Around the UFT

School Secretaries Seminar

A chance to learn and network

Keeping the conversation going are (from left) Rosie Cortijo, the corresponding Miller PhotographyKeeping the conversation going are (from left) Rosie Cortijo, the corresponding secretary of the School Secretaries Chapter; Betsy Perez of the Queens HS of Teaching, Liberal Arts and the Sciences; and Bobyn-Case.

Thompson gives information to Beverly Johnson of PS 28 in Brooklyn.Miller PhotographyThompson gives information to Beverly Johnson of PS 28 in Brooklyn. AnnMarie Tacopino, a school secretary at PS 186 in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, loves to attend the UFT’s annual School Secretaries Seminar with a group of five other secretaries — one from her school and the others from nearby schools whom she met at previous seminars. “We do love going, not just for the workshops, but to talk with other secretaries,” said Tacopino, a 10-year veteran at PS 186. She was one of 70 school secretaries from around the city who gathered at UFT headquarters in Manhattan on Jan. 27 for the annual event, where union and city Department of Education representatives offered workshops. “We put together the agenda based on what the secretaries tell us they want to learn more about,” said School Secretaries Chapter Leader Mona Gonzalez, who organized the event. Meeting other secretaries, as Tacopino mentioned, is a big part of the event, said Doreen Berrios-Castillo, a member of the chapter’s executive board. “They’re networking with secretaries from different schools and different boroughs. People call each other and learn from each other,” Berrios-Castillo said. Husain Thompson, a DOE senior systems analyst, provided information about the online occurrence reporting system, which secretaries use to report suspensions, injuries and other school incidents. “It was quite useful to learn how to insert incident reports and to learn all the categories in the system,” said Gloria Bobyn-Case, a school secretary at Mott Hall HS in Harlem. Other workshops covered pension policy and Workers’ Compensation procedures. “All the workshop facilitators were excellent,” Tacopino said. “They gave us handouts and contact information — email, phone numbers, the whole bit. It was a very nice day.”

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