November 29 2011 FEA Europe Report

1. 2012 TSP Contributions
2. FEHB Open Season
3. NEA Award for Teaching Excellence
4. Pearl Harbor Day
5. Books Across America Month
6. Computer Science Education Week
7. DoDEA Acronyms
8. Area Director Travels
9. Michael Priser
10. FEA Journal
11. Election Deadline

1. 2012 Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Contributions: The limits for TSP contributions for 2012 have changed. The maximum amount is now $17,000, and the maximum CUC is $5,500. See reference: and

Attached is a chart outlining the amounts to deduct per pay period in order to contribute the maximum amount allowable. Don't forget that you can take advantage of Catch Up Contributions (CUC) if you are 50+ years old. Please note that your contributions will be different if you are on the 21 pay periods plan. It is very important that you make the deadline for a new election. The deadline to change your election is the pay period ending December 18, 2011, in order for the election to take effect January 6, 2012. For more information, please contact your Customer Service Representative.

2. FEHB Open Season: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has now provided the specific 2012 Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program plan information online. This information helps federal employees and annuitants with making choices in the upcoming 2011 FEHB Open Season, which will be held November 14, 2011 to December 12, 2011. Attached is an article entitled What to Consider During the 2011 Federal Benefits Open Season.

3. NEA Award for Teaching Excellence: The NEA Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence recognize outstanding educators from throughout NEA. FEA can submit one member's name as a nominee for the award each year. To nominate yourself or someone else to represent FEA in this awards competition, see the complete nominations information document. In order to be considered, a nominee's complete information must be submitted to FEA by February 15, 2012.

4. Pearl Harbor Day: On the morning of Sunday, December 7, 1941, the Japanese navy attacked the United States' naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, which resulted in the United States becoming militarily involved in World War II. See Remembering Pearl Harbor on the National Geographic website.

5. Books Across America Month: Books Across America is an NEA effort to help replenish public school libraries (see School Tube video). You can donate books by reading a book online - see the We Give Books website - and your reading efforts will be converted to book donations to a range of groups.

6. December 5-11 Computer Science Education Week: In fall 2009, Congress designated the first full week of December as Computer Science Education Week to recognize the transformative role of computing and the need to bolster computer science at all educational levels. See the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) materials at the CSedweek website and more educator resources at the Computer Science Teachers Association website.

7. DoDEA Acronyms: Attached is a list of DoDEA Acronyms to assist you. This list contains an alphabetical listing of the acronym, along with a description and explanation of the use of the acronym. For many of the acronyms there is a link listed that will take you to the website for which the acronym is used.

8. Area Director Travels: Alex is visiting schools in Bitburg, Spangdahlem, Kaiserslautern, and Baumholder this week. I am remaining close to home from now until the holidays, but will be in and out of the Lakenheath complex schools as I am able.

9. Michael Priser: Michael is visiting numerous schools in Europe during the next three weeks. This week sees Michael in the AFNORTH, Spangdahlem, Kaiserslautern, and Baumholder complexes. Next week he will be visiting Ansbach, Hohenfels, Vilseck, and Grafenwoehr/Netzaberg. Please take advantage of your opportunity to see Michael if you can.

10. FEA Journal: The December issue of the FEA Journal is arriving now in your mailboxes. The cover article deals with the issue of the effects of extended deployments on students, along with a host of other information. Also, don't forget that it's time to order your Read Across America materials.

11. Election Deadline: The deadline to have your nomination forms postmarked is December 9,2011. Elections will be conducted early in 2012, for the 2012 NEA Representative Assembly, FEA District Representatives for the Bavaria, Kaiserslautern, Heidelberg, and Isles Districts, European Human Civil Rights Coordinator, and the FEA District Human Civil Rights Coordinators for the Bavaria, Kaiserslautern, Heidelberg, and Isles Districts.
Have a great week!

Lisa Garmon Ali
FEA Europe Area Director
PSC 41 Box 5569
APO AE 09464
Tel: 44-1638527662 (outside UK)
01638527662 (local)
226-7662 (DSN)