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April 6 2011 FEA Europe Update

April 6, 2011

1. Spring Break(s)
2. Red Cross
3. Area Directors' Travels
4. Honors Musical Fest
5. Association Day - April 30
6. Annuity Estimate
7. National Library Week
8. HCR Diversity and Social Justice Seminars
9. Deadlines
10. Arbor Day
11. Mark Your Calendars
12. Transfer Update
13. Update


1. Spring Break(s) -- This coming week ( April 11 -- April 15) most of DoDDS-E will be on Spring Break. The following week (April 18 -- April 22) the Bavaria District will be on their break. Bavaria pushed theirs back theirs by a week after the military requested it so that troops coming home for R&R from deployment would be able to spend their time with their children. The Bavaria District has the highest percentage of deployed parents of any district in DoDDS-E.

2. Red Cross -- Many of us will be traveling over the course of the next two weeks. Although we don't like to think about it an emergency can happen at any time. Attached is information fro the American Red Cross as to what to do in such an event. It might be worth taking a copy with you on your travels.

3. Area Directors' Travels -- Chuck will be enjoying his Spring Break next week but will return to action by visiting Heidelberg on May 5. I will be visiting Illesheim ES on Thursday, April 14.

4. Honors Musical Fest 2011 -- One final comment on the annual Honors Musical Festival that was held on March 31 at 1900 at the Wiesbaden Kurhaus Concert Hall. I had the pleasure to attend for the first time after being in Europe for over 20 years. I am so sorry that I missed all those other performances as this was truly remarkable and a great deal of respect and gratitude must go out to all who organized it and performed in it. I think one of the guest conductors said it best when she turned to the audience between compositions, gestured in the direction of the student performers, and said " Many people sit around and talk about what is wrong with America; well, this is what is right with America !' Thanks again to all involved. If you wish to view the concert it can be viewed at: www.doddshost.net
Username: dodeateam Password: achieve09 All of the (live-streamed and/or videoed) DoDDS-E Student Activities can be viewed there.
Thanks to Hope Matthews for this information.

5. Association Day -- April 30th -- See the attached flyer and directions. If you are planning to attend, if possible, please let Chuck McCarter or Alex Veto know by April 22. We understand that plans change and this is not a commitment, but will help in our planning! This promises to be an excellent day of information and celebration, so we are hoping for a big turn-out

6. Annuity Estimate -- If you are contemplating retirement in the not too distant future now may be the time to request a retirement annuity estimate using the attached form. Some members have reported that the response time on this can be 6 months or longer.

7. National Library Week - April 10 through the April 16 is National Library Week. For those still in school, you can find activities here to use with your students. For those on break make sure that you take a good book to the beach with you ! Get more info here.

8. HCR Diversity and Social Justice Seminars - Yesterday I had the pleasure to pick up the two NEA trainers coming from the States for these seminars at the Nuremberg airport : Ivy Williams and LaVeeta Weatherington . These seminars promise to be informative and extremely interesting and the weekend seminar can even be taken for graduate credit. I strongly urge you to take advantage of the opportunity that we are being provided thanks to the hard work of our HCR coordinators and the generosity of the NEA. The attached flyer gives times and locations for the seminars. Please note that the next one is tonight in Ansbach.

9. Deadlines -- The deadline for submitting nominations for the NEA Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence is April 15. This award is for Association leaders who have shown excellence in Association leadership AND in their classroom and teaching. We have so many outstanding educators and leaders to chose from, it is sometimes difficult. It is also sometimes hard to persuade some of our members to "blow their own horn" and fill out applications like this. But we can and SHOULD. Honoring one of our own, honors all of us. Please consider nominating one of your colleagues for this prestigious award. This past year, our Nominee for this award was Sally Jones, Wiesbaden MS. Sally was honored along with the other nominees with a trip to Washington DC in February and a Gala dinner. This information has been sent out previously but with the deadline approaching I am including it in this Update.
For further information, see the attachment, and there is also link on the FEA home page.

10. Arbor Day -- This year April 29 is National Arbor Day. With environmental issues becoming more and more prevalent throughout the world today this is a great time to discuss these issues with your students. You can find tons of information at www.arborday.org (I think that I shall never see ..)

11. Mark Your Calendars --
April 22 -- Earth Day
April 24 -- Easter Sunday
April 28-29 -- European Area Council
April 30 -- Association Day (Wiesbaden)
May 1 -- 7 -- Teacher Appreciation Week
May 8 -- Mother's Day

12. Transfer Update -- I am putting this item last so I can wait until the last moment before I hit send to see if there is any additional news coming from the States. As it stands now the last message that we got still remains in effect. The program is temporarily on hold until at least after Spring Break. For additional up to the minute , accurate news, continue to check with FEA at www.feaonline.org

13. Update - There will be no Update next week because all of Europe will be on Spring Break except for Bavaria.

Since I will not write another Update until after both Spring Breaks have ended, I would like to wish you all a peaceful and restful vacation. Everyone on these mailing lists has earned it. I hope that the weather cooperates whether you are traveling or just relaxing at home. If you are traveling take extra money especially if you are going anywhere near a volcano !
Finally, a heart felt thank you from me to you for everything that you do for our great school system !

Alex

Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director
Tel: 0160 2388051