January 9, 2013 FEA Europe Update

January 9, 2013

1. Welcome Back
2. Area Directors' Travels
3. What Will Really Happen
4. Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Day of Service
5. Staffing Documents
6. New UniServ
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. Weather Updates
14. European Elections
15. Check that LES
16. Well, duh!

1. Welcome Back - I hope that you all had a break that was everything that you wanted it to be. My wishes are that 2013 will be even a better year. There will be loads of important information coming out in the next month so please pay attention to these Updates.

2. Area Directors' Travels -- Both Lisa and I were in Washington from December 16 through December 21 for the FEA Board of Directors meeting. On January 15 I will be traveling to Wiesbaden to attend the Area JCC on the 16th. On the 17th I will be visiting Landstuhl E/MS and in the evening attending the DoDDS-E Jazz Fest, also in Landstuhl. (More details below.) On the 18th I will visit Ramstein ES in the morning before heading back. I am currently scheduling many school visits with the emphasis at first on those schools that may have excess teachers this year. These visits will be finalized once we get the official staffing documents for next school year.

3. What Will Really Happen -- Nothing. The Mayans got it wrong and we are all still here. Not everyone I know is happy about it !

4. Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Day of Service - Always celebrated on the third Monday in January (this year Jan. 21), this federal holiday honors Reverend King's life and commitment to equality and unity. The Day of Service encourages citizens to follow King's words: "Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve." Read more at the Martin Luther King, Jr. website. Volunteers of all ages work on projects in their communities to honor King's dedication to community service. See also NEA's Classroom Resources for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

5. Staffing Documents - We are still waiting for the staffing documents for SY 13/14. We will let FRS's know as soon as they are released. FRS's should then work with the principal on how the new documents will impact the staffing for your school.

6 .New UniServ -- FEA Europe is pleased to announce that Attorney Mr. Ben Hunter has accepted a position as a UniServ Director for Europe, particularly for our members in the Bavaria and Kaiserslautern Districts, as well as our members in the Mediterranean District. He will be working out of office space provided in the NEA building in Washington. I will be sending out contact details when he is fully up and running. A short bio provided by Ben along with a photo is attached. Also, I would like to thank Richard Tarr and HT for making sure that legal services to members never missed a beat while we were looking for Ben. They did this above and beyond their normal duties. Again, thank you !

7. Honor Jazz Fest -- The DoDDS-E annual Honor Jazz Fest will be held on January 17. It is well worth attending if possible. The concert is scheduled for 1930 at the:

Festhalle Landstuhl
Kaiserstrasse 39
66649 Sickengenstadt Landstuhl

The concert will also be live-streamed at 1930 on

Tickets are free.
(Thanks to Lucky Moore of the Area office for the above information.)

8. Mark Your Calendars --

  • January 17 -- DoDDS-E Jazz Fest, Landstuhl
  • January 21 -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Federal Holiday )
  • January 24 -- Second Quarter/First Semester ends
  • January 25 -- Teacher Work Day

9. VERA, VSIP and Transfers -- While all of these items were discussed at our meetings in Washington, as of today, January 9, we have heard no further information on VERA,VSIP, or the transfer round. As soon as any news comes out we will immediately notify you. Transfer information will likely appear first at FEA Online.

10. Update -- Lisa will be sending out the next Update on or about January 16th . I will be back on the 23rd. 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.

13. Weather Updates - Winter weather is now upon us and so far so good if you are a duck ! We all know that colder weather is coming. The 21st Operational Weather Squadron located in Sembach, Germany, provides up to date weather information for all of our military installations and the surrounding areas. To find out the current 5 day forecast for your location go to : this site.

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. Check that LES -- There will be changes in your paychecks beginning this January, including the one detailed in the attachment. Please keep a close watch on your LES. We know there is the slim possibility that DFAS could make some mistakes.

16. Well, duh ! -- Who would have thought it ? You can't truly evaluate a teacher based on test scores. Please read the attached article from the Seattle Times graciously contributed by David Burgher, FRS at Sembach Middle School.

Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel: 0160 2388051