Helping A Friend Help Someone In Need!

News from Aquebogue


A few days ago, our building received this e-mail

“I am writing this note to ask all my friends here to think about making a not so random act of kindness today .  I am including a note below from Peggie Staib… this is in memory of her sister….. and she invited me on facebook to her event to spread kindness to others I happily joined and asked my own friends and family to help make a difference. I would like you to read Peggie’s note …

If you feel you would like to donate a box of GOOD NITES extra large girl size or you have coupons I will collect them and give them to Laura Grable for the staff….

Thank you for taking the time to read this … it will make a difference in a student’s life in this district…

Dear Friends,

April 7th marks my sister, Nancy’s 50th birthday. I’d like to think that she is hanging out on some heavenly hammock content and fulfilled! Each year, on both her anniversary and her birthday, I post something on Facebook simply asking that we all perform one random act of kindness in her memory. I think it is the very best way to honor her. This year I am asking that your act of kindness be somewhat less random. For the past few years, our good friend Laura Grable has been acting as an advocate for a little girl who was born into this world multiply handicapped. This little girl has faced many challenges, yet Laura is always amazed by her resilience. As a second grader, she is thriving in a special education setting within the Riverhead school district, in spite of her numerous handicapping conditions.

As her advocate, Laura has not only supported her mother at CSE meetings, but she has been providing transportation and support for her mother to get her to numerous doctors’ appointments, some even outside of the Riverhead area. One of the things Laura has taken on to support this little girl and her family is buying the diapers that she must wear. As you can imagine, this expense adds up for her family and we all know that Laura and Danny Grable are always willing to help anyone in need. To make a long story short I am hoping that, in honor of Nancy’s 50th birthday, we could each purchase a box of diapers OR collect coupons whenever we see them to pass on to Laura. Laura, of course, would NEVER ask for anyone to help with this. Everything she does for this little girl comes from her heart and she seeks no acknowledgment from anyone. I am sure she will be surprised and grateful for this act of kindness, especially knowing it offered in Nancy’s memory.

Thank you for considering this very special act of kindness in celebration of Nancy’s 50th!


After receiving this email, the staff collected enough money to purchase 16 boxes of diapers and a case of wipes!

Submitted by Xiomara White!

New NYSUT President

The NYSUT Representative Assembly (RA) was held this weekend in NYC. The RA is the gathering of the delegates from each NYSUT local across the state. At the RA, delegates debate and vote on proposed amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws, proposed resolutions and other business. Representing the RCFA at the RA were your NYSUT delegates–Lisa Goulding, Catherine Kent, Donna Verbeck, and former RCFA president Barbara Barosa.

This year, the big news is that for the first time in 9 years, NYSUT has a new President! Karen Magee, the President of Harrison Teachers Association, defeated Dick Ianuzzi in a heated election. Karen ran with a slate of candidates, on the platform of Reviving NYSUT. The slate included NYSUT Executive Vice President -Andy Pallotta, Catalina Fortino(Vice President) from UFT, Patchogue Medford President- Paul Pecorale( Vice President), and former president of the Schoharie Teachers’ Association- Martin Messner(Secretary-Treasurer). This should prove to be interesting times, as the entire slate was elected and according to the NYSUT bylaws, take office immediately.
First Woman To Head NYSUT Promises To Be Strong Voice For Change

The delegates voted “no confidence” in the policies of State Education Commissioner John King Jr. and called for his immediate removal by the Board of Regents.
NYSUT Votes No Confidence In King

And in what is a first for the RCFA, a resolution, “The Truth About the Modules” written by Donna Verbeck, (a 4th grade teacher at Roanoke and NYSUT Delegate) was unanimously adopted. This is the first time that a resolution written by an RCFA members was submitted to be voted on at the RA. The districts listed under “submitted by” are the other districts that signed on to support Donna’s resolution. Check your email for the copy of the resolution.

Riverhead Teacher Receives Scope Award

Congratulations to Vanessa Williams!  Vanessa is the Literacy Coach at Aquebogue.

Vanessa and Tony Williams

Here is what Principal Phil Kent had to say about Vanessa:

Mrs. Vanessa Williams is an extraordinary Literacy Coach at the Aquebogue Elementary School in the Riverhead Central School District.  She places the students’ and teachers’ needs above everything else.  Her instruction for the students and teachers is strictly based on their needs.  Her love of literacy and teaching permeates throughout our building and influences all teachers, staff members, and students to reach for higher standards.  Vanessa takes great pride in coaching our teachers and staff members and sharing the most updated strategies.  She consistently utilizes a variety of approaches to address the needs of our whole school and influences all to do their very best.  Vanessa puts her heart and soul into her Literacy Coaching craft and every year the students’ and teachers’ working knowledge of literacy increases.  Her coaching, lessons, and building-wide activities are always very well-planned and executed and motivate all to participate and learn.

Annual Latin Banquet News




On the evening of Thursday, March 20, the middle school cafetorium was filled to capacity with hundreds of feasting parents noisily attended by toga-clad tweenies presenting round after round of delicacies to the happy diners.  It was the Roman Banquet – an annual tradition of gustatory overindulgence that goes back generations in our school district.  What the parents and the invited administrators, the nearly one hundred and fifty participating children, and the various other banqueteers did not know, however, was that the evening’s mighty feast was being powered by a team of RCFA volunteers working like rented mules in the middle school kitchen.   As has been the case for as long as there has been a banquet, it was these teachers union members – as well as our CSEA colleagues and some incredibly helpful parents – who generously and quite voluntarily spent the long evening slaving away in the back: shuffling the dozens and dozens of hot and cold platters from the mad rush of their delivery in the late afternoon, through the insanity of the dinner hour and then the dessert course, and the late evening clean up and restoration of the middle school kitchen to its pristine condition in preparation for the next morning’s regular school day breakfast service.   What an effort was put forth by these volunteers! Lorene Custer, Latina Magistra and director of the entire event, was, as always, overwhelmed by the generosity and the stamina of her union colleagues, without whom she could never stage such a vast production. Big thanks especially to Jeff Greenberger as well as to Pat Skura, Sue Arnau, Pat Passanante, Annie Priapi, Kim Birong, Nancy King, Ed Tholl, Kristen Realander, Mindy Benze, and Chris Malanga! As the Romans would say, macte! (bravo! well done!) and many thanks to these RCFA & CSEA members who, often enough year after year, sacrifice a long and grueling evening to keep the proud Riverhead tradition of the RMS Roman Banquet alive and very well, indeed!

NYSUT Votes ‘No Confidence’ For King

Author: NYSUT Media Relations


NEW YORK April 5, 2014 — Delegates to New York State United Teachers’ 42nd Representative Assembly today voted “no confidence” in the policies of State Education Commissioner John King Jr. and called for his immediate removal by the Board of Regents.

In a unanimous voice vote, the nearly 3,000 delegates also formally withdrew the union’s support for the Common Core standards as interpreted and implemented in New York state and, in a separate resolution, supported the rights of parents and guardians to opt their children out of high-stakes tests.

Delegates representing NYSUT’s 600,000 members noted that educators are fully committed to high standards and closing the achievement gap. But, delegates said King’s rushed implementation of the Common Core standards, a State Education Department agenda that puts more emphasis on testing and data than teaching and learning, and King’s failure to listen to classroom teachers on professional issues had evaporated all confidence in the commissioner’s policies and ability to lead.

The union has repeatedly called for a three-year delay in the high-stakes consequences for student and teachers from standardized tests in order to give the State Education Department and Regents time to make significant course corrections and for school districts to adjust to sea changes in state education policy. The recently adopted state budget took some small steps to protect students and roll back some standardized testing — a position NYSUT strongly supported and lobbied for — but unconscionably failed to remedy the state’s use of invalid test scores in teacher evaluations.

“There is a revolution under way. Parents and teachers, standing together on behalf of what’s best for students, have made it clear that ‘enough is enough,'” said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi. “We have had it with top-down decision-making that ignores the voices of parents and teachers, and we’ve had it with a broken ideology that values obsessive testing and data collection over teaching and learning and meeting the needs of the whole child.”

NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira said, “NYSUT and our members have consistently done everything to convince SED to avoid the train wreck they have engineered. For three years, SED and the Regents have repeatedly rejected every significant recommendation teachers and parents made to correct the huge problems with Common Core and the Regents reform agenda.” She added, “Our message is loud and clear: Commissioner King has got to go.”

New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.

Will Signing Day

We will be having a will signing day on April 24th in the Middle School Library.  We will start at 2:00p.m and try to be done by 5:00pm.  We are going to do this first come first serve and get it done in one day.  If you plan on executing your will on the 24th please respond so I can get a head count so we will have enough people from the law office to accommodate the demand.

Jan Mackey Car Wash Results!

On Saturday approximately 25 RCFA members, many with their families in tow, raised money in honor of longtime colleague and friend Jan Mackey.  The community really responded, as we raised $1,223 to go towards the purchase of books for Phillips Ave. in Jan’s name.  A BIG thank you to all who made time to pitch in!

Donate Old Prom Dresses

Donate old prom or cocktail dresses to Deb Nigrel at the high school.  She is collecting them to help our students who don’t have the funds for dresses that they could wear to the prom or to graduation.  This is a perfect time to gather those gently used dresses to help out our students!

Get Those FLEX Forms In!

Get those FLEX Plan and the Sele-Dent Reimbursement forms in soon.  The deadline for both forms is March 31! 

The Sele-Dent Reimbursement form is the same green form that you have been submitting for years.  You should have received a copy in your school mailbox and Lisa Goulding has emailed you copies as well.  Print it out, fill it out,  attach your co-pay claims and mail it to the address on the form.  This is a benefit you have been receiving from our union.  Make sure to take advantage of it!

(Did you know that you can go to your local pharmacy or doctor’s office and ask them to print a summary of your co-pays for 2013?  It’s that easy!  Just make a copy for your records and attach that to the reimbursement form!)

Remember that you have a second benefit form to fill out for the school district as well.  You can find this on the school website at  Go to Quick Links — Staff Access–Employee Info–Flex Benefit Claim Form 2013.  You need to have the Explanation of Benefits form from the insurance company for claims dated between 9-1-2-13 through 12-31-2-13 to attach.  (Again…keep a copy of everything you send in!)  This gets mailed to the Benefits Department at District Office.  (I know!  Who knew we had an entire Benefits Department?!)

(Did you know that you can set up an account at  where you can print copies of these Explanation of Benefit forms to attach and send in!  So simple!  No need to dig through a file full of these things that you have stuffed in a drawer…or maybe your filing system is tidier than mine!)

If you decided to take advantage of the FLEX Plan for the 2014 school year, you will find those claim forms in the same place on the school website.  (My goal is to send them in on a monthly basis so I don’t have 50 forms to fill out in one weekend just before they are due.  It sounds good, right?!)  The 2014 forms will no doubt be due by next March 31, 2015.

Remember that we all have this as a new benefit with this contract.  Make sure you take advantage of this.  I realize that it’s more paper work to fill out, but again…it’s money in your pocket!


Here are two final tips that I have for you today:

  1. When your kids go off to college and you need to send them with their own copy of the health insurance card, you request those through our Benefits Department at the District Office.  It will take about 2 weeks to receive the cards once you request them.  (As I recall, I may have had to fill out a form to request them at the DO.  It was quick and easy to do.)
  2. If you have kids in college still covered by your health insurance, you need to send a letter each January to United Health Care stating that your child is in fact a full time student at XX University for the current year.  This will ensure that the claims they inevitably end up filing will actually be covered.  Believe it or not, they just need the letter, no documentation was required.  Just remember to do that each January for each child that you have in college!

Happy day!


RCFA Members: Get A Free Financial Consultation

                                           RCFA BENEFIT TRUST FUND




RE:  Stacey Braun Associates, the provider of our Financial Planning Benefit.


A Certified Financial Planner from Stacey Braun Associates will be holding consultations at school locations on the dates listed belowAppointments are now available beginning at 9:00 am with the last appointment at 4:00 P.M.  Call Stacey Braun Assoc. at (888) 9949-1925 to make an appointment. If these dates are not convenient for you, you should still contact Stacey Braun Associates and other arrangements can be made.

February 12, 9:00-12:30 Middle School

                     1:00-4:00    High School

March 12,     9:00-12:30 Aquebogue Elem.

                         1:00-4:00    Phillips Ave. Elem

April 9          9:00-11:30 Pulaski

                     12:00-2:00   Roanoke Elem

                      2:30-4:00   Riley Ave. Elem.      * All meetings will start in Faculty Room if member has a better room available meeting will be moved to that location. 

Topics you might want to cover in your confidential review can include:

 present and future. Topics you might want to cover in your confidential review can include:

• Retirement

• Debt Management

• Budgeting

• Investments (403b, etc.)

• Estates

• Elder Care

• Education Funding Methods

• Financial “second opinion”

• Life, Disability, Long Term Care Insurance

• Any other financial topic


Remember, these services are paid by the Benefit Fund and are free to you!!  You can also have family member(s) attend these consultations with you.


Stacey Braun Planners are prohibited from selling investment or insurance products.