November 2 2011 FEA Europe Report

1. Native American Heritage Month
2. Fall Unity
3. Area Directors' Travels
4. NEA Mid-Atlantic Conferences
5. ESP Day
6. Open Season
8. 90th American Education Week
9. Veteran's Day
10. EBIS
11. An Unusual Year
12. In What Other Profession
13. Fuel Card Outage
14. Mark Your Calendars
15. Update

1. Native American Heritage Month - November was officially recognized as National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month in 1990 when President George H.W. Bush signed it into Public Law. See these sites for more information:
Native American Heritage Month website
American Indians/Alaska Natives: Education Issues
Native American Book List

2. Fall Unity -- The Fall Unity is now at the printers and will be mailed out by the end of next week. Please keep an eye out for it as it will include information and forms for the upcoming elections.

3. Area Directors' Travels -- I will be visiting the Baumholder schools on Monday, November 7th, and will be attending a meeting concerning 21st Century Schools in Wiesbaden on November 14th and tentatively for a JCC on the 15th.

4. NEA Mid-Atlantic Conferences -- Delegates to NEA Mid-Atlantic Conferences are now in the process of being selected. FEA would like to thank all those who applied; it is 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 15 through 19 is American Education Week. In addition please note that Wednesday, Nov. 16, 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 -- Another reminder: The Federal Benefits Open Season runs from November 14 through December 12,2011. 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 2012 Benefit Period. Enrollments DO NOT carry over year-to-year. Find information at

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. 90th American Education Week -Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility -- American Education Week is upon us. See the following for more information. 2011 Creative Materials Available!
NEA Celebrates the 90th American Education Week November 13--19, 2011
Distressed that 25 percent of the country's World War I draftees were illiterate and 9 percent were physically unfit, representatives of the NEA and the American Legion met in 1919 to seek ways to generate public support for education. The conventions of both organizations subsequently adopted resolutions of support for a national effort to raise public awareness of the importance of education. In 1921, the NEA Representative Assembly in Des Moines, Iowa, called for designation of one week each year to spotlight education. In its resolution, the NEA called for: "An educational week ... observed in all communities annually for the purpose of informing the public of the accomplishments and needs of the public schools and to secure the cooperation and support of the public in meeting those needs."
Join us for the 90th Anniversary of AEW:
Monday, November 14: Kick Off Day
Tuesday, November 15: Parents Day
Wednesday, November 16: Education Support Professional Day
Thursday, November 17: Educator for a Day
Friday, November 18: Substitute Educators Day
Use Our Toolkit to Plan Your AEW Event

9. Veteran's Day - Working on a daily basis with military families, we are very aware of the sacrifices these families make for their country. Veterans' Day, November 11, is an excellent opportunity to recognize the service of our military veterans. For a history of this important holiday, as well as resources on how to celebrate go to the following website.

10. EBIS - The EBIS website has changed and ALL users -- whether they had an EBIS account or not -- MUST go in and create a new user name and password following the requirements for the new logins. Click this site, then go to the bottom of the page and click on new user. You must set up your account answering the same questions used to set up the original account -- i.e. date of birth, SCD, grade, step, etc. There are new features on this site such as "eSeminars" which have very good video presentations on TSP, Social Security, Financial Planning, FERS Retirement, Insurance, and New Employees Benefits Orientation (the leave section is directed toward GS employee -- not educators), to name a few. However on the down- side, if an employee entered all of their Social Security Information under the "My Profile" section, this information has disappeared and they will have to re-enter the figures. Thanks to Laura Miedema for this information.

11. An Unusual Year - This year we are experiencing four unusual dates: 1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11, 11/11/11, and that's not all; take the last two digits of the year you were born and the age you turned this year and the result will add up to 111 for everyone!!!! Also, in the October just passed we had 5 Sundays, 5 Mondays & 5 Saturdays. This happens only once every 823 years. All of this means very little, but since I only get the chance to put this in my Update every 823 years, I figured I would include it. (And it is item number 11 !)

12 . In What Other Profession -- Thanks to Kelley Cunningham of Vilseck HS for sharing this article that she found. It is food for thought so I will share it with you (see attachment) without editorial comment.

13. Fuel Card Outage -- For those who plan to be traveling by auto this coming weekend please be aware of the attached information concerning Sunday, November 6.

14. Mark Your Calendars --
November 8 -- December 13 -- FEHB Open Season
November 11 -- Veterans Day
November 15 -- 19 - American Education Week
November 16 -- ESP Day
November 24 -- Thanksgiving
December 5 - 11 -- Computer Science Education Week
December 18 -- January 2 Winter Break

15. Update - Lisa will be putting out the next Update on November 9.


Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel: 0160 2388051