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December 18, 2013 FEA Europe Update

Alex's Update

12/18/2013

1. 2014
2. Area Directors' Travels
3. SEPA
4. Holiday Travels
5. DoDDS Reunion
6. Update
7. Nomination Deadline
8. Area JCC
9. Winter Solstice
10. Mark Your Calendars
11. 2013-2014 Excessed Placement and VERA/VSIP Information Page
12. From Us to You

1. 2014 -- Barring something unforeseen, this will be the last Update that I will send out with the year 2013 in the date. It is always been hard for me to say good bye to a year, because for all the difficulties and hardships that occurred there are also many good memories and bright spots. For reasons that I hesitate to drag up again, on a personal note I hit both my lowest point during my illness and my highest on my recovery in 2013. I am sure that many of you have experienced the same type of things in your own life during 2013, some perhaps to an even greater extent. Professionally, I must again say how impressed I was with all of you and the way you handled the very often difficult jobs that we have. I am proud also to have been part of the FEA family, and deeply respect the concern that they have shown for all stakeholders. In 2013 we had to close and shrink a number of schools in Europe, and through that difficult time again you showed the integrity that you all have and reiterated the fact that students come first. These sometimes required solutions that were not always the most popular, but we did what we had to do and moved on. As we switch our focus now to 2014 know that we all will face some more difficult times, and for some they will be similar to those faced last year. But even as the case is now, as you look back on 2013 and think about all the good memories that the year held, know that will be the case for 2014 when we reach this point next year. For me, I hope that your good memories begin this Friday afternoon, and that you get the rest and the enjoyment out of the following two weeks that you so richly deserve! (I intend to do so -- see number #2 below!)

2. Area Directors' Travels -- For me, my travels will consist of the sofa, refrigerator, and the television. When I was a little younger, I couldn't wait to get on the road. Now I just can't wait to recharge my batteries. There will be plenty of travelling to do in 2014.

3. SEPA -- Some of you may or may not be aware of this but on February 1, 2014, the European Union will convert to the Single European Payments Area (SEPA) format for payment processing. SEPA allows individuals to make single and repeating payments in a standard format to countries participating in the payment system. It also requires all current payment systems to convert to the new SEPA requirements by February 1, 2014. Bottom line is that if you pay rent, electricity, phone, etc. by Standard Payment Order then you should contact your financial institution right after the holidays if not sooner.

4. Holiday Travels - For those of you who are traveling during the upcoming Winter Break, here are some travel tips. Make sure you have copies of all your passports and other important documents stored separately from the originals when you travel. Make sure you have up-to-date contact information in your wallet or purse in the event of an accident, etc. You may want to include local contact information as well as stateside contacts. It is also a good idea to let a colleague know your travel plans and contact numbers in case of emergency

5.. DoDDS Reunion -- This year it will be held from July 17 until 20 in Richmond, Virginia. For registration information: www.doddsworldreunion.com . Members who have attended past events always comment on how nice it was to catch up with former colleagues. Last reminder - Registration prices will be going up on December 31.

6. Update -- What happened ? This Update is officially my last for 2013. Hard to believe. Both Lisa and I will be back in 2014! If anything comes up in the meantime, we will keep you informed. Also, remember to check www.feaonline.org for the latest news.

7. Nomination Deadline -- For anyone interested in running for one of the 4 FEA Area Director positions please be aware that all nominations need to be post marked by December 19. More information is available at the FEA website.

8 . Area JCC - Lisa and I met recently with Dr. Bresell for our December Area JCC and those notes are attached. Our January meeting is set for January 23rd.

9. Winter Solstice -- This year winter officially begins at 12:11 P.M. EST, on December 21. From that point on the days start getting longer so summer is on its way! (Yeh, right!) At the website below there is a wealth of classroom activities for this time of year, geared primarily to grades K-5. NEA Winter ideas.

10. Mark Your Calendars --
December 21 Winter Solstice
December 23 Winter Recess begins
December 25 Christmas Day
January 1 New Year's Day
January 6 Winter Recess ends

11. 2013-2014 DODDS Excessed Placement and VSIP/VERA Information Page - Here you will find news and information from FEA about the 2013-2014 DODDS Excessed Placement Program and VERA.

Alex Veto
Europe Area Director