UFT events

Combining learning, fun to help shape students

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Sixth annual early childhood education conference

Learning to make art materials from common kitchen items — in this case, milk anMiller PhotographyLearning to make art materials from common kitchen items — in this case, milk and food dye — at the Kitchen Art workshop are (from left) Maria Pastis of PS 95 in Queens, Marisa Apolito of PS 6 in the Bronx and Larraine Caquias of PS 120 in Brooklyn.

Early childhood teachers are sculptors who help to shape a child’s character and mind. They are also guides who help children to unlock mysteries through learning. And, to do their best at shaping and guiding young children, early childhood educators need a rich curriculum.

These were among the messages to nearly 500 teachers, paraprofessionals, parents and child care providers who attended the UFT’s sixth annual Early Childhood Education Conference on March 16, entitled “Today We Shape Tomorrow.”

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Henry Winkler to receive UFT’s Dewey Award

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Actor to be recognized for his work for schoolchildren with special needs

Miller Photography

Henry Winkler, the accomplished actor and author, will receive the UFT’s most prestigious honor at its annual Spring Education Conference this year.

Winkler will be presented with the John Dewey Award for Excellence in Education on Saturday, May 11, at the New York Hilton for his advocacy on behalf of children with disabilities.

Tickets are $50 apiece and can be obtained by mailing in the coupon on page 42. The deadline to get tickets is April 17.

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Related topics: special ed , UFT events

‘Empowering others to make a difference’

Around the UFT

UFT Manhattan Parent Conference

‘Empowering others to make a difference’

Pat Arnow

Parents gained information from experts at booths throughout the hall.

Pat Arnow

Family Child Care Providers Chapter member Kiahni Willard (right), the co-presenter of the CPR Basics workshop, shows parents (from left) Marie Plaisir and Danielle Singleton how to perform CPR on an infant. The workshop taught parents how to respond in an emergency involving adults, children or infants.

Pat Arnow

Parents listen during a workshop on special education reform.

Nearly 500 parents attended the UFT Manhattan Parent Conference on Empowering Parents, Building Parent-School Partnerships, held at union headquarters on March 9. The full-day event featured 21 workshops on topics chosen by parents, booths with experts sharing information on a broad range of topics and a chance to network with other parents and education activists. “This conference brings together an amazing community of parents who are empowering others to make a difference in our school system,” said Fran Streich, the UFT Manhattan parent and community outreach coordinator.

Read more: Around the UFT

Honorees helped students ‘be successful in life’

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2013 CTE Awards Recognition Ceremony

UFT President Michael Mulgrew addresses the audience. Miller Photography

UFT President Michael Mulgrew addresses the audience.

Outstanding teacher award recipients

Jose Ochoa, School of Cooperative Technical Education
Ned Jackson, Samuel Gompers CTE HS
Mary Ann Spallone, Queens Vocational and Technical HS
Racquel Greene, William H. Maxwell CTE HS
Theodora Dimopolous, Academy for Careers in Television and Film
Daniel Solomon, Tottenville HS
Carla Levy, Fiorello LaGuardia HS of Music and Art and Performing Arts
Brian Rhodes, Thomas A. Edison CTE HS
Leo Gordon, Ralph R. McKee CTE HS
Mitchell Almonte, HS for Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture
Valencia McPherson-White, Jane Addams HS for Academic Careers
Dorick Lee, Urban Assembly New York Harbor School
Sheldon Seecharan, Clara Barton HS
Tarawhona Bellevue, Business of Sports School
Philip V. Donohue, Academy of Innovative Technology HS
Herman Cordero, HS of Computers and Technology
Rudolph Piccirillo, George Westinghouse CTE HS
Christopher Burgos, Food and Finance HS
Martin Torres, Automotive HS
Priscilla Nibbs, Grace Dodge CTE HS
Adrian Carranza, HS of Fashion Industries
Andrew J. Bencsko III, Art and Design HS
Marika Santiago, Aviation CTE HS
Robert Martinez, Transit Tech CTE HS
Tyshawn Davis, In-Tech Academy
Kissoonlal Ramkaran, GED Plus
Christopher Harrinandan, William E. Grady CTE HS
Douglas Weiner, HS of Graphic Communication Arts
Monique A. Powell, School for Tourism and Hospitality
Kevin Ruiz, Crotona International HS
Joseph Caputo, Union Square Academy for Health Sciences
 

Special presentations

Stanley Schair/MCU Teacher for Excellence & Innovation Awards:
David Sarno,
Ralph R. McKee CTE HS;
Jacqueline Rodrigues-Smith, Transit Tech CTE HS
Edwin Espalliat Award:
Ebony S. Junior,
2012 Outstanding SVA in a Graduate Program
Special Recognition Award:
Robert Johnson,
Apple Inc. account executive

When President Obama in his State of the Union praised one of New York City’s career and technical education high schools as the kind of program the nation needs more of, his words happened to echo those of UFT officers at an event a week earlier honoring the city’s CTE educators.

