June 11, 2014 FEA Europe Update

Alex's Update


1. Thanks
2. Area Directors' Travels
3. "Goodbye Grievance" -- Final Word
4. Membership Information
5. Speaking of the Summer
6. Updates
7. Social Security Statement
8. Excess Placement Update
9. Mark Your Calendars
10. Unity
11. Final Word

1 Thanks -- I wish to express my thanks to all of you out there who so faithfully distributed my Update throughout this past school year. I fully appreciate your efforts. Here's hoping that at least a few of them were interesting! Also, I had my own personal editorial board that helped limit the number of misspellings and grammatical mistakes, as well as factual errors, which I often made during the writing of these Updates. If you think that you still caught such mistakes, you have no idea how many there would have been without these folks. I would like to extend my personal thanks (and an invitation to help again next year) to Marcia Anglim, Rick Ritter, Priscilla Veto, Michael Priser, Becky Connolly, Terry McClain, and Tracy Thornbrugh.

2. Area Directors' Travels -- I thought my travels for this year were finally over , and then was of course reminded that I still will be flying to Denver at the end of June for our FEA Annual Membership Meeting and the FEA Board of Director's Meeting. Still, I suppose being in Denver in late June won't really feel like work. I will probably have no CAC access between the end of school and the meeting in late June. I plan to take a few weeks to relax and carrying a CAC reader around with me does not really fit in to my plans. However, during those two weeks or so you can still reach me in an emergency at this email . Also, I will be buying a phone when I reach the U.S. and will get that number out to the FRS's, also in case of emergency. Beyond that, I will back in Germany in early August ready to go.

3. "Goodbye Grievance" -- Final Word - In my last Update I had an item that was supposed to be my final reminder on the Goodbye Grievance. However, I think that I need mention one more thing. While to the best of my knowledge everyone who needs to file one has done so, I caught a couple that stopped at Step 2. Please remember that they must be elevated to Step 3 to be in effect. There is still some time to do this if you have not done so yet. Note that you need not have a response to your Step 3, only evidence that you have, in fact, elevated it. Keep it forever with your most cherished documents!!

4. Membership Information -- Membership information will be sent from FEA Washington during the summer to either the FRS or the Membership Chairperson. Please make sure our Washington office has your correct CMR mailing address.

5. Speaking of the Summer -- Please keep this information in mind. Your FEA leaders and UniServs will also be on leave as well this summer. Lisa and I will check our email account periodically as we travel but there may be some delays in response. I will also send out to FRS's a phone number where I can be reached while in the States. The FEA office in Washington, D.C. will be open on a summer schedule: 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. More information for the FEA Washington Office is in your calendar. The NEA office building is closed on Friday's during the summer starting Friday July 4th through August 29. Since our offices are in the NEA building the FEA office will be closed then too.

6. Updates -- With the school year now ending, this will be my last Update for SY 13/14. More than ever I urge you to check in during the summer with to stay up to date with the latest developments. And, best of all, you won't need a CAC reader to access it!!

7. Social Security Statement -- Brian Chance has written to me and would like me to remind you to review your Social Security Statement online. The Statement has important Social Security information and, if applicable, estimates of your future benefits. If you are working you should review your Statement yearly to make sure your earnings record is correct. The Statement also will help in planning your financial future. To view your most recent Statement, please visit this page and sign into your account.

8. Excess Placement Update -- As everyone is probably aware, the Excess Placement Program has come to an end and there no longer be any further VERA/VSIP offers. DoDEA has provided a link should there be any further questions. That link is: here

9. Mark Your Calendars --
June 1-30 National Caribbean-American Heritage Month
June 13 -- Last Duty Day
June 14 -- Flag Day
June 15 -- Father's Day
June 17 -- My Birthday ☺
June 28 -- 29 FEA Board of Directors Meeting, Denver
August 20 -- Teacher's Report

10. Unity -- For those who may not have seen it yet, attached is the Spring 2014 edition of the Unity. Thanks to Lisa Ali for editing it and putting it together. Great job!

11. Final Word -- It is extremely hard for me to get my arms around the fact that this year is now ending, at least in most of our schools. It has been a somewhat bittersweet year for me, especially saying all the goodbyes. Of the schools that I represented, 5 closed. Wetzel was very sad, but the saving grace there is that at least Baumholder endures. However, next year we will have no schools at all in Schweinfurt and Bamberg. I attended the closing ceremonies for all 4 schools, and I hope that in the time I have left, I never have to that again. Each year I try to thank everyone for all the help that they have been to me to FEA, and of course to our schools and students. Each year I end up missing someone so this year I will keep it simple -- if you are reading this then thank you for all that you have done for all the stakeholders, whether past or present. If you are returning, I look forward to seeing you again. If you are moving on to other pastures, then I will think of all of you fondly and wish you all the best that the world has to offer. And of course, to all of those who invited us to stop in if we are in the area, I will see you very soon!! ☺

Have a great summer!!!!


Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director