Around the UFT

Educators earn speech language pathology degree at Western Kentucky University

Around the UFT

'Master's of their universe'

It was a high point of their lives. On Nov. 29, after three intense years of study, 25 speech teachers earned their master’s degrees — and celebrated that achievement — at a graduation ceremony held at UFT headquarters.

Community Education Council members meet with UFT

Around the UFT

'Count me in!'

Denise Sullivan, the Bronx representative of the Citywide Council of High Schools, spoke for many when calling for a substantial common curriculum at a meeting between parent activists and UFT leaders on Dec. 5 at the union’s Manhattan headquarters.

“The state needs to provide a strong, well-designed curriculum that matches up with the common core standards,” Sullivan said.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew agreed.

Catholic Teachers Association Annual Dinner

Around the UFT

UFTer honored

UFTer honored

McCourt, flanked by Retired Teacher Chapter Leader Tom Murphy (right) and former District 3 Representative George Caulfield, who presented the award. More photos >>

UFT District 3 Representative Michael McCourt received the Neil Shanahan Award at the Catholic Teachers Association Annual Dinner Dance in Queens on Dec. 6. The award is named for the former UFT District 28 representative who passed away several years ago. Past winners include several prominent UFTers, including President Michael Mulgrew and Vice President Carmen Alvarez.

Foreign language teachers’ professional conference

Around the UFT

Wonderful workshops

Miller Photography

The Fun and Focus Workshop has everyone participating in a singing and movement exercise. >> More photos

Miller Photography

Deciding which workshop to attend are (from left) Juliette Beder of John Bowne HS and Francis Lewis HS teachers Vania Sitruk and Khadja Sembene.

Miller Photography

Former New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers director Rosa Riccio-Pietanza (left) of New York University joins association President Irma Evangelista, recipient of the Robert J. Ludwig Award.

More than 330 teachers of foreign languages came out for a daylong conference at UFT headquarters on Oct. 29.

Union sponsors workshops across city

Around the UFT

Election Day professional development

Chapter leaders fill the conference room at UFT headquarters for a day of profes Miller Photography

Chapter leaders fill the conference room at UFT headquarters for a day of professional development on health and safety issues.

UFT Vice President Sterling Roberson talks to teachers at the Center for Automot Bruce Cotler

UFT Vice President Sterling Roberson talks to teachers at the Center for Automotive Education and Training in Whitestone, Queens.

Election Day 2011 provided yet another opportunity for more than a thousand UFT members to receive training at UFT-sponsored sessions.

Nearly 200 chapter leaders attended an all-day workshop organized by the UFT Safety and Health Department at union headquarters that covered gang awareness, larceny and theft prevention, bullying and a safety and environ­mental health overview.

Veterans Day parade and ceremony

Around the UFT

UFTers on the march

Miller Photography

Carrying the UFT banner at the ceremony are (from left) retiree Vera Campbell, UFT Director of Professional Committees George Altomare, retirees Fred Kapp, Richard Baron, Don Nobles and Guy Devaux, Committee Chair John Garvey, David Suker of Bronx Regional HS and retiree Robert Salerni.

Miller Photography

Suker, also a protester with Occupy Wall Street, distributes copies of the protest newspaper.

Members of the UFT Veterans Committee participated in the Veterans Day parade and wreath-laying ceremony in Madison Square Park on Nov. 11. Gen. David Petraeus was among the many speakers. UFT veterans have been participating in the annual event for the past 13 years and the union is among the sponsors of the observance.

Queens parents rally for school bus service

Around the UFT

Voicing transportation concerns

Miller Photography

Meeting with Assemblywoman Grace Meng (left) are (from second left) parent Ann Marie Murphy, Kessler and PS 29 teacher Keith Johnson.

Miller Photography

Student Nikolas Singleman (holding Metrocard), who isn’t eligible to take the school bus, flanked by (from left) Assemblyman Michael Simanavitz, City Councilmen Peter Koo and Dan Halloran, George Washington Carver HS teacher Andrew Rocco, who organized the rally, and Assemblyman Ed Braunstein.

Around 50 parents, educators and local politicians rallied against cuts to yellow school bus service in the College Point section of Queens on Nov. 4, carrying signs that read, “We have the buses. Where are the children?” The protesters were angry about a Department of Education decision, announced just one day before the beginning of school in September, to eliminate yellow bus service for 7th- and 8th-graders in the neighborhood, leaving them to fend for themselves as they travel more than five miles to and from the nearest junior high school.

Tourette Syndrome workshops

Around the UFT

Tips for helping affected students

Cara Metz

Connors (inset) addresses those who attended the Oct. 20 meeting, including (from left) Irma Rosa-Cardona, Itka Besser, Blerta Borici, Valentina Dhima and Julie Lay.

Pat Arnow

Giordano (right) gets help with an exercise from Ann Mackey, an ATR.

Tourette Syndrome, the neurological condition that causes people to make repeated, quick muscle movements — called tics — or sounds that they cannot control, is getting needed attention from UFT members. At an Oct. 20 Special Education Committee meeting, 200 teachers heard career educator Sue Conners survey the problems children with Tourette face in class. She also discussed ways to mitigate problems for both the child and others in the classroom. On Nov.

Preparing for a special delivery

Around the UFT
Miller Photography

With each expecting a “Proud UFT Baby,” newer teachers (from left) Claudia Castro of PS 307; Zennebe Arnold of MS 137; Veronica Romero of PS/IS 113; and Colleen Wilson of PS 150, all in Queens, surround Greer Hansen Velazquez (fourth from left), who explained their rights and benefits at a Nov. 3 Maternity Workshop at the Queens UFT office. For dates and locations of upcoming maternity workshops in all boroughs, check the UFT calendar at

New York City Labor Chorus 20th Anniversary Concert

Around the UFT

Promoting Unionism through music


above: The chorus celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Miller Photography

right: On their way into Town Hall, UFT members of the chorus smile for the camera.

The 75-member New York City Labor Chorus entertained a full house at Town Hall on Nov. 5 at their 20th Anniversary Concert. The chorus members, who represent some 20 metro-area labor unions, have toured the world with their musical messages of American labor and social struggles. Barbara Bailey, the chorus president and one of the founders, said the group’s aim is to revive the labor movement. “What better way than with a song?” she asks. Jana Ballard, the choral director at LaGuardia HS of Music and Art in Manhattan, leads the group.

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