February 11, 2015 FEA Europe Update

Alex's Update


1. Hurry Up and Wait
2. Area Director's Travel
3. W2
4. Military Times
5. Transfer Tips
6. Update
7. IRS Forms and Publications
8. Women's History Month
9. Mark Your Calendars
10. Area JCC
11. NEA's Read Across America
12. Swimming
13. The ‘Other' FEA
14. European Election Information
15. Unity
16. Course Offering
17. Blue Monday

1. Hurry Up and Wait -- This is the time of year when many of us actually have to hurry up and wait. We have had timelines for applying for VERA, VSIP, excessing, and the transfer round. The transfer round application deadline was already delayed (it closed yesterday, February 10), and the in-district moves are now on hold until VSIP offers have been made. It would therefore be easy to surmise that there may still be further delays as we move forward. For some, this will seem a terrible inconvenience. For me, however, I am of the opinion that it is better to proceed cautiously and make sure that everything is done correctly rather than rush to meet deadlines and get things wrong. Through all of this the FEA will keep members informed on these events. The best thing to do to keep up with all of this is to remember to constantly check with for breaking news. In addition, be aware that your elected officials will also put out updates as we move through all of the steps in this process. Also, let me strongly suggest that when going to the website that you take a moment to sign up to have updates sent directly to your email so that you will get them even faster. The instructions on how to do this are found at the bottom of the home page.

2. Area Directors' Travels -- With the publication of the Unity and the conducting of the election for the Representative Assembly, I will be quite busy over the next week or two and unable to make any school visits. However, once these tasks are completed I will be setting up school visits beginning soon.

3. W2 -- Your electronic W2 is available on myPay at: this link. You will need your CAC reader for best results.

4. Military Times -- At the link at the bottom you will find an interesting article from the Military Times from February 7, 2015. It discusses funding being requested by the Department of Defense aimed at among other things Defense Department Schools. You may find it interesting. Thanks to Brian Chance for sending this to me. Dollars Restored to DOD Family Programs

5. Transfer Tips -- Connie Shanaghan, our Director of Administration at FEA Washington, is often referred to as our transfer ‘guru'. She is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to information on the transfer program. You can read her current ‘Transfer Tips" here Connie Shanaghan's Tips for Transfers. While I realize that the deadline for applications has now passed, there are still a number of items covered that will prove helpful moving forward.

Also, you can read her tips at For either you will need your FEA ID card to log on.

6. Update- We will always let you know if something newsworthy comes up. In the meantime, check regularly with for your best source for breaking news. My next Update will be out on or about February 25.

7. IRS Forms and Publications -- As tax season approaches, this site has all of the forms and publications that you will need to complete your 2014 tax filing. Most can be done electronically. Here is the link to the site. I know that a number of you, for a variety of reasons, like to file early. IRS site.

8.Women's History Month -- Next month, March, is Women's History Month. Since 1910, March 8 has been observed as International Women's Day by people around the world. Thus, March was chosen for National Women's History Month in the United States. The link will provide you with many useful tools to celebrate this month. Women's History Month

9. Mark Your Calendars --
February 1 -- 28 -- Black History Month
February 9-15 -- International Random Acts of Kindness Week
February 14 -- Valentine's Day
February 16 -- President's Day (Federal Holiday)
March 1 -- 31 -- Women's History Month
March 2 -- NEA's Read Across America Day
March 8 -- Daylight Savings Time begins (USA)
March 29 -- Daylight Savings Time begins (Europe)

10. Area JCC -- As of this writing there is no Area JCC scheduled. Please be aware however that we actively trying to set a date that will work for all parties concerned. I hope to have a definite date soon.

11. NEA's "Read Across America" -- It's just a little less than a month away (March 2, to be exact)…the biggest reading celebration in the world. For lots of ideas on how your school can take part in the fun and help to create lifelong readers, go to this page. Remember, this is NOT just for elementary schools; there are materials and ideas for all levels. This is also a great time to reach out to parents and involve them in a fun, positive, and educational way.

12. Swimming - Last Update I highlighted the various DoDDS sports championship tournaments that were coming up in the next few weeks. I failed to note that on the 28th and 29th of February many of our students will be swimming at Champs held in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Most of these students train above and beyond what required of their peer athletes. You will see many of them training for CC or track and then going off to swim practice and then home for study and homework. Here's wishing them luck in their upcoming competition!

13. The ‘Other' FEA - The 12th annual Future Educators Association Conference was held in Garmisch, Germany at the Edelweiss Hotel, January 27 - 30, 2015. One hundred and sixteen students from 14 different DoDDS-E schools came together to learn more about the field of education. Presenters included TOY's from the districts as well as the DoDEA Teacher of the Year 2015, Sarah Loomis. Sessions were held, competitions were won, food was eaten, and all participants left inspired about education - and exhausted.

14. European Election Information -- Ballots have now been mailed to all FRS's. The only election this year is for the delegates to the 2015 NEA Representative Assembly in Orlando held in July. Instructions and further information have also been sent and also can be found in the Unity. (see #15)

15. Unity -- The first edition of the Unity for 2015 has now been published. You can find it either on or in the attachment above.

16. Course Offering -- Please note the course offering that is advertised in the attachment. Information on the course and the contact person is included in the flyer. Note: It is a one credit course. And I know that many of us could use that credit.

17. Blue Monday -- A few Monday's ago many people reported to me that they were feeling a bit sluggish and down. My inbox was filling up at a rapid pace. I myself was not feeling all that positive. This worried me until I find out that there might be a scientific reason. According to the Guardian of London newspaper some psychologists have claimed that the Monday of the last full week of January is the most depressing day of the year. They think that it may have something to do with Christmas bills coming due. In any event I felt better knowing maybe it wasn't my fault. They also reported that June is the ‘happiest time of the year' and that is all in front of us. If you would like some good and uplifting news try these websites: and A third site, the newspaper noted, was shutting down because of a lack of good new stories.

Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director