5630.4) up to 30 days of educator leave can be approved by management when an employee has no more accumulated leave. In other words, you can borrow against leave for future years' employment. Such advances are subject to subsequent earnings of leave or repayment upon separation for any leave advanced but not earned.

The second option is to apply for the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program. The VLTP permits Federal civilian employees to donate leave to other civilian employees who are experiencing medical or family medical emergencies. An employee who has a medical or family medical emergency that is likely to require the employee's absence from duty for a prolonged period of time and result in a loss of income due to unavailability of paid leave, may apply for donations of leave from other employees. These are the requests that you may sometimes see for donations of leave. Teachers can only donate from their APL days.

One further note: Any employee taking LWOP for an extended period should talk to the District HR concerning using interspersed leave to insure that all benefits and entitlements continue.

For questions or further information about leave issues, please contact your District HR.

13. VERA/VSIP Application Deadline January 30 - DODEA employees who wish to apply for VSIP or VERA can do so until January 30, 2015. For details and instructions, see the memo from DoDEA.

14. European Election Information - Election information packages are being prepared now for distribution to schools in FEA Europe. Ballots will be mailed to FRS's in early February, 2015. Ballots must be postmarked for return to the Area Director's Office by March 13, 2015, with the results published by April 3, 2015. The only contest this year in Europe is for delegates to the NEA Representative Assembly. The following are the European candidates for the NEA Representative Assembly to be held this July in Orlando. Voting timelines and other information can be found above
Bavaria Division -- Kevin Drury, Michael Priser
Isles Division -- Melinda Newport, Anita Lang, Wanda Gardner
Kaiserslautern 1 (South) Division -- Pam Garrett, Micheline Huntley
Kaiserslautern 2 (North) Division -- Lahoma Hendrix, Nancy Almendras, Amy Rush
All Division ballots will contain a space for write-in candidates.

15. Unity -- The Special Election Issue of the Unity will be published online within the next week to 10 days. It will include photos and brief bios of all of the candidates listed above. As soon as it is ready for publication you will be notified.

16. National School Counseling Week -- This special week celebrating school counselors will be held this year from February 2-6, with the purpose of focusing public attention on the unique contributions of professional school counselors within the U.S. school systems. In DoDEA, we are blessed with wonderful counselors who give much time and effort to helping students achieve school success and plan for their careers. For further information visit: this site.

Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director