Around the UFT

NYCATA/UFT’s 31st annual Artist Teacher Exhibition

Around the UFT

Life outside the classroom

Pat Arnow

Rachel Vine (left) of Richmond Hill HS in Queens reviews her paintings with Davidson (center) and Sieunarine. More photos >>

Pat Arnow

Bennett H. Horowitz of Manhattan’s HS of Art and Design in front of his paintings.

Despite cutbacks that have left many art teachers without supplies or proper rooms to work in, they continue to inspire their students and produce their own personal art. Some of their creations were on display at NYCATA/UFT’s 31st annual Artist Teacher Exhibition from Oct. 11 to 24 at the Arts Horizons LeRoy Neiman Art Center in Harlem. “We want to show the talent and commitment of the artist teachers to their creative life outside the classroom,” said NYCATA President/Chair Joan Davidson.

Scary — but safe

Around the UFT

Bronx Halloween bash a frightfully good event

University Heights HS para Diane Ortiz summons her inner witch. Pat Arnow

University Heights HS para Diane Ortiz summons her inner witch.

The son of CS 92 teacher Catherine Stephenson launches his medical career. Pat Arnow

The son of CS 92 teacher Catherine Stephenson launches his medical career.

PS 463 Chapter Leader Nelson Lucena plays the "Monster Mash." Pat Arnow

PS 463 Chapter Leader Nelson Lucena plays the "Monster Mash."

Seven years ago, the office became haunted. Yes, every year at Halloween. The tale starts with UFT Bronx Borough Representative Jose Vargas and staff deciding to make a safe haven where members could bring their kids for some carefree blood-curdling fun.

Then word got out. Spread like an alien blob across the metropolis. This year, 600 kids, parents, teachers and community groups came knocking on the door of the enormous haunted house that was once a union office.

Celebrity chef visits Wings Academy

Around the UFT

Taking on childhood obesity

Celebrity chef visits Wings AcademyBruce CotlerAfter cooking and serving lunch to 200 students in the cafeteria, DiSpirito hands out more chicken soup and brownie lunches at curbside. Celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito’s colorful Now Eat This! truck, which dishes out healthy, low-calorie comfort food, has just hit the streets, with Wings Academy among its first school stops on Oct. 26. DiSpirito set up shop at the curb and in the cafeteria of the Bronx high school, where he prepared a hearty chicken soup and brownie lunch for 200 students to show them that healthy food tastes good and is good for you. DiSpirito is part of the effort to solve the national crisis of obesity, spearheaded by first lady Michelle Obama.

HS of Sports Management’s Fall Sports Symposium

Around the UFT

Connecting school to careers

Roberson at a late-morning break-out session with students, while English teacheMiller PhotographyRoberson at a late-morning break-out session with students, while English teacher Tiffany Young looks on. Principal Robin Pitts introduces the panel.Miller PhotographyPrincipal Robin Pitts introduces the panel. UFT Vice President for Career and Technical Education Sterling Roberson was a featured speaker at the morning plenary on “The Role of Education ’N the Business of Sports” at Brooklyn’s HS of Sports Management’s Fall Sports Symposium on Oct. 13.

Fall UFT Charter School Conference

Around the UFT

Building a progressive movement

Members take part in an exercise at the conference.

Members take part in an exercise at the conference.

After an Oct. 14 evening panel featuring UFT President Michael Mulgrew, celebrated educator Deborah Meier, Green Dot founder Steve Barr and parent advocate Mona Davids, the more than 100 charter school educators in attendance returned to UFT headquarters on Oct. 15 for a full day of workshops and panels on “building a progressive charter school movement.”

Learning Leaders’ annual breakfast

Around the UFT

Group lauded for half century of serving kids

Group lauded for half century of serving kids

Learning leaders annual breakfastMiller PhotographyAmong volunteers attending are (from left) Victor Alejandro, Maria Cuartas, Josefina Guzman, Maria Meneses, Rosa Guzman and Reina Verduga, all from PS 228 in Queens. Volunteers, supporters and staff of Learning Leaders, the school volunteer program, heard UFT President Michael Mulgrew praise the group at its annual breakfast on Sept. 28 for its 55 years of service to New York City’s children.

Brooklyn Technical HS Career Day

Around the UFT

Looking to the future

Brooklyn Technical HS Career DayGary Schoichet Some 750 students at Brooklyn Technical HS joined mentors — all school alumni — for the fifth annual Career Day on Oct. 15, connecting with alumni in professions that corresponded to their academic interests and majors. Together they discussed strategies for pursuing careers. Speakers covered such career options as medicine, law, architecture, education, law enforcement, engineering and journalism.

New York Cares paints PS 396, Brooklyn

Around the UFT

Bright colors, brighter futures

New York Cares paints PS 396, BrooklynBruce CotlerTeachers, paraprofessionals and NYU students worked as a team to transform the school’s appearance. Scores of busy hands and gallons of primary color paints transformed the cafeteria, gymnasium and doors of PS 396, a District 75 school for multiply handicapped students in Brooklyn, on Oct 15 — Volunteer for Schools Day. Staff worked with 30 volunteers from New York Cares that included New York University students and muralist Dana Gambale, who was creator and overseer of the marathon Sunday makeover at the K-8 Brownsville school.

Meet the president: District 2

Around the UFT

Meet the president: District 2Miller PhotographyThe UFT president with staff from PS 1. The District 2 meeting with UFT President Michael Mulgrew on Oct. 6 drew more than 200 UFT members. Introduced by District Representative Alfred Gonzales as “now a national labor leader” for his fight to save teacher jobs and his prominence the day before at the Occupy Wall Street labor-support rally, Mulgrew deflected the credit. If Gonzales’ words were true, Mulgrew told the members, “it has to do with you and your struggle to prevent layoffs.” But hard days lay ahead, Mulgrew warned. “We can’t take another year of cuts,” he said.

Building a progressive movement

Around the UFT

Fall UFT Charter School Conference panel

Green Dot Public Schools founder Steve Barr answers a few questions. Cara Metz

Green Dot Public Schools founder Steve Barr (on panel, second from left) answers a question while fellow panelists (from left) New York Charter Parents Association President Mona Davids, Central Park East school founder Deborah Meier and UFT President Michael Mulgrew and UFT Vice President Leo Casey, the panel moderator, look on.

More than 100 charter school teachers from around the city came together at UFT headquarters on Oct. 14 for an evening panel discussion that kicked off the UFT’s two-day fall charter conference and professional development event.

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