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FEA President's Report

TO: FEA Members Worldwide
FROM: Chuck McCarter, FEA President
RE: FEA President's Report
DATE: April 15, 2014

EXCESSED PLACEMENT & VERA/VSIP
The Excessed Placement Program continues. The district placement phase for all the districts has been conducted. The Europe Area Placement Phase began Tuesday afternoon.

As a reminder, VERA/VSIP offers are based on the location and category preferences of the excessed educator and, within these preferences, the SCD of the VERA/VSIP applicants. As an example, suppose an excessed educator in the Kaiserslautern District lists "Ramstein HS" as her first location choice and "English" as her first category choice. She would first be considered for an English vacancy at Ramstein HS. If there are no true vacancies available, VSIP/VERA applicants at Ramstein HS, who will teach English next school year, would then be considered. If there is more than one VERA/VSIP applicant at Ramstein HS, the more senior applicant would be given a VERA/VSIP offer.

Some excessed educators list districts rather than individual schools as location preferences. In these cases, when there are no true vacancies available, the category preferences of the excessed educator are considered for all VERA/VSIP applicants in the district. As an example, suppose an excessed educator lists Kaiserslautern District as her first location preference and elementary music as her first category preference. If there are no true vacancies for elementary music in the Kaiserslautern district, VERA/VSIP applicants are then considered. The most senior VERA/VSIP applicant in the Kaiserslautern district, who will teach elementary music next year, would receive the VERA/VSIP offer.

COMMUNICATION
Recently, four of us from the FEA office attended training on Pre Decisional Involvement with members of the DODEA Headquarters staff, including Mr. Brady, the new DODEA Director. One commitment we all made is to try to improve communication…not just by e-mail but also in real conversations. As important as that is at the Headquarters level, it is equally important at all levels. When you have a concern, question, or even a commendation, make sure to talk with the appropriate person. If your FRS needs to address it with management, let them know. Hopefully FRS's and Admin are in frequent contact about school matters. Some issues can be clarified or resolved if there is good communication. Obviously, matters that cannot be resolved can be elevated through the appropriate channels, but the hope is that we can work to resolve issues at the lowest level.

ON THE ROAD
FEA Exective Director/General Counsel HT Nguyen and I are both going to be in Germany this week for the EAC and local meetings. I will go to England next week for school visits there. We hope to speak with as many members as possible to hear your comments and concerns. April and May are going to be very busy travel months for both of us. If you send an email and don't get a response, please send a "gentle" reminder so that we can follow up.

COMPLIMENTARY LIFE INSURANCE
One of the benefits of being an NEA member is the complimentary life insurance policy….but you MUST register for it and chose a beneficiary. Go to www.neamb.com and click on the insurance tab, then select the complimentary life insurance and follow the links from there.

LOOKING FOR CREDITS
Whether you are in need of graduate credits for recertification, you want to move into a higher pay lane, or you are seeking new skills to bolster your work as an educator, the NEA Academy has hundreds of courses you should look into. Best of all, as an NEA/FEA member, you'll receive significant discounts on any courses you take through the Academy. As always, we recommend members planning to take a class first confirm with DODEA that the class credits will be accepted. View courses and degree programs available to you at the NEA Academy site, www.neaacademy.org

NATIONAL TEACHER DAY
May 6 is National Teacher Day, part of Teacher Appreciation Week May 4-10, with National School Nurses Day taking place May 7. FEA has provided a sample story/release your local association can customize and send out to local media in order to bring attention to this celebration. You'll find that release as a downloadable Word file on FEA's Web site, www.feaonline.org

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY HT!
For FEA, April 15th this year was much more than just "tax day." This year, that date marked 30 years since HT Nguyen joined FEA! (We were OEA back then!) We are very fortunate to have HT as our Executive Director and General Counsel, representing us to management, to the NEA and to other government and outside agencies. His integrity, intelligence, and strong advocacy for our members have served us all well. Congratulations and THANK YOU, HT!