April 8 2011 FEA Pacific Update

APRIL 8, 2011
Debra Degalis, FEA Pacific Area Director

Area Director Update
Transfer Program
Legal Eagle Corner
Mark Your Calendars
Other Tidbits

Area Director Update
There are moments and events that will always be etched in our individual and collective memories. March 11, 2001, is one of those events for our Japanese friends and families as well as our DoDDS colleagues in Misawa, Yokosuka, Yokota and Zama/Atsugi. I want to thank the teachers in these areas for your calm during the maelstrom and continued dedication to the students. You are heroes to many. I also want to express my appreciation to the teachers in Iwakuni and Sasebo as well the Korea and Okinawa districts for your concern and understanding during the Japan crisis. Last but not least I cannot tell you how much Michael Priser, HT Nguyen, the FEA staff and Jeannette Ferguson, NEATA President, have done for our teachers in Japan during this very difficult time. Their quick and ongoing assistance, wisdom, equanimity, and caring has proven once again that we need our union and FEA is the best.

Most of you aware that Acting DoDEA Director, Ms. Marilee Fitzgerald and DoDEA Pacific Area Director, Diana Ohman, came to Japan this week to visit the schools, teachers and communities in the Yokosuka, Yokota and Zama/Atsugi complexes. Their visits have been well received and they have both confirmed that DoDDS teachers are the best and provide an excellent education to our students. The commands and parents have also praised the teachers during this time. The parents and command also thanked the teachers for keeping the schools open and their commitment to their children and providing as much normalcy as possible. They have reaffirmed what we know. We are professionals and despite the worries, frustrations and fear this disaster has created for you, you will carry out the mission. You teach the children.

Due to these visits you may receive or hear statements that were made. I attended a teacher and a town hall meeting. I took notes and they have been shared with FEA HQ. As always, FEA will provide you the best and correct information that it has.

I also want to extend a late thank you to Melanie Horton, AEAO President, the FRSs and teachers for the warm reception during my February 22-25 visits with Brian Chance, NEA Director for FEA, to the Okinawa schools. I was also able to hold consultations with Ms. Ohman as well as hold our PAL Council meeting that weekend. It was definitely a busy and productive time.

March was a blur, but I attended the FEA Board of Directors meeting in D.C., the week of March 14 and then the Transfer Program round the following week. As you can imagine, much of the time was spent on the Japan crisis and continues. There are still many issues to work and resolve for our Japan colleagues due to the crisis. Please be assured that we will assist you and work through each of them and continue to work on all our members' needs. I thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

Best wishes for a wonderful and well deserved Spring Break!

Upcoming AD Activities
  • May 6 - FRS Spring Training, Osan, Korea
  • May 11 - FRS Spring Training, Okinawa
  • May 13 - FRS Spring Training, New Sanno, Tokyo
  • May 14-16 - PAL Council Meeting, Tokyo

Transfer Program
Along with our FEA TP Guru, Connie Shanaghan, FEA Europe AD, Chuck McCarter and I were at the table to represent the teachers. The days were long, our pencils were sharpened and re-sharpened many times, and our erasers magically disappeared as we moved the applicants closer and closer into his/her top location and category. Once again, I will have to say it is one of the fairest processes I have ever witnessed. All of us hoped by now that the offers would be sent to our teachers. Ms. Fitzgerald told our Japan teachers she made the decision to delay the offers and assured them the program would happen this year. She did not say when or offer a date.

Pacific Legal Eagle Corner

Due to the crisis and the fact that teachers are wrapping up grades and ready to relax, the Legal Eagle corner will be chocked full with information in the next update. Stay tuned.

Mark Your Calendars:
Month of the Military Child April
Earth Day April 22
Easter Sunday April 24
Teacher's Appreciation Week May 1-7
Mother's Day May 1

Worth Repeating:

Annuity Estimates for Retirement - DLA has the following web site those who want an annuity estimate: Print a copy of the submission for your record.

You can also go into EBIS for an annuity estimate. If all federal service was with DoDDS and with no breaks in service with DoDDS, the estimate in EBIS will be the same they would receive from DLA. There will be no difference.

Federal Retirement Website - FEA Europe Area Director Chuck McCarter shared the following website with me. I checked it out and subscribed to their newsletters.

Yen and Won Rates - To check the rates go to

Until the next update,

Debra S. Degalis
FEA Pacific Area Director