Around the UFT

UFT president speaks at Grady HS graduation

Around the UFT

You can go home again

Miller Photography Mulgrew gives Noor her Shanker Scholarship Award.
Miller Photography Graduates listen to the UFT president’s speech.

It was a pride-filled homecoming on June 27 when UFT President Michael Mulgrew received an award and addressed the graduating students of William E. Grady Career and Technical Education HS, where he taught at-risk kids for 13 years. With flashes of levity in a confidence-building message of encouragement, Mulgrew congratulated the graduates on successfully facing past challenges and prepped them to handle whatever challenges the future might bring. “You are not islands,” he told them. “Each of you achieved what you did with a lot of support from your parents, teachers and your community.

UFT Per Diem Committee meeting

Around the UFT

Summer unemployment insurance discussed

Miller Photography Substitute teacher Joanna Cieszkowska listens as Bloom speaks about unemployment insurance appeals.
Miller Photography Committee Chair Mangone introduces the guest speaker.

Per diem substitute teachers were advised about the eligibility requirements for summer unemployment insurance at a general meeting of the UFT Per Diem Committee at union headquarters on June 16. Members also received information about the appeals process that would follow, in the event it is necessary. Jon Bloom, executive director of the Workers Defense League, an organization that advises all workers on their rights, was the guest speaker. New York State United Teachers Senior Counsel Claude Hersh provided legal direction during the lively question-and-answer period that followed.

UFTers attend Brooklyn Cyclones game

Around the UFT

Here’s the windup ...

Bruce Cotler Alford and some children of UFTers celebrate her first pitch.
Bruce Cotler Donna Coppola (left), chapter leader of PS 14 on Staten Island, her daughters Vanessa and Gianna, and Educational Liaison Debbie Penny enjoy the game.

There were more than enough peanuts and Cracker Jack to go around when approximately 500 UFT members and their children attended a Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game at Coney Island’s MCU Park on June 22. Members showed up despite the threat of thunderstorms to watch the home-team Cyclones, a minor league team of the New York Mets, defeat the Aberdeen IronBirds 5-2 during the last full week of the school year. UFT Vice President for Elementary Schools Karen Alford threw out the first pitch during a pregame ceremony.

UFT Runners Committee in Corporate Challenge

Around the UFT

Need for speed

Bruce Cotler

Members of the UFT Runners Committee, including Morea (left) and LaForce (third from right, back row), after the race. View more photos.>>

Bruce Cotler Cloherty crosses finish line.

The UFT was well represented at the 35th annual J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge’s 3.5-mile run in Central Park on June 15. UFT Runners Committee members Brian Cloherty (who finished in 20 minutes, 53 seconds to place 151st), a Francis Lewis HS physical education teacher, and Ricardo Bailey (21:32, 229th place), a Flushing HS attendance teacher, were the top UFT finishers in the field of 16,622 male competitors. More than 20 UFTers competed, including 86-year-old UFT retiree Dominick Morea.

Second annual UFT Bronx borough office Collaboration Awards

Around the UFT

Recognizing teamwork

Bruce Cotler District 8 Representative Carmen Quinones (left) with PS 69 Principal Sheila Durant and Chapter Leader Helen Efstathiou (right).
Bruce Cotler UFT Bronx Special Representative Jeff Huart with PS 33 Chapter Leader Paulette Patterson (left) and Principal Lynette Santos.

As UFT members well know, teamwork between teachers and administrators is key to a school’s success. When principals refuse to work with teachers, schools — and students — suffer. That’s why the union’s Bronx borough office held its second annual Collaboration Awards on June 9 to recognize Bronx chapter leaders and principals who have forged successful partnerships to support their students.

The president visits: MS 180, the Bronx

Around the UFT
Mulgrew speaks with the staff. Bruce Cotler

Mulgrew speaks with the staff. More photos >>

UFT President Michael Mulgrew visited MS 180 in Co-op City, the Bronx, on June 9. At the meeting, UFT members asked Mulgrew about the threatened layoffs, contract negotiations and the status of teachers serving in the Absent Teacher Reserve.

Mulgrew speaks with the staff. left: Para Representative Nicole Lloyd (left) andBruce CotlerMulgrew speaks with the staff. left: Para Representative Nicole Lloyd (left) and Delegate Maryalice Blackmore (right) with Mulgrew and Burton.

Chapter Leader Arnold Burton also asked Mulgrew questions provided by the members on topics such as the Department of Education’s ARIS system, the media and school safety.

Music teacher Pete Pauliks shows Mulgrew around the school’s state-of-the-art muBruce CotlerMusic teacher Pete Pauliks shows Mulgrew around the school’s state-of-the-art music technology room.

Following the staff meeting, Mulgrew toured the building with Principal Frank Uzzo.

UFT Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities celebration

Around the UFT

A nutritious success

Maria Bastone Bronx PS 18 teachers (front, from left) Marie Sarabia and Amy Frattarola get in the end-of-year celebration spirit by doing the “alley cat” dance movement.

Teachers and administrators from 12 Bronx schools that participated in the UFT’s Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities initiative met at the union’s Bronx borough office on June 13 for a health-conscious dinner event to celebrate their accomplishments. Through their participation in CookShop and Move to Improve, the two programs that constitute the initiative, educators at the schools learned how to incorporate nutrition and physical activities into their lessons during the six-month project, funded with a $25,000 grant awarded to the UFT by Bronx Health REACH.

Cardozo HS book chat

Around the UFT

The write stuff

Bruce Cotler Teachers Zwick-Marks (left) and Orens chat with Volponi.
Bruce Cotler The author engages students.
Instead of having students just read the book, Cardozo HS’s Nancy Orens took her class to get a read on the author, too. She and colleague Randi Zwick- Marks organized a book chat on June 1 with young-adult writer Paul Volponi, himself a former UFTer whose work included teaching incarcerated teens at Rikers Island. Volponi talked about the importance of storytelling, using a PowerPoint presentation to emphasize choosing the right word. He stressed how literature comes in many colors, not just “Black and White,” the title of his book that students read in class.

PS 186, the Bronx, performs ‘The Jungle Book Kids’

Around the UFT

From the Bronx to Broadway

Miller Photography Actors (from left) student Samantha, paraprofessional Josefa Edwards, student Robert, parent Maha Hussein and student Tyrik.
Miller Photography Isiah (left) and Michael Angelo.

Music teacher Aprilynn Smith dove into her theater project as soon as a Disney Musicals in the Schools grant came through. PS 186 was one of five New York City public elementary schools selected to get a performance license to a children’s musical and technical support for free, along with an opportunity to perform a number on Broadway.

Flag Day celebration at PS 34, Brooklyn

Around the UFT

Long may they wave

Miller Photography

Teacher Louann Gallo (right) sings the praises of parent coordinator Eileen Cavaliere, who is retiring. View more photos.>>

Healthy patriotism with a multicultural embrace is alive and well at PS 34, the oldest primary school in Brooklyn, built in 1887. On Flag Day, June 14, students, faculty and the extended community commemorated Flag Day for the 62nd year. A dance festival followed the opening ceremonies, which were attended by local officials and a large group of enthused onlookers. Students recited literary selections, sang patriotic songs and saluted hundreds of flags, each representing a unique nation and culture, that were displayed for all the world to see.

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