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June 8 2016 FEA Europe Update

Alex's Update

6/8/2016

1. European Area Council
2. Area Directors' Travels
3. UniServ
4. Jan Freeman
5. Update
6. Summer Reading
7. Time Flies
8. Thanks
9. FRS Training
10. Summer Reminders
11. Mark Your Calendar
12. Annual Meeting
13. FRS Elections
14. National Caribbean-American Month
15. "Goodbye" Grievance
16. Speaking of the Summer
17. With Gratitude

1. European Area Council -- The European Area Council (EAC) is the governing body for FEA Europe. In addition to representational duties, among other tasks the EAC publishes the Unity newsletter, provides regular updates on breaking news, conducts monthly JCC's at the District and Area level, visits schools and local associations when possible, and conducts all European level elections for positions including RA delegate. These elections were recently held and the EAC will look like this for SY 2016/2017:

Voting Members:
Area Directors: Lisa Ali, Alex Veto
District Representatives: Anita Lang, Susan Kelly, Terry McClain
Human & Civil Rights Coordinator: Alina Rozanski

Non-voting members:
District HCR Coordinators: Felicia Raymundo, Patricia Hannon, (one more to be elected.)
Europe UniServ Staff: Jan Freeman, Bill Freeman, Alexander Nguyen
Further information on the representational duties of each will be up-coming in a future Update.

2. Area Directors' Travels -- The final Area JCC at Sembach has now been completed. Minutes are attached above.

3. UniServ -- The EAC is proud to announce that we have a new UniServ in Europe. He will be taking the place of Ben Hunter, who is now working with our DDESS schools. (Thank you Ben for all the great work that you did for us here in Europe!) Our new UniServ is Alexander Nguyen and a short biography and photo are attached. We welcome the fact that he is joining us!

4. Jan Freeman -- Speaking of our UniServ staff, I would be remiss if I did not make a special mention and extend my thanks to Jan Freeman for the job she did this year. For a variety of administrative reasons, Ben Hunter was assigned to DDESS part way through the year and Jan Freeman picked up the slack until we could find another (see #3). Thank you Jan!

5. Update - This is my final Update for SY 15/16. Amazing! Looking backward it hardly seems possible. I will return around August 24, but let's not rush it! Please know that if there is any breaking news that we will get it out immediately, and also keep in mind, especially in the summer, to check in regularly to www.feaonline.org

6. Summer Reading - We will have many new FRS's and FR's for next year, along with a large number of members who are interested in one day becoming a leader in FEA. For them I offer up some choice summer reading -- enjoy!! The Negotiated Agreement (and MOU's) can be found on FEA's Web site at this link.

7. Time Flies - Click here

8. 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 Rick Ritter, Priscilla Veto, Michael Priser, Terry McClain, and Tracy Thornbrugh.

9. FRS Training -- Our annual trainings for all new and returning FRS's will take place between September 9 and September 14 of this coming school year. More information will be forth coming as locations are finalized. Also, Association Day will be held this year on Saturday, September 17, in Lakenheath. All members are invited and there will be a variety of activities and guest speakers.

10.Summer Reminders -- I was checking through my wallet the other day and noticed that my New Jersey driver's license was expiring on June 30. I took steps to take care of that, but as a result I started checking expiration dates on everything: driver's license (both here and the States), fuel card, passport, etc. I have a few other things that I also better take care of soon. Before you leave here for the summer (and even if you are staying here) please take a moment and check your expiration dates. I would hate to see you inconvenienced on your return. Time flies by on these things!

11. Mark Your Calendar-
June 1-30 - National Caribbean-American Heritage Month
June 17 -- Last Duty Day
June 17 -- My Birthday ☺ (See directly above -- what a nice present!)
June 19 -- Father's Day
July 1-2 - FEA Annual Membership Meeting Washington DC

12. Annual Meeting - Please check out www.feaonline.org for information on attending the FEA Annual Meeting, held in conjunction with the NEA Representative Assembly, on July1 and July 2 in Washington DC. Please stop by if you'll be in the area around that time.

13. FRS Elections -- By now most schools either have completed their FRS elections for next year or are currently in the midst of the process. Please remember to report these results to your respective Area Director so that we can have an updated mailing list ready for next school year.

14. National Caribbean-American Heritage Month -- June is Caribbean-American Heritage Month. During this month we celebrate the ways that Caribbean-Americans have enriched our society and added to the strength of America. For more information visit the Caribbean American Heritage Month website. here

15. "Goodbye" Grievance -- If you are planning on retiring or resigning this year, make sure you FILE and ELEVATE a goodbye grievance before your last duty day. It has also been recommended even if you are just switching to another Area. If your FRS does not have a copy of it, please contact your District Rep or Area Director. Also, keep it in a safe place and keep it forever. I could relay horror stories from those who did not. There is only now just about enough time if you have not done this yet.

16. 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 1st through Labor Day. Since our offices are in the NEA building the FEA office will be closed then too.

17. With Gratitude -- This will be my final Update for this school year. That being the case I wish to express my gratitude to so many of you for all the help and assistance you have given me during the year. I thank our FEA officers and the Board of Directors, H.T. Nguyen, and the entire HQ staff.

I also owe much to my fellow members on the European Area Council (Lisa Ali, Alina Rozanski, Susan Kelly, Nancy Almendras, Anita Lang, and Terry McClain). We have wonderful HCR persons all over Europe and we all owe them a hearty thank you for the work that they have done this year. Also, all of our Europe Uniservs: Ben Hunter, Jan Freeman, and Bill Freeman. I mentioned them earlier but I would again like to recognize Susan Kelly and Terry McClain, the two Division Representatives that I work with most directly, for their support and tireless efforts for all of our members. We have a great team!

This job would have been impossible for me to do this year without Lisa Ali, my counterpart as Area Director, and she has done a fantastic job that I truly appreciate. I also want to thank my wife Priscilla for allowing me to serve in this position even though I tended to bring many of the issues home with me and for understanding when I needed to be away for days on end.

Finally, for a reason, I want to thank and applaud every FRS and FR who is out there in the schools working for our members. You see a lot of lip service on this topic but I say it from the heart when I call them the true backbone of FEA. None of the people I mentioned above (including me) could do much of anything if not for these people. Thank you on behalf of all our members and especially from me for all of your hard work. (I used this quote a few years ago and it is still true! Why change it!)

I would also like to take a second and thank all the hardworking people at the Area office. They were always willing to take the time to get answers to whatever question Lisa and I brought their way. I think they are much overlooked.

Finally, for everybody who receives this Update, thank you for what you do in whatever capacity you serve, either past or present. Our students appreciate it and so do I!!

Have a Great Relaxing Summer!!

Note -- I know that this is just a few days early but I couldn't resist! Click here

Alex Veto
FEA Europe Area Director
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