November 7 2012 FEA Europe Update

1. 2013 DoDEA Teacher of the Year
2. Area Directors' Travels
3. Education Support Professionals Day
4. Parent Teachers Conferences
5. American Education Week
6. Legal Updates
7. Open Season
8. Mark Your Calendars
9. History Classroom Online Event
10. Update
11. Unity
12. DoDDS Sports
13. Best Airline Seat
14. Bavaria

1. 2013 DoDEA Teacher of the Year -- Congratulations to Danielle Massey of Vilseck High School for being named the 2013 DoDEA Teacher of the Year. The attached press release gives more details. I know Danielle personally as she teaches here at VHS (Go Falcons !) and I have seen the energy and professionalism that she brings to school with her on a daily basis. I am also quite proud of the fact that she is an active FEA member, currently serving as one of our FR's

2. Area Directors' Travels -- This past Saturday I was in Kaiserslautern for the HCR Workshop, that was organized by Linda Ware-Brown, our FEA European Area HCR Coordinator. Thanks to Linda for organizing this event and to William Suddeth from the Area office for speaking to the group about the EEO process. I will be staying closer to home this week while we go through the process of mailing out the Unity. Lisa will be coming to Germany next week for some school visits and will join me in Wiesbaden on November 14 for the Area JCC.

3. Education Support Professionals Day - Education Support Professionals (ESP) Day focuses on the importance of these school employees, who take care of students every day, making sure they have the tools they need to succeed in school. Education Support Professionals (ESP) Day was first celebrated in 1987, after NEA's Representative Assembly called for the creation of a way to honor the contributions of school support staff. In 2003, Karen Mahurin, then president of NEA's National Council of Education Support Professional (NCESP) members, led a successful campaign at the NEA Representative Assembly to change the ESP formal name from 'Education Support Personnel' to 'Education Support Professionals.' "The name change to 'professional' acknowledges the major contribution ESPs make to children and public education every day," said Mahurin, a secretary with 22 years of experience. "We impact the lives of children every day in our own special and professional ways."The name reflects a growing pride in the valuable role ESPs play throughout America's public schools. Today's support professionals provide invaluable services that enable students to learn in positive, supportive environments. ESPs are equal and essential partners in the education process.
Find out more about ESPs, who comprise more than 40 percent of the total K-12 education workforce. Illinois custodian and NEA member Dave Arnold shares this poem about our ESP members. This is a good day for us to say ‘thank you' to all who do this valuable job.

4. Parent Teacher Conferences - It is time for our Parent Teacher Conferences. The NEA website has many tips and strategies for our teachers. This link might help you with some fresh ideas.

5. American Education Week -- This coming week, November 11 through November 17, is American Education Week. To find out about the history of this week follow this link.

6 . Legal Updates -- ( from the FEA Presidents report ) FEA's Legal Department has just released a pair of legal updates, both of which are available on FEA's Web site, at this link. The first deals with the 10-year rule for Living Quarters Allowance. The second update is about the postage reimbursement issue. We urge our members to read both of these updates by going to the address just listed.

7. Open Season -- A final reminder: The Federal Benefits Open Season will open this Monday, November 12 . This is the time in which employees can enroll in the FSAFEDS Program for the 2013 Benefit Period. Current enrollees MUST re-enroll if they wish to participate in the 2013 Benefit Period. Enrollments DO NOT carry over year-to-year. The 2012 Federal Benefits Open Season for the 2013 plan enrollments in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB), Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) and Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS) will run from November 12 through December 10, 2012.
During the open season, eligible employees may make any of the following four benefit choices:
1. Enroll in or change an existing enrollment in a health insurance plan under the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program. FEHB open season elections are effective January 13, 2013.
2. Sign up for a flexible spending account for health or dependent care under the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSA) at the FSA Home page or by contacting a FSAFEDS Benefits Counselor. FSA enrollments are effective January 1, 2013. Enrollments in FSAFEDS cannot be cancelled or changed after their effective date, unless the employee experiences a qualified status change (QSC). FSA enrollments also do not carry over from year to year; employees must make a positive enrollment each calendar year.
3. Enroll in or change an existing enrollment in a dental plan under the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) at
4. Enroll in or change an existing enrollment in a vision plan under the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) at FEDVIP enrollments are effective January 13, 2013.
If you have questions, please contact your Human Resources Representative at the DoDDS Europe Area Office.

8. Mark Your Calendars --
November 1 -- 30 American Indian Heritage Month
November 10 -- DoDDS Europe All Star Football Game 1300, Vilseck HS field
November 11 -- American Education Week
November 12 -- Veterans Day (Federal Holiday)
November 14 -- ESP Day (see number 3)
November 14 -- Area JCC

9. History Classroom Online Event - We have diverse cultures, varied traditions and we speak many languages, yet across the globe people share two things in common: our past and our future. HISTORY® invites young people across the world to join us for "MANKIND CONNECTED: A Global Teach In" on Thursday, November 8th, at 12pm EST. This live online event will explore our shared human story by learning about UNESCO World Heritage sites throughout the world.
What is a World Heritage site, and what makes each so important? What are the keys to our history, and how can we map the future by learning more about the past? This Teach In will feature a panel of historians and special guests, with participation from students around the world. You can also sign up now and watch at a later date. For more information, please see the attachment.

10. Update -- Next week both Lisa and I will be on the road. As a result, Lisa will send out the next Update on November 21. I will be back with my next Update on November 28. As always, we will send out any breaking news immediately. Also remember to check for current information.

11. Unity -- The first edition of the Unity for SY 12/13 is now in the process of being mailed. We anticipate having all copies mailed within the next two weeks. Last year we mailed on the same day ,at the same time, the Unity to schools in the same complex and they arrived days apart so be patient.

12. DoDDS Sports -- The fall sports season has now ended. Congratulations to all coaches and players, regardless of where they finished. As of Monday the 12th if you listen closely you will be able to hear the sounds of wrestling mats being rolled out and bouncing basketballs as the winter season gets underway. Note: The DoDDS Europe Football All Star Game will be played this Saturday at 1300 at Vilseck HS.

13. Best Airline Seat - Being involved with DoDDS means we all do a lot of flying. Here is an interesting article based on a survey of 1000 passengers to determine the best -- and worst -- seat on a plane.

14. Bavaria -- Congratulations to Dr. Liz Dunham, current Assistant Superintendant of the Kaiserslautern District , on her appointment as Superintendent of the Bavaria District.


Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel: 0160 2388051