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  1. ALBANY, N.Y. Sept. 14, 2021 — New York State United Teachers today congratulated dedicated Cuba-Rushford Middle-High School teacher and Cuba-Rushford Teachers Association member Carly Santangelo on being named the 2022 New York State Teacher of the Year.

    Santangelo — an agriculture teacher whose work spans the subjects of agriscience, welding and small engines, and technology, to name only a few — was celebrated by the state Board of Regents and NYSUT Tuesday as a hard-working role model for her students and valued member of her rural Allegany County community.



    A Cuba-Rushford educator since 2018 and former Cattaraugus-Allegany-Erie-Wyoming BOCES teacher, Santangelo takes a hands-on approach to her work, leading students in lessons that involve everything from growing produce to be donated to the school cafeteria and local food pantry to calculating the carbon stored in trees on campus to better understand the carbon cycle and changing climate. Her work teaches concepts that include environmental stewardship, agricultural sustainability and community building. Additionally, she serves as FFA adviser and has received certifications not only in agriculture and biology education, but also inquiry-based instruction from the NAAE Agriscience Inquiry Institute and drone piloting from the FAA to teach students new skills.

    “Being an educator requires strong resilience in

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  2. The NYSUT officers hosted a moving and musical commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, with tributes by labor and community leaders.

    The complete program was streamed live from NYSUT headquarters in Latham, and is available to view below.


    Resources

    A Closer Look: 20 Years after 9/11

    Reflecting on continued support and advocacy for workers. From NYSUT United, Sep/Oct 2020.


    20 years later, LI teacher shares how 9/11 education has evolved.

    “And it was just like boom – it landed right in the heart, right in the middle of class… your student's father is at Ground Zero right now.” NYSUT Second Vice President Ron Gross reflects on changes in education since teaching on the day of the attacks in 2001. WCBS 880 | Audio Version


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  3. In the second part in a one-two punch of weather events over the past month, the remnants of Hurricane Ida pummeled New York City-area residents with a deluge of rain and high winds that flooded and halted subways, grounded flights and resulted in at least 20 deaths.

    Since many downstate members were still struggling to recover from Tropical Storm Henri when Hurricane Ida hit, the statewide union is again encouraging members to consider donating to the NYSUT Disaster Relief Fund, the union’s 501(c) 3 charitable organization.

    “I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, the generosity of NYSUT members is unmatched,” said NYSUT Secretary Treasurer, J. Philippe Abraham whose office overseas the NYSUT Disaster Relief Fund. “As our downstate brothers and sisters struggle to recover from the aftermath of this storm, I encourage all who are able, to lend a helping hand.”


    Funded through voluntary donations, the NYSUT Disaster Relief Fund provides relief for eligible losses stemming from man-made occurrences, such as an accidental house fire; natural disasters, such as weather-related storm damage; and federally declared qualified disasters such as flooding.

    Don’t forget about the

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  4. If anyone knows about innovation, it is local union members who have had to reinvent most everything about their work as educators during pandemic times.

    To support their efforts, the American Federation of Teachers again offers its Innovation Fund to help locals provide programs to deal with a swiftly changing world.

    Grants have been provided for literacy, mindfulness training, internet hot spots, a staff wellness day, school library collections and carbon dioxide detectors. In the new round, projects can include culturally responsive pedagogy and trauma-informed curriculum, among many choices.

    Return, Recover and Reimagine will provide short-term grants to help locals as they safely reopen schools and tap into extra educational options and emotional support for students. The application deadline is Oct. 3; more information can be found at www.aft.org/innovate.

    The Solvay Teachers Association was awarded funding in the last round of grants, and President Michael Emmi said he use some remaining money to order hot spots for families without internet access.

    When the AFT grant money first arrived, he purchased calculators for students to use in math classes, clothing for students in need, and air purifiers for music class. He also bought books through First Book, Inc. to give to students.

    “The school social worker Christine Rufo was my right-hand person in this grant,” he said. “She was my contact across all three buildings. Through her,

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  5. In the midst of another heat wave, following days of hurricane-related rain, local union leaders across the state are meeting waves of new teachers who are learning about new jobs, new schools and the unions they can claim as their own.

    Since the Janus v. AFSCMEU.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2018, employees in unionized workplaces can reap the benefits of being in a union without having to pay dues. Ever since, union leaders have had to demonstrate to new employees why joining the union as a dues-paying member is good for all workers.

    In a virtual meeting this week, leaders of the Albany Public School Teachers Association explained to 62 new teachers what a union means — from paycheck to professional development to protection. As part of employee orientation, they educated the educators about the benefits of belonging to a local union and the statewide NYSUT.

    Unionism in this country, as any activist will tell you, is what created the middle class, got health and safety laws on the books, and cracked down on child labor. It has provided workers with safer working conditions, protections, health insurance, better pay and benefits.

    “I know that unions have lifted workers out of poverty and provided workers a real shot at their American dream,” said Debra Calvo McNicholas, APSTA vice president. “And I know from personal experience that women and minorities benefit from union membership due to collective bargaining and job

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