November 10 2010 FEA Europe Update

1. Native American Heritage Month
2. Fall Unity Has Now Been Mailed
3. Area Directors' Travels
4. NEA Mid-Atlantic Conferences
5. ESP Day
6. Open Season
8. Managing Email Over-Load
9. Awards
10. Military Family Month
11. HCR Training
12. Mark Your Calendars
13. Update

1. Native American Heritage Month -- November is National American Heritage Month. The attachment leads to a website filled with artwork and activities that can be used to celebrate this month.

2. Fall Unity Has Now Been Mailed - All issues of the fall edition of the Unity have now been mailed. Members who have not received a copy should check with their FRS. FRS's: If you did NOT receive this mailing please notify Chuck McCarter or myself.

3. Area Directors' Travels -- Chuck is traveling until November 17 and asks that you understand that there may be some delays in answering email. On Wednesday the 10th he will be visiting Brussels, on Thursday AFNORTH, on Friday Kleine Brogel, and next Monday and Tuesday Stuttgart. For me, I will be visiting the Schweinfurt schools on December 6 and the Bamberg schools on December 7. Also, I am working out the details of a visit to the Ramstein/Landstuhl schools between November 29 and December 1. More school visits are being planned.

4. NEA Mid-Atlantic Conferences -- Delegates to NEA Mid-Atlantic Conferences have now been selected. We are now in the process of notifying all those who submitted their names. FEA would like to thank all those who applied; it was a very long list and we had so few slots to fill. Your interest in representing FEA at these conferences is greatly appreciated.

5. ESP Day -- It has already been announced here that November 14 through 20 is American Education Week. In addition please note that Wednesday, Nov. 17, is Education Support Professionals Day. Please take a moment to thank these special people in our schools who mean so much to us and to our students.

6. Open Season -- A final reminder: The Federal Benefits Open Season runs from November 8 through December 13,2010. This is the time in which employees can enroll in the FSAFEDS Program for the 2011 Benefit Period. Current enrollees MUST re-enroll if they wish to participate in the 2011 Benefit Period. Enrollments DO NOT carry over year-to-year.

7. FEGLI - In a recent inquiry a member wanted to know how he could take advantage of the Federal Employee Group Life Insurance program. When he got married he did not use this major life event change to open up FEGLI adding his wife as beneficiary. The last Open Season was in 2005, not exactly a routine occurrence it appears. The Office of Personnel Management is not announcing another Open Season anytime soon. There is another option available. The member can obtain a physical examination at his own cost and provide the results to FEGLI. Based on the results he would be allowed to enroll in the life insurance program. The wife can then be listed as the beneficiary. Use Standard Form 2822 to begin the process. Thanks to Debra Degalis, Pacific Area Director and Michael Bauernfeind, Pacific UniServ Director, for this useful piece of information.

8. Managing Email Overload -- One of the most difficult things in education these days is handling the large volume of emails that pass through our in-box on a daily basis. The attached article gives some very helpful tips for doing so.

9. Awards - Four teachers from the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) were selected as finalists for the 2010 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Carol Fears, from Landstuhl Elementary/Middle School in Landstuhl, Germany, Ginger King, from Smith Elementary in Baumholder, Germany, and Erika Meadows, from Hohenfels Elementary School in Hohenfels, Germany have been selected to represent DoDEA as semi-finalists in the mathematics category. Lisa Zimmerman, from Hohenfels, Germany was also selected to represent DoDEA in the science category. A DoDEA panel selected the finalists and a national panel has reviewed the finalists' applications. The awardees will be announced by the White House at a later date. The PAEMST program offers the Nation's highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science. The awards recognize outstanding K-12 teachers for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. Congratulations !

10. Military Family Month - DOD is pleased to announce that November is Military Family Month. Join Mr. Robert L. Gordon III, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, in expressing your gratitude for the military families who give of themselves on a daily basis in support of our service men and women. The link above will open up the special announcement.

11. HCR Training - NEA-HCR Social Justice and Diversity Training offered in Wiesbaden, November 5-7, was attended by 31 members from all four FEA European districts. Stateside trainers Melissa Sass and Ivy Williams were pleased to meet DODDS personnel and many participants expressed their gratitude for a "life-changing" training.

12. Mark Your Calendars --
November 8 -- December 13 -- FEHB Open Season
November 11 -- Veterans Day
November 15 -- 19 - American Education Week
November 17 -- ESP Day
November 25 -- Thanksgiving
December 9 -- Hanukkah
December 18 -- January 2 Winter Break

13. Update - Chuck will be putting out the next Update on November 17.


Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel: 0160 2388051