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The newsletter for Retirees—September 2008 edition

Your VEA-Retired Delegates Were Busy During the NEA RA
Your VEA-Retired delegates to the NEA Convention attended the Virginia Caucus every
morning while serving in leadership roles during the Convention. Pat Kennedy served as
Delegation Secretary for Princess Moss (chair) and Jeff Cobb (vice chair).

Ernest Holley led enthusiastic, talented and inspired
members of the VEA Choir; Ernie was a soloist
during a special program by the NEA Choir on
July Fourth.

Dennis Pfennig led the election tellers committee,
was elected as an alternate to the NEA Resolutions
Committee, and received an award for excellence
for the Fairfax retired newsletter he edits.

Martha Wood collected donations for the NEA-
Retired Quilt Give-away which benefited the
Fund for Children and Public Education. Wood, who completed her second term on the NEA-
Retired Advisory Council, will continue as an ex officio member. Wood, assisted by Larry
Armentrout, chaired the NEA-Retired 25th Anniversary Celebration Committee which recognized
elected leaders and staff who have led NEA-Retired.

Just prior to the RA, Holley, Kennedy, Pfenning and Wood attended the NEA-Retired Annual
Meeting along with John Duncan, Katherine Hairston, Cindy Kennedy, Larry Armentrout, and
Rick Baucom.

Out Reach to Teach in Arlington
                                                     As a result of Out Reach to Teach 2008, a
                                                     joint activity of VEA-Retired, students, ESPs
                                                     and Higher Education organizations,
                                                     Wakefield High School in Arlington
                                                     received a substantial make-over.

                                                     Over 300 NEA members from all over the
                                                     U.S. met for breakfast, donned watermelon
                                                     color tee-shirts and traveled to Wakefield
                                                     Wakefield High. Volunteers reorganized the
                                                     music library, cleaned and straightened the
                                                     theater, landscaped the grounds, and
                                                     refurbished the 56-year-old building.
More of the story is available at http:www.nea.
org/newsreleases/2008/nr080627.html. Out
Reach is a yearly activity and has grown from
a car load of retirees to two busloads. Wakefield
was the 12th school to be rehabbed by Out Reach

From the President – Ernest Holley
The VEA-Retired Council welcomes the following members, R. Edward Fifer, Vice President,
Agatha Coleman, 6th Congressional District, Albert Howard, 10th Congressional District, Barbara
Mann, 7th Congressional District, Pat Kennedy, 4th Congressional District and Marjorie Clark,
PAC-Chair. Representing VEA-Retired on the VEA Board of Directors are Ralph Booher, Jr. and
Ernest M. Holley.

As we start the year, we would like for you to contact your Congressional District representative
on the VEA-Retired Council and let us know how we can better serve you.

Mark Your Calendar!
January 15, 2009 is VEA-Retired Lobby Day. Plan to visit legislators and talk about issues
important to Retirees. And check the VEA-R page online for more information—

Medicare Advantage/Prescription Part D Season is Approaching
Beginning in this month, Medicare eligible members will receive the “2009 Medicare and You”
publication from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as well as a deluge of mail
marketing Medicare Advantage and Prescription Part D products from insurance companies.
The annual Medicare Advantage/Prescription Part D enrollment period is from November 15 to
December 31. If you have questions or concerns regarding Medicare Advantage and/or
Prescription Part D for yourself or a Medicare eligible friend/family member, please call 866-
845-5827 to take the mystery out of Medicare Advantage versus traditional Medicare

Elections Are Coming
The VEA-R Secretary position and the odd-numbered district representative seats are up for
election. Call or email Patsy Coppins, pcoppins@, for a petition. Petitions are due
at VEA no later than Monday, January 12, 2009; 10 signatures are needed for nomination.

Retired members are also needed as delegates to the VEA and NEA Conventions; retired
members may nominate themselves. Instructions on how to nominate yourself (or someone
else) will be mailed to retired members in December.
NEA Representative Assembly 2008 – by Martha Wood
Wow!! The NEA Representative Assembly in Washington, D.C. was exciting and action packed.
I am pleased to have been chosen to represent VEA-Retired members for another year. This
year was especially exciting because Princess Moss was elected to the NEA Executive
Committee by 66%.

                                                    This was also the last RA for NEA
                                                    President, Reg Weaver. There were
                                                    many tributes to his leadership including
                                                    a special award at the Human and Civil
                                                    Rights Dinner on Sunday evening.

                                                    The RA was addressed by a number of
                                                    individuals who were honored for their
                                                    their contributions to education. Michael
                                                    Geisen, a middle school teacher from
                              Oregon,               Oregon, and National Teacher of the Year
                                                    gave a speech peppered with witticisms

and personal observations about the lofty goals of NCLB and the teacher judgment on narrow

Mike Easley, governor of North Carolina, was awarded the inaugural America’s Greatest
Education Governor Award. He spoke about improving education and improving economic
development in a state which had lost 250,000 jobs in four years. He said, “You have to invest
(in change) if you want real accountability, you have to hold the governor accountable, the
legislature accountable, the parents accountable, the communities accountable, as well as the
kids and the teacher.”

Laura Vernon of Milwaukee, a 33-year veteran of integration and busing for racial diversity in
her city, was named ESP of the Year. Vernon said that “working in public education can be
challenging. But it’s worth it. Public education is the backbone and foundation of society.”

Teacher-astronaut, Barbara Morgan of Idaho, this year’s Friend of Education, praised NEA’s
leadership for pushing NASA to continue the goal of having teachers in space following the
Challenger tragedy. Morgan, who flew a mission to the International Space Station, presented
one of Christa McAuliffe’s Challenger patches to Reg Weaver, saying, “I flew it especially for the
National Education Association.”

