Around the UFT

In good taste

Around the UFT

Kids Who Cook

The UFT Black Caucus does a bang-up job each year in raising college scholarship funds and feasting on good eatin’ through its Kids Who Cook event, and last June 12 was no exception.

Held at Harlem’s PS 154, the event had guests paying $20 per person for an all-you-could-handle sit-down dinner with choices running the soup-to-nuts gamut from peanut butter and jelly to vegetarian lasagna, roasted and barbecued chicken and scrumptious desserts.

Preparing and serving it all were the kids — with a safety-minded assist from some adults, of course.

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Related topics: community service

On the run again

Around the UFT

Corporate Challenge

Miller Photography

The UFT team members are all smiles after the race.

Miller Photography

O’Connell on her way to her fifth-place finish.


The UFT Runners Club had 25 members compete in the 34th annual 3.5-mile JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge in Central Park on June 17. And while its success from last year — when the UFT women placed first, the coed team third and the men fourth — was not repeated, it was still a great success for both veteran and novice participants. “The camaraderie of running alongside fellow teachers celebrating Central Park made for a truly satisfying end-of-year event,” said UFT Runners Club Co-Chair Kevin Miller, a teacher at PS 140 in Manhattan. Not that UFTers didn’t excel.

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On the same team

Around the UFT

NYC Coaches Association/UFT annual Spring Conference Awards Dinner

The New York City Coaches Association/UFT held its annual Spring Conference Awards Dinner on June 18 at the Clearview Golf Course in Queens. The students on their teams frequently credit them for being among the positive role models in their lives, and the “Season’s Over” awards dinner was special for them. “After competing against each other all year, it’s good to get together socially to enjoy the camaraderie and celebrate our successes together,” said Ken Achiron, the association’s executive director.

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40 schools recognized for health consciousness

Around the UFT

Excellence in School Wellness Awards

As part of the growing effort to prevent childhood obesity and improve academic achievement, 40 schools in upper Manhattan and the Bronx won Excellence in School Wellness Awards for making strides in creating healthy school environments. The awards are a testament to the creative efforts of many schools in areas with high rates of obesity, many of them with limited resources, to foster healthier choices in their students’ daily lives. Out of 272 schools receiving applications, the winning awards included 15 gold, 10 silver, nine bronze and six honorable mention.

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Related topics: healthy schools, our schools

Colleagues turn tragedy into triumph

Around the UFT

Teachers present scholarships

Teacher Alison Cain at Mathematics, Science Research and Technology HS, QueensMiller PhotographyTeacher Alison Cain at Mathematics, Science Research and Technology HS, Queens, presents Jovan Dupiton with the annual Humanitarian Award scholarship, which she founded in honor of the organ donor whose death gave her life.

In 1988, when teacher Michael Rosenthal was a little boy, his 20-year-old brother was killed in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. He wanted to find a good way to commemorate Daniel, who was studying to be a teacher at Oxford in England.

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Related topics: member spotlight

Opening a dialogue to make schools better for children

Around the UFT

Mulgrew meets with Community Education Council members

Andrea Lella, president of the Citywide Council on high schools Cara Metz Andrea Lella, president of the Citywide Council on high schools, suggests regular monthly meetings of CEC members and the UFT in each of the five boroughs.
Mulgrew addresses CEC members before they begin the work of the new school year. Cara Metz Mulgrew addresses CEC members before they begin the work of the new school year.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew welcomed returning and newly elected members of the 32 Community Education Councils to UFT headquarters on Aug. 28 for an ongoing dialogue about what is going on in the schools and how best to partner on issues of common concern. The event, hosted by Anthony Harmon, the union’s director of parent and community outreach, also was an opportunity for the CEC members from all five boroughs to hear from each other.

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Related topics: parents and community

Meet the president: District 19

Around the UFT
Mulgrew with (from left) Dahemah Wynter of PS 149, Lesley-Anne Jones of PS 158

Mulgrew with (from left) Dahemah Wynter of PS 149, Lesley-Anne Jones of PS 158, Mona Jelks of PS 213 and Janette Jarrett of PS 149.

Miller Photography

Members from PS/MS 306 (from left) Celestina Reid, Migdalia Valle, Elease Glover and Diane Ford at the event. 

Mulgrew with (from left) Dahemah Wynter of PS 149, Lesley-Anne Jones of PS 158

Mulgrew with (from left) Dahemah Wynter of PS 149, Lesley-Anne Jones of PS 158, Mona Jelks of PS 213 and Janette Jarrett of PS 149.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew shed plenty of light on the public education situation in New York City during a Meet the President event for members of Brooklyn’s District 19 on June 21. Mulgrew described the education budget — which, at the time, was still weeks away from completion — as a “political football” and talked about the union’s support of a “millionaires tax,” noting that “the rich pay less in tax now than they ever have in New York City history.” He also observed proudly that parent-community relations and parental respect for UFT teachers is at an all-time peak.

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Making their pitch

Around the UFT

UFT’s Brooklyn Cyclones outing

District 26 Representative Mary Vaccaro joins children from her area schools.
Mulgrew is decked out in his custom-made Cyclones jersey as he heads to the field to deliver his pitch.

They may be a minor league team in a Major League city, but the Brooklyn Cyclones played like they were ready for The Show when hundreds of UFTers, parents and students watched the locals on June 22. The Cyclones banged out 19 hits in trouncing the visiting Hudson Valley Renegades 16-5. UFT President Michael Mulgrew threw out the first pitch, and the scoreboard welcomed the union contingent. 

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Tribute to an ‘icon’

Around the UFT

Joan Weltz Auditorium dedicated at PS 79, Queens

Weltz family with Chapter Leader BartleyChapter Leader Bartley (left) with (from second left) Weltz’s granddaughter Nicole Waldman, daughter Lisa Weltz Waldman, son-in-law Marc Waldman and grandson Robert Waldman.  For 44 years at PS 79 in Queens, music teacher Joan Weltz treated every child as a masterpiece. That’s why on June 17, four months after her death following a short and sudden bout with cancer, a cherry blossom tree was planted near the schoolyard’s garden gazebo and the auditorium was renamed the Joan Weltz Auditorium in her honor. “Joan had a gift for making everyone feel they were her best friend,” Chapter Leader John Bartley said. Principal Dr.

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Related topics: member spotlight

Brooklyn school holds budget rally

Around the UFT

Brooklyn school holds budget rallyMembers from PS 193 pose after staging their morning protest on June 23, which was organized by Co-Chapter Leaders Christine Sam (standing, third from left) and Yelena Siwinski (front row, second from left). With them are UFT Vice President for Elementary Schools Karen Alford and District 22 Representative Alan Abrams (standing, fifth and fourth from right). UFTers across the city spent much of May and June staging informational picketing to protest budget cuts. Among those who were dedicated to the cause of informing the public were the members at PS 193 in Brooklyn, who staged five such demonstrations — including the grand finale on June 23. Music teacher Ben Stiefel wrote a song called “Budget Cuttin’” and 5th-grade teacher Danielle Ranieri choreographed a dance to the song, which was performed by about a dozen faculty members on the sidewalk outside the school.

Read more: Around the UFT
Related topics: budget, political action
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