November 18 2009 FEA Europe Update

1. Suggestions for Updates
2. VERA and Leave Programs Announced
3. American Education Week
4. NEA HIN Trainer
5. EEO Workshops
6. HCR Workshop
7. What's Wrong with this Picture?
8. NEA's Read Across America
9. Certification
10. FEHB Open Season
11. Get the News Directly

1. Suggestions for Updates - John and I are always looking for items for our Updates. If you are aware of something that we should include, please let us know.

2. VERA and Leave Programs Announced - The window to apply for Voluntary Early Retirement will be from November 16, 2009 through January 8, 2010. The deadline for the ARR and ELWOP Programs is also January 8th. See the attached memos for more information.

3. American Education Week - This is the week to celebrate America's public schools and school employees. Today is the day set aside to honor our paraprofessionals, so be sure to thank these wonderful people who help to make our schools great. If you did not see FEA's great ad in the Monday edition of the Stars & Stripes, then you can see it at

4. NEA HIN Trainer - This week we are fortunate enough to have Jerry Newberry, Executive Director of the NEA Health Information Network, as a guest presenter in four of our communities. Mr. Newberry will be presenting after school sessions on "Defusing Conflict: Successful Parent Conferences." Today he will be in Wiesbaden at the WMS Information Center starting at 3:30. Tomorrow (Thursday) will be at Patch HS also at 3:30. This is well worth the time if you can make it to one of these sessions. We have also arranged for him to work with counselors in some of our locations as well. FEA is very grateful to Mr. Newberry and the NEA HIN for their expertise and support.
I will be "on the road" with Jerry this week, so please forgive any delay in responding to your emails.

5. EEO Workshops - The first HCR-Europe EEO workshop was a great success. Forty members attended and gained important information on various aspects of the EEO process. Many thanks to Mr. William Suddeth, DODDS EEO Program Manager for Europe and Mr. Luis Agosto, DODDS Europe EEO for the information which they provided. On January 9th, Linda Callender, FEA Europe HCR, will present another in a series of EEO trainings in conjunction with Mr. William Suddeth. This training will be held in the UK. Plans are also being made for this workshop to be presented in the Heidelberg District on February 20th. Watch future Updates for exact location, times, etc.

6. HCR Workshop - We are also very pleased to have Tamara Hamilton of the NEA present a weekend workshop on Strategic Leadership Development. This is a uniquely designed graduate track for educators who want to take their leadership skills to a higher level of effectiveness. It will assist educators in developing strategies to achieve their professional objectives and their personal goals.
Date: Dec 5-6, 2009
Time: 09:00 - 17:00 (Lunch is provided)
Location: Bistro "21" Kaiserslautern Rathaus/City Hall, 21st Floor, Willy-Brandt Platz 1, 67655 Kaiserslautern
Parking: Street Parking or in the Pfalztheater Underground Garage
For this training, graduate credit is offered through either University of San Diego or Ashland. If you plan to attend, please contact Terese Sarno as materials need to be ordered. There is a $15 registration fee, which includes lunch. The fee for the one graduate credit is to be paid directly to the university when you register. There will be a follow up paper due no later than December 16, 2009. All FEA members are welcome, but preference is given to those taking the course for credit. To register or for further information, please contact Terese Sarno. This event is sponsored by the KAEA and the FEA Europe HCR program.

7. What's Wrong with this Picture? Once again, a member has come to me with an LES showing a massive debt and a deduction from his pay, without ever having received the legally required notice of the debt. In spite of hundreds of pay grievances, and claims from DoDEA that they want to pay teachers correctly, there is no improvement in our system. In arbitrations, DoDEA continues to use timeliness of grievances, etc. as a reason not to pay teachers correctly. Watch your LES's carefully every pay period. IF something is incorrect or unclear, file a pay inquiry right away. If that is not resolved within 2 pay periods and you believe you are owed money, then file a grievance and elevate it.

8. NEA's Read Across America - It is never too early to start planning for NEA's Read Across America. While the big event will be March 2, promoting reading is an all year effort. Materials and information for all grade levels are available here To have a great packet of free materials and a beautiful calendar sent to you, go to this page. Supplies are limited, so send in your request soon.

9. Certification - I have received several questions regarding Certification. According to the DoDEA HQ Human Resources, educators who want to add certifications should do so early, to avoid the busy time in Spring around the transfer round. If all the paperwork is in order, this process should not take much more than a week. For educators who are renewing certificates, they are urged to send in their renewal paperwork up to a year in advance. Educators should receive a confirmation of the receipt of the paper work. The actual renewal certificates are issued in the month/year the certificate is due to expire.
Teachers in the Isles, Kaiserslautern, and the Med should contact Jesse Jones, Licensure Analyst -- (703) 588-3828
Teachers in the Heidelberg and Bavaria Districts and Cuba should contact Margaret Coppedge, Licensure Analyst -- (703) 588-3900
For additional information or if you have concerns, contact Patty Lesjak-Davis on Outlook.

10. FEHB Open Season - The Federal Employees Health Benefit (FEHB) plan Open Season is running now through December 14. Find information on plan benefits, enrollment instructions and much more at OPM's Web site.

11. Get the News Directly - Having Michael Priser's President's Report and future FEA information sent directly to your e-mail is easy. Just go to and login using your FEA membership ID number (available on the membership card you receive from FEA and on your copy of the FEA Journal, or email us at

American Education Week is a great time to say thank you for all you do to make DoDEA a world class school system.


Chuck McCarter
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel/Fax: 0611-44756234 or
0611-44756131 or DSN 337-6251