“What you do works, and we need to expand it not just across this city but across this country,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew told hundreds who packed into Shanker Hall on Feb. 6 to honor 31 CTE teachers for making a difference in their students’ lives.

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Related topics: CTE, UFT events

Standing together, fighting and winning

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Although delayed because of Hurricane Sandy, UFT event to honor today’s leaders is a hit

Teacher Union Day may have been postponed, but a record crowd of more than 1,200 Miller Photography

Teacher Union Day may have been postponed, but a record crowd of more than 1,200 attended.
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Honoree Michael Mendel (right) with UFT President Michael Mulgrew. Miller Photography

Charles Cogen Award: Honoree Michael Mendel (right) with UFT President Michael Mulgrew.

Honoree Anthony Harmon with a scrapbook of his union activity put together by on Miller Photography

Jules Kolodny Award: Honoree Anthony Harmon with a scrapbook of his union activity put together by one of his middle school teachers.

Two teachers made difference for honoree

two-teachers-made-difference-for-honoree-1Miller PhotographyAnthony Harmon, flanked by his middle school teachers Arnetta Fischer (left) and Diane Browser.

Little did Jules Kolodny Award winner Anthony Harmon know that one of two middle school teachers he credited with setting him on the right path has been keeping a scrapbook of his accomplishments all these years.

Harmon described being “a new transplant from West Virginia” at IS 210 in Brooklyn, where the kids all knew each other, had friendships and teased him about his southern accent, when “two women who cared” came to his rescue.

He had not been in touch with his English teacher, Diane Browser, or his math teacher, Arnetta Fischer, for more than 30 years until a serendipitous moment recently brought him face to face with Fischer.

“Out of the blue,” he said. He knew then that he wanted both to share in his Teacher Union Day honor.

Harmon was seated with his family at the event when Browser pulled out the scrapbook. Amazed, he leafed through the pages filled with New York Teacher newspaper clippings chronicling his journey from teacher up through the ranks of the UFT.

And there it was — the button he had made for his teacher so long ago in shop class. It read: “The best part of being a student is having a teacher like you.”

“They’re back in my life and probably the reason I became a teacher,” Harmon said. He cited the middle school years as “a critical time in every young person’s life. Their words of encouragement, the fact that they cared, proved a deciding factor for me.”

The “two women who cared” are still active UFT members. Browser is now a school psychologist at PS 183 in Manhattan, and Fischer is a math teacher at Ben Banneker Academy in Brooklyn.

With the Jan. 17 deadline to have a teacher evaluation agreement in place missed after Mayor Bloomberg blew up the one that had been reached on the deadline date, a steadfast UFT President Michael Mulgrew assured the largest Teacher Union Day gathering ever, “We will stand together, fight together and we will win.”

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Related topics: UFT events

Time for Annual Meetings

Retired teachers chapter news

The Retired Teachers Chapter’s Annual Meetings have begun, and members from the sections have been hearing the latest news on retiree programs and services, as well as pension information.

Sandra March, UFT liaison to the RTC, discusses pension at the Queens gathering.Miller PhotographySandra March, UFT liaison to the RTC, discusses pension at the Queens gathering.

Director of Reitree Programs Gerri Herskowitz addresses the Staten Island group.Bruce CotlerDirector of Reitree Programs Gerri Herskowitz addresses the Staten Island group.

RTC member Leon Selman asks a question at the Staten Island meeting.Bruce CotlerRTC member Leon Selman asks a question at the Staten Island meeting.

Related topics: UFT events

Putting the brakes on bullying

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UFT fair shows effective practices for confronting problem

Sergeant Kerrissa Michael, of the NYPD’s Community Affairs/Youth Services depart Miller Photography

Sergeant Kerrissa Michael, of the NYPD’s Community Affairs/Youth Services department, discusses its community outreach work on gangs and child safety with Chapter Leader Victor Victoria of Brooklyn’s PS /IS 384.

Sharon Jones-Williams of the union’s school safety department and Luz Alvarez an Miller Photography

Sharon Jones-Williams of the union’s school safety department and Luz Alvarez and Carolyn Roman, members of the Family Child Care Providers Chapter executive board, model the bags that came in handy for stuffing with literature, curriculum guides and more.

Picking up information at the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network booth Miller Photography Picking up information at the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network booth are (from left) Scott Stringer, the Manhattan borough president; David Kazansky, the UFT school safety director; Lillian Kohler, a Staten Island special representative; and Christina Hepburn, a paraprofessional at Susan Wagner HS.

With nearly 40 exhibitors on hand, teachers, guidance counselors, parents, administrators and others who turned out for the union’s anti-bullying fair at UFT headquarters on Jan. 29 found a range of new resources, programs and ideas to bring back to their schools.

Chapter Leader Victor Victoria of PS/IS 384 in Bushwick said he wanted to involve all the stakeholders at his school — parents, students and teachers — in confronting bullying because, like all other city schools, his is not immune to the problem.

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Related topics: bullying, UFT events
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