Senator Obama delivered his remarks by live feed satellite from Butte, Montana where he and
his family were meeting with Montana NEA members. (Note: Senator John McCain was invited
to speak, but declined). Education International President, Thulas Nxesi, U.S. Representative
Eleanor Holmes Norton and Mohamed El-Khawas, president of the DC/NEA delivered greetings
as well as NEA President-Elect, Dennis Van Roekel and NEA Executive Director, John Wilson.
Chief Counsel Bob Chanin and Secretary/Treasurer Lily Eskelsen also spoke before the body.

The RA attendees received inspiration from the many speakers, and got down to the true work
of the Association as we dealt with the Legislative Agenda, the Resolutions, New Business
Items—all 83 of them—and amendments to the NEA Constitution and Bylaws and Standing
Rules. A complete reporting of the results of the changes to our governance documents and
NBIs will appear in the September issue of NEA Today and on the NEA website -

Though our days began at 6:30 in the morning and ended well past 6 in the evening, we rode
the Metro, enjoyed the Fourth of July fireworks, sampled the area restaurants and met old
friends. We play, we deliberate, we listen and we work, all for the love of the Association and
you, our members. Thanks for sending me to NEA as your delegate…

VRS Unveils Retiree Website
On the Virginia Retirement System’s website—, click on MyVRS for
useful information about tax withholdings, cost of living adjustments, and life insurance. You can
also make changes to your contact information.

VEA-Retired Members Work at NEA RA
Just before the Presidential election every four years, the National Education Association meets
in Washington, DC. During the 2008 NEA RA, VEA-Retired was well represented, with
members serving in a number of vital positions. Kathy Davis (Fairfax), second time co-chair of
the Host Committee for Virginia, enlisted a large cadre of VEA-Retired members to assist as
ushers, as helpers for physically challenged reps, in the email room, on the information desk,
and as mike monitors.

At the risk of leaving someone out (with apologies in advance!), thanks to Kathy Davis, Cindy
Kennedy, John Duncan, Katherine Hairston, Maria Hoffmann, Stella Johnson, Delores Tate,
Mimi Dash, Louise Fishbein, Jim Vis, Ann Sauberman, Joyce Jones, Beverly Dahlin, Lelah
Sullivan, Nancy Vollmer, Bertha Tiffany, Anita Cline, Cheryl Fulton, Larry Armentrout, Jenny
Peters, and Martha Lee. You did Virginia proud.

A Simple ‘Thank You’
  During the past four years while having the privilege of representing VEA-R on the VEA
Board of Directors, many of the changes our Retired Council sought, have been approved and
implemented by the Board.

  Our membership growth has earned a second seat on the VEA Board of Directors as of
August 1, 2008. Notice I said earned and not given. You, the members of VEA-Retired, worked
hard to earn this seat. I sincerely hope the members will support Ernie Holley and Ralph
Booher, VEA-R at-large representative, as they now take their seats on the VEA Board of
Directors. Just think if our “local”, VEA-Retired, surpasses 5,000 retired members, we will qualify
for a third seat on the VEA Board.

 Again I want to “thank you” for allowing me to represent you. Pat Kennedy, VEA-R

Fall 2008 Regional Meetings
Come join your former colleagues, friends, and fellow retirees at the annual regional meetings.
Registration deadline for the Richmond meeting is September 22; October 1 is the deadline for
all the other regional meetings listed. Please clip the registration form (below) and mail with your
check to VEA or AEA.

Richmond—September 29, 10 am to 2pm
    Chesterfield Central Library
    9501 Lori Road
    Cost: $ 15
    Topic: What Are We Gonna Do with Mama If We Can’t Throw Her Off the Train? and more
     Bristol—October 13, 10 am to 2pm
         O’Charley’s, Exit 7
         3173 Linden Drive
         Cost: $5 plus lunch from menu
         Topic: Avoiding Consumer Traps and Update on Issues Affecting Retirees

     Martinsville—October 14, 10am to 2pm
        The Gallery Banquet & Convention Center
        1320 Memorial Blvd South
        Cost: $17.50
        Topic: Avoiding Consumer Traps and More

     Chesapeake—October 21, 10:30 am to 1 pm
        Chesapeake Main Public Library
        298 Cedar Road
        Cost: $13
        Topic: Avoiding Consumer Traps

     Fairfax*—October 22, 10 am to 2 pm
         Fairfax Education Association office
         3917 Old Lee Highway
         Cost: $17
         Topic: Legislative Issues

     Charlottesville—October 23, 10 am to 2pm
        Albemarle County Office Building, Suite 235
        401 McIntyre Road
        Cost: $10.50
        Topic: Independent Living and Beyond

     Be sure to visit the VEA website,, for updates and additional information and
     remember to send your reservation form and check before deadline! Registration forms are
     included in the VEA-Retired newsletter you will soon receive by mail, or you may print out this
     page, clip the coupon and mail with your check.

            reservation reservation form and deadline for your location so location miss out!
Return your Return your form and check by thecheck by the deadline for youryou don’tso you
     don’t miss out!
Name(s): _____________________________________________________________
Location I plan to attend: _______________________________________________
                    Location I plan to attend:

                   $ ___________ for $
Check enclosed forCheck enclosed(amount)           (amount)
                                                * Fairfax meeting ONLY – make check payable
     Regional Meetings
  VEA-R Regional Meetings Donohue               AEA-Retired and mail to:
                  Attn: Carol                                           116 S. 3rd Street
  Attn: Carol Donohue                Richmond VA 23219
  116 S. 3 Street                                             AEA-Retired
                                                              Attn: location so
  Richmond your reservation form and check by the deadline for yourAlysha Pageyou don’t
     Return VA 23219
     miss out!                                                5691 Columbia Pike, Suite 100
                                                              Falls Church VA 22041

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