October 6 2010 FEA Europe Update

2. Good News!
3. "Best Practice"
4. "What's Wrong With This Picture?"
5. Contact Information
6. Is Your SCD Correct?
7. FEA BOD Meeting
8. American Education Week
9. Pay Problems
10. Retirement Information
11. October Events
12. Mark Your Calendars

1. FEHB -- Don't forget Open Season for the Federal Employee Health Benefits program is coming up Monday, November 8, 2010 through Monday, December 13, 2010.

2. Good News! Most of you have probably already read it, but good news always bears repeating. According to the 9/30/2010 Stars & Stripes, DoDEA students once again scored above the national averages on the 2010 TerraNova, making gains in a majority of subject areas. While we all know there is MUCH more to good teaching and good schools than test scores, it is nice to see how DoDEA excels in this particular measure. In spite of the poor organization and poor communication we faced last year, (DoDEA teachers continued to do an outstanding job!)

3. "Best Practice" -- In visiting Alconbury HS, I noticed a great idea on their FEA Bulletin Board. An envelope containing blank "thank you" notes is posted on it, and members are encouraged to thank or compliment their colleagues by filling out one and posting it on the Bulletin Board….what an easy and great way to brighten a colleague's day!

4. "What's Wrong With This Picture?" Obviously changes in staffing can necessitate changes in assignments, but when a principal reassigns a teacher to a grade level they have never taught, for no educational or staffing reason, something is wrong. Putting teachers in grade levels or subjects where they are not comfortable when there are other options is not good for kids or teachers. It is clear that these administrators do not realize that teachers' working conditions are kids' learning conditions.

5. Contact Information -- Please continue to help us update our mailing lists by sending us any corrections, additions or deletions to the mailing lists we use for our Updates and other bulletins.

6. Is Your SCD Correct? I am already getting questions about transfers and retirements. Please don't wait until you wish to transfer or retire or for some other important event... check to see if your Service Computation Date is correct and if it is not, start the process to correct it. Contact your District HR Team for assistance.

7. FEA Board of Directors' Meeting -- Alex and I will be attending the FEA BOD meeting the week of Oct 18-22. (There will be no Update that week.) This twice a year meeting is a chance for FEA leadership from all three of our regions to get together and discuss issues which impact our schools and our members. Alex and I will be taking concerns which we have heard from our school visits, our recent EAC meeting, and which members and local leaders have brought to our attention. This is also an opportunity for us to meet DoDEA leadership as well as members of the NEA governance and staff.

After the BOD meeting, I will travel to Cuba to meet with our members at our schools at Guantanamo. (Keep your fingers crossed for good weather!) During the BOD and my time in Cuba, it may take me a while to respond to e-mails, so please be patient.

8. American Education Week - In 2010, the 89th annual American Education Week will take place November 14--20. Each day during the week will spotlight a different aspect of school life:
  • Monday, November 15 
Open House Day 
From national commemorations to local community events, millions of Americans celebrate public education.
  • Tuesday, November 16 
Parents Day
Schools invite parents into the classroom for a hands-on experience of what the day is like for their child.
  • Wednesday, November 17 
Education Support Professionals Day 
Individuals who provide invaluable services to schools are recognized for their outstanding work.
  • Thursday, November 18 
Educator for a Day 
Community leaders are invited to serve as educators to get a glimpse at a day in the life of a school employee.
    Friday, November 19 
Substitute Educators Day
This day honors the educators who are called upon to replace regularly employed teachers.
Plan now to celebrate the great work that you and your colleagues do!

9. Pay Problems -- As we continue to hear of more pay problems, here is information on who to contact in DoDDS-E when you need to file a pay inquiry, etc:
Bavaria District:
Rebecca Sousa Supv HR Representative - DSN 338-7538
Allen Ashton Customer Service Representative - DSN 338-7552

Heidelberg District
Stella Ramirez Supv HR Representative - DSN 338-7533
Deborah Argerake Customer Service Representative - DSN 338-7532

Isles District
Jeanne Garrett Supv HR Representative - DSN 338-7373
Lindsey McLaren Customer Service Representative - DSN 338-7934

Kaiserslautern District
Tiffany Corwin Supv HR Representative - DSN 338-7534
Ajana Hall Customer Service Representative - DSN 338-7542

Mediterranean District
Laura Miedema Supv HR Representative - DSN 338-7537
Debra Bell Supv HR Representative - EOD October 04, 2010
Ebony Price-Brueckner Customer Service Representative - DSN 338-7549

DoDDS Europe Area Director's Office:
Ron Osewalt Financial Specialist - DSN 338-7559

Please remember, when you need to contact Bill Freeman, our UniServ attorney for pay grievances, debt letters and related issues, please use the following address:

10. Retirement Information -- Please contact the Human Resources POCs listed below if you are interested in retirement counseling or have questions.
Jeanne Garrett -- Isles District - DSN 338-7373
Laura Miedema -- Med District and Area Director's Office - DSN 338-7537
Rebecca Sousa -- Bavaria District - DSN 338-7538
Stella Ramirez -- Heidelberg District - DSN 338-7533
Tiffany Corwin -- Kaiserslautern District - DSN 338-7534

You can also find information relating to retirement at:

11. October Events -- In addition to being Hispanic Heritage Month, October is also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. (

12. Mark Your Calendars -
  • October 16,17 -- Strategic Leadership/Group Process Skills, Kaiserslautern POC: Terese Sarno
  • October 18 -- 22 - FEA Board of Directors meeting, Washington, D.C.
  • November 5-7 -- Social Justice and Diversity Training, Wiesbaden POC: Nancy Almendras
  • November 8 -- December 13 -- FEHB Open Season
  • November 14 -- 20 -- American Education Week

Thanks for all you do,
Chuck McCarter
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel/Fax: 0611-44756234
0611-44756131 or DSN 335-5373/69