PFT says goodbye to some amazing educators!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Good afternoon Sisters and Brothers of the Plainedge Federation of Teachers. As another great school year comes to an end in Plainedge, we will be saying goodbye to some of our members who are completing their final year in education. Please take a minute to read about our retirees, as we honor them in this newsletter and wish them nothing but the best of health and happiness as they begin the next phase of their life's journey! In solidarity.

Kathy Diamond

Kathy Diamond has been an educator in the Plainedge School District for 27 years. She began her career working as a 6th grade social studies and math teacher, and along the way has taught the gifted program, 4th grade math and science, as well as 5th grade math and science, where she is finishing her career. Kathy has worked in every building within the District, except the high school. In addition to her role as a teacher, Kathy has served the PFT membership as it's 1st Vice President for almost two decades. In her role as our union leader she has been a part of countless negotiation teams, helped develop the We Make a Difference Awards, has been a delegate to numerous AFT conventions, and has been an integral part of almost every committee and union initiative. According to Kathy, her fondest memories of Plainedge has been working with an incredible, fun loving staff. In her retirement years, Kathy plans on getting up every morning, having a cup of tea and reading the newspaper. When she gets bored with that, she will make a final decision on what she wants to do when she grows up. As Kathy heads off to spend more time with her family, she would like to share the following words of wisdom for her fellow PFT members, "Remember why not go out on a limb, isn't that where the fruit is?"

Jane Sindel

Jane Sindel has been an educator in the Plainedge School District for 30 years. She has worked all 30 years teaching 1st grade at John H West Elementary School.  Although her teaching career has been limited to West, Jane has had an impact District wide throughout her long and distinguished career. She is currently the longest serving Executive Officer of the PFT and has been the union's Secretary for over 25 years. During her many years of service to our union, Jane has been an active member of countless negotiation teams, a NYSUT delegate, our political action coordinator, a mentor to many new teachers and union leaders, and an integral part of too many PFT committees to list. In addition to her service to the PFT, she has also been the chairperson for our Teacher Center throughout most of her career. Jane has given selfless of her time to benefit the lives of her students and fellow colleagues. Besides her job as a teacher and the many friendships she has built over the span of the 30 years, one of the things Jane will miss most is working with the children in her role as the director of the plays at West. Jane currently has no specific plans in retirement other than to try and spend more time with family. The one thing she is sure of in retirement is that she will miss her Plainedge family!

Nelly Real-Korb

Nelly Real-Korb has been at Plainedge for 14 years, but is retiring with 37 years of service to the children of New York State. During her tenure at Plaindge she has worked in the foreign language department at both the middle and high school teaching 6th and 7th grade Italian as well as levels 2-5 Spanish. As Nelly reflects on her long career as an educator, all of her memories bring her to a great place. She has enjoyed working with our students, especially during spirit week because of the smiles and laughter on the students face each time she dressed "crazy". In her retirement Nelly plans on heading to Alaska, Croatia, Austria, Germany, and Spain for this year and part of 2018. In August, she will get on her camper and begin a cross country road trip going south. As Nelly leaves Plainedge for good, she would just like to say, "See you all later, I am calling it transition not retirement. :-)))"

Debbie Rogers

Debbie Rogers has been working in the Plainedge School District for 25 years, and actually began her career student teaching in John H. West and Eastplain.  After student teaching, she taught first grade for a year at West and third grade for one year in Eastplain, which is where she remained for the rest of her career.  Most of her time (except for this past year) was spent teaching fourth grade, which she loved.  This past year she taught math AIS to kindergarten, second, third and fourth graders.  According to Debbie, her fondest memories of Plainedge would have to be her time spent with her fourth grade colleagues, Denise Yorke, Deirdre O'Neill and former colleague on the grade, Danielle Meehan. They shared many laughs and tears together throughout the years. In retirement, Debbie plans to play a lot more golf, spend more time in Hawaii, travel, and ski mid-week. As she embarks on the next chapter in her life, Debbie would like to wish everyone at Plainedge all the best in the future. 

Nancy Bartkus

Nancy has worked in Plainedge for a little over 30 yrs as a social worker in both Packard and PMS.  Her fondest memories are, of course, all the students that she has worked with that still come back to say hi and tell her about all their successes!  For Nancy, this was never just a job, rather it was a wonderful part of her life.  She has worked with so many fabulous colleagues through her years, many of whom will remain great friends forever. Nancy's next chapter of life will include relaxation, travel, time with friends and family, and working PT in her private practice. As Nancy begins to look forward to retirement, she would just like to wish everyone all the joys that she has experienced through her long career in Plainedge.

Pat Marquart

Pat Marquart has been teaching students for 35 years but the last 17 were in Plainedge. Throughout her long career in education, Pat has been a classroom teacher of 4th, 5th and 6th, but mostly a reading teacher. All of her years in Plainedge were as a reading teacher and she spent the entirety of her time at Plainedge in Schwarting Elementary School. Pat has many fond memories of Plainedge, but the most recent and the best was her retirement party on June 15. According to Pat, it was an awesome party that she will never forget! During her retirement years, she is looking forward to traveling, reading, learning to play the piano, and visiting New York City as often as possible! As Pat departs Plainedge one last time she wishes, "Farewell to all! Hope to see you again someday!"

Jeannie Yanega

Jeannie Yanega has been a teacher for 35 years, but the last 26 have been here at Plainedge. During her career in Plainedge, Jeannie has worked entirely at Schwarting Elementary School where she has educated many different levels of students including 1st, 3rd, and even 4th graders. Jeannie has many fond memories from working at Schwarting, but the ones that stick out the most are the first grade birthday breakfasts and holiday parties with colleagues. In her retirement, Jeannie planes to travel, cruise, visit cities like Paris and Nashville, see many Broadway shows, but the one thing she looks forward the most to is not waking up to an alarm clock every weekday morning. As Jeannie leaves Plainedge to start the next part of her life's journey, she would like to leave the following message for her all colleagues, "I've always loved working with children and helping them to learn, become better students and to grow as people. I've been blessed to have a job that I've loved from the minute I started working. Schwarting has been my second family for many years. Thanks to all of you for being such wonderful colleagues, co-workers and friends."

June Fialkow

June Fialkow began working in Plainedge over 20 years ago. She has spent her entire teaching career at the high school teaching English. Throughout her tenure in Plainedge she has taught both honors and regents English 10, 11, 12, as well as the verbal SAT course, Creative Writing, Film Studies, Public Speaking, Mythology, and Science Fiction. Before teaching in Plainedge, June had another career as the National Marketing/Sales Manager at PolyGram Records in NYC, and although she worked for a record company, she readily admits, "Everyone will be glad to know that I didn't sing." In addition to teaching at the high school, June is also a very proud resident of the Plainedge School District. Both of her children, Josh and Robyn, graduated from our high school with gratitude to their own amazing teachers. After attending Yale (Josh) and BU (Robyn), they both decided to follow in their Mom's footsteps and become educators themselves. In retirement June plans to travel as much as possible. Some of her desired destinations include our many US National Parks that she has not yet visited, as well as other continents such as Africa and South America. Other planned retirement activities include yoga, pottery, book club, sailing, hiking, and serving as a literacy volunteer. She also plans on becoming involved in some political issues that she cares deeply about. As June heads off to travel and participate in many activities beyond the classroom, she would like to share the following goodbye to her fellow PFT members, "It's been an absolute pleasure and honor to work here.  The Plainedge family opened its heart to me and my family during a very difficult time with unwavering support and love. The relationships I've formed with so many colleagues, co-workers, and students will leave their imprint on my heart forever."