Around the UFT

UFTers help hurricane victims

Around the UFT

Making a difference

The grateful Owego Elementary School community gathers to welcome the arrival ofBetsy SandbergThe grateful Owego Elementary School community gathers to welcome the arrival of the cartons of school supplies sent by the UFT. Helping hands unload the equipment donated to the school.Helping hands unload the equipment donated to the school. Fresh off the Thruway from PS 65 in Queens, Doctor (left), Regalado and Manley aFresh off the Thruway from PS 65 in Queens, Doctor (left), Regalado and Manley arrive at the Schoharie Central School with their cargo. UFT members reached into their pockets, rounded up supplies and donned hard hats, trying in every way possible to help upstate schools and communities devastated by floods get back on their feet after Hurricane Irene hit in August.

Holiday events at PS 811, Manhattan

Around the UFT

Smiles for students

Smiles for students

Dave Sanders

Posing with the check for $10,000 are (from left) Chapter Leader Allister Johnston, O’Leary, Daub, Assistant Principal Vilma Melendez, and Peter Ohser, Bob Taylor and Juan Melendez of MoneyGram.

Dave Sanders

A 4th-grader receives his gift from Coast Guard members James Maduro (left) and Carlos Dominguez.

Some schools are lucky to get one visit from Santa’s helpers. East Harlem’s PS 811, the Mickey Mantle School, housed in PS 101, got two, and both on Dec. 7. First, executives of MoneyGram, the Dallas, Texas-based money transfer company, presented the school with a $10,000 check to be used to purchase iPads and other instructional supplies and educational technology items for the school’s population of special needs children.

UFT honored by four groups

Around the UFT

Recognizing the union’s work

Recognizing the union’s work

Pat Arnow

Mulgrew received, on behalf of the UFT, a “Community, Dignity and Power” award from community organization Make the Road NY where he shared honors with fellow labor leader George Gresham of 1199SEIU and other honorees. More photos >>

UFT President Michael Mulgrew accepted three awards on behalf of the UFT — from the New York City Parents Union, Make the Road NY and the Make the Grade Foundation — in the span of a week in mid-November for the union’s advocacy on behalf of students and educators and its leadership in progressive causes across the city. He accepted a fourth award from the New York Labor History Association on Nov. 29. The Parents Union, an important UFT ally, headed by Mona Davids, presented its award at the organization’s first-ever awards ceremony on Nov. 10. Then, on Nov.

UFT Players’ one-act musical

Around the UFT

‘Wedding’ planners

‘Wedding’ planners

Pat Arnow

The cast at curtain call, with Ayala holding the bouquet. More photos >>

Pat Arnow

Sylvia Bodden as an aspirant auditioning to be a wedding entertainer.

The UFT Players on Dec. 2 performed “Boda Latina/Latin Wedding,” a one-act musical in which a soon-to-be-wed couple interviews 17 acts to get just the right entertainment for their impending wedding.

New York City NAACP annual gala

Around the UFT

Lauded for civil rights work

Lauded for civil rights work

Miller Photography

President Michael Mulgrew, who presented the award, with Harmon and NAACP Chapter President Dr. Annie B. Martin.

UFT Director of Community and Parent Outreach Anthony Harmon was honored by the New York City NAACP branch at its annual gala on Dec. 2 at the New York Hilton. Harmon, who is also president of the A. Phillip Randolph Institute, was cited for his steadfast work and his history as a fighter for civil rights and advocate of economic and social justice. He was also singled out for his tenacity and talent in enlisting local community members and the city’s labor movement in these struggles.

Step Out Walk to Fight Diabetes at MS 142, the Bronx

Around the UFT

Score one for awareness

Score one for awareness

Dave Sanders

Celebrating a successful day of educating about a serious disease are (front, from left) UFT District 11 Representative Alice Cooper-Jackson; PS 111 Chapter Leader Dana Falciglia; PS 111 paraprofessional Sharon Anderson; Luz Carty, Sarah Thompson and Gabriella Morel of the American Diabetes Association; Lisa Lau of the union’s Health and Safety Department; and Bronx Borough Representative Jose Vargas and (back, from left) Paraprofessionals Chapter 2nd Vice Chair Hector Ruiz Jr.; UFT Vice President Sterling Roberson; MS 142 Chapter Leader Tollyne Dickerson; Forbes; UFT Bronx Community Liaison Nick Cruz; and Donna Lalwani of the ADA.

Dave Sanders

Forbes autographs basketballs.

Denver Nuggets guard Gary Forbes was already an NBA player when he learned he had Type 2 diabetes, a condition that could have ended his pro basketball career had it been left untreated. But with proper diet, medication and the exercise that comes with being an athlete, the 6-foot-7 hoops standout didn’t miss a step. Forbes was on hand at MS 142 in the Bronx on Nov. 28 for its Step Out Walk to Fight Diabetes, part of a national awareness campaign sponsored by the American Diabetes Association.

Longtime district representative retires

Around the UFT

Saying bye to the ‘family’

Saying bye to the ‘family’

Miller Photography

Teacher Gladys Sotomayor (left) of the School for International Studies cuts the rug with Zuckerberg.

Miller Photography

Planning committee members and the night’s emcees Sandy Callahan and Sally Bell, formerly from PS 154 and PS 58, respectively, welcome Zuckerberg into the ranks of retirees.

Former UFT District 15 Representative Bob Zuckerberg asserts he’s had many families over his long career, and friends and family were out in force to honor him at his Nov. 10 retirement party in Brooklyn. In his toast, former chapter leader Neil Friedman praised Zuckerberg’s “tireless commitment and passionate devotion to our schools, the communities they serve, our union and the children.” Zuckerberg began his teaching career in 1969 at Brooklyn’s PS 58. He never left — just expanded his role, first to chapter leader in 1972, then to district representative in 1986.

District 26 coat and cellphone drive

Around the UFT

Lending a helping hand

Lending a helping hand

PS 18 teachers Eileen Bailey (left) and Megan Strohschein — working with Barbara Bell, chapter leader at the Queens Village school — were just two of the many District 26 members collecting coats, sweaters and other winter items. More photos >>

UFTers in Queens District 26 were busy this holiday season doing good by collecting some 1,500 coats and 200 cellphones for needy New Yorkers. The project was very much a group effort, said District Representative Mary Vaccaro, with schools using PS 26 and MS 172 as drop-off points. Kudos also go to MS 172 Principal Jeffrey Slivko, the Council for School Supervisors and Administrators district representative, who sent out notices to all the families in his school, Vaccaro said, as well as the school’s student council, whose members helped pack contributions for shipping.

The president visits: PS 197 and IS 381, Brooklyn

Around the UFT
Miller Photography

Grabbing a coffee for the meeting are (from left) Ismeta Music, a paraprofessional at PS 197, with her teacher colleagues Kerri Little and Lisa DeChirico. More photos >>

Miller Photography

Mulgrew speaks to the group.

Miller Photography

Staff at the two schools take in the information.

At an early-morning visit to PS 197 and IS 381 — two schools that share a building in Midwood, Brooklyn — on Dec. 6, UFT President Michael Mulgrew revealed to educators that a new education funding increase was being discussed in Albany. It was announced in the press later that day [see story on page 3], a result of an agreement between the governor and state Legislature to raise taxes on the very rich, while lowering taxes on working and middle-class New Yorkers.

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.

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