It’s a bittersweet time of year as FCEA bids goodbye to members who are retiring from education to follow other pursuits, many of which seem to involve grandchildren or a beach somewhere.
Our organization appreciates these members’ service, as well as the chance to help sponsor the FCPS Retirement Dinner. At this year’s event, held May 20, 2016 at Grand Reserve, President Jessica Hiler helped bid goodbye to the educators listed below.
Lisa Baradaran, a retiring Special Education teacher from Glendover Elementary, says that being an FCEA member played an important role in her career. “I have been a member of FCEA for 15 years and KEA for 32 years. Through several different presidents, FCEA has kept the members informed of important issues. The officers of FCEA have worked diligently to organize members to send emails, visit Representatives and Senators, and attend local board meetings.”
She went on to say, “When I needed advice for a personal situation, FCEA provided guidance and support. My 15 years of teaching in Fayette County were less stressful because of the knowledge and support I received from FCEA!”
We wish each and every one of our retiring members a happy and active “second life,” and we hope to see you actively involved in the Kentucky Retired Teachers Association!
One of the small ways in which FCEA gives back to its members is through the Classroom Grants awarded in both Fall and Spring of each year. With $250 to spend on a classroom need or program, winners can enrich their students’ experiences in the classroom. Sarah Ryder, of Deep Springs Elementary, and Kellie Derrickson, of Lansdowne Elementary, share the results of their awards.
In Derrickson’s 5th grade classroom, students took part in a culminating activity from the “If I Had A Hammer” math project. The kids worked on area and perimeter, scaling, and designing a home with interior walls and a roof using material their teacher purchased for their classroom.
Ryder used the funds to purchase much-needed supplies for her Special Area Art classes. She stated that the flexibility of using her own funds allowed her to find deals that stretched her dollars even further.
Congratulations go out to 2016 winners of the FCEA Award for Teaching Excellence, Steven Riley and Traci Rust.
A nine-year staff member at Henry Clay High School, Steven teaches Social Studies, while Traci, a Visual Arts instructor, has been a staff member at Arlington Elementary School for 12 years. She’ll be moving to Ashland Elementary for 2016-17. These two were part of an outstanding group of applicants for this year’s award, which grants winners $500 to use as they wish.
Be on the lookout for next year’s application announcement!
As part of KEA’s Day of Learning this year, 15 educators from Fayette County traveled to Frankfort on March 8, 2016 to learn more about the legislative process by attending the House Education Committee meeting and conversing with legislators.
As Traci Rust, one the participants said, “KEA’s Day of Learning gave me a great opportunity to sit down face-to-face with legislators to share my own personal journey and struggles within the field of education. Not only were legislators attentive and inquisitive, each and every person encountered was welcoming, polite, and very friendly. Emails and phone calls will always help in times where our voices need to be heard, but meeting with legislators face to face makes us human; it gives our opinions a face, an emotion, and a beating heart that is hard to ignore. I highly recommend others to attend KEA Day of Learning, and if you can’t fit that day in your schedule, make time on your own to make a personal connection.”
Attendees included Ida Craft, Arlene Jacina, Allison Givan, Angela Rey-Barreau, Traci Rust, Asia Baker, Tim McCoy, Sara Green, Liz Buckler, Kim Haskins, Delvin Azofeifa, Michelle Ratchford, Suzanne Weaver, Kathy Isenhour, Susan McLaughlin-Jones, and President Jessica Hiler.
The Cat in the Hat and all the fun that ensues when he’s around will be on display March 5 at the Fayette Mall.
Come check us out from 10:00-3:00 outside of Dillard’s — there will be guest readers, goodie bags, and photo opportunities with the guest of honor. If you’re interested in helping with setup, guiding readers, or other tasks, please contact President Hiler.
We’d also like to acknowledge the businesses that have already graciously donated coupons and prizes for the event. Special thanks goes out to:
That’s our advice as the legislative session continues in Frankfort. While Governor Bevin presented a budget proposal pumping desperately needed money into the Kentucky Teacher Retirement System and the Kentucky Employees Retirement System, many lawmakers are already saying that it’s at the expense of other organizations. All that means is that proposals will crop up that slash the cash to prop up pensions.
Due to that, it’s critical for all educators to pay attention and stay updated and active when it comes to demanding the state meet its obligations to provide a secure retirement for all state employees.
Other issues on the horizon include:
Four legislative seats are up for special election in early March, which could shift the balance of power in the Senate. Whether that shift is in favor of educators remains to be seen.
The governor and lawmakers keep mentioning pension reform. In other states, that reform has come at the expense of teachers and other state employees. States such as Illinois, Rhode Island, California, and Pennsylvania are just some that have — or are –currently telling teachers that they must bear the brunt of the states’ failure to fund the retirement systems.
Keep in mind that Kentucky teachers already contribute over 12% of their own paychecks toward retirement and have NEVER missed full funding of those payments. We also DO NOT receive Social Security benefits. Whatever Social Security teachers have paid in through other jobs (if it’s enough to vest) or should receive through their spouses will be drastically reduced (20% or less) upon retirement. There is no fallback for educators unless they’ve paid into a personal 457 plan, annuity, etc.
Please let your legislators know that you expect them to Fund the ARC – call, email, tweet – just make sure they know you are paying attention to your pension!
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Fayette Superintendent Manny Caulk discusses the wonderful opportunities already available to FCPS students. President Hiler and retired FCEA educators continue to make their presence known during the #kyga16 legislative session.
Below you will find a quick list of things that we are currently working for on behalf of our members.
Present at House and Senate Education Meetings in Frankfort during the legislative session and worked with legislators on education issues
Visited 23 schools in Fayette County to have one-on-one conversations with members around issues such as KTRS and school funding. Goal is to get to all FCPS schools by the end of the school year
For the second time this year, five teachers have the chance to win FCEA Classroom Grants worth $250.00 each. Based on a classroom need or proposed program, winners are the sole owners of any purchases made with the funds, regardless of moving schools or leaving Fayette Co.