July - Aug Issue
July 02, 2014


Source: NYSUT United

Rose Ballard | March 18
United Federation of Teachers

Rose Ballard, a longtime guidance counselor in the New York City schools, died March 18 at the age of 73. Rose, who was born and raised in the city, attended the public schools and graduated from Commerce HS.

After receiving her BA from SUNY New Paltz, she began to teach at PS 186 in Manhattan. She moved on to guidance counseling, obtaining a Master's in that field. Rose served as counselor in District 11 in the Bronx and culminated her career at DeWitt Clinton HS, where she made significant contributions to the College Bound program. She retired in 1997. Rose enjoyed traveling with friends, staying abreast of current events and doing crossword puzzles. Her survivors include her sister, two nieces and a nephew.

Robert "Bob" Braunitzer | May 28
Skaneateles Teachers Association

Tanya Brown | Feb. 27
United Federation of Teachers

Tanya Brown, a teacher at PS 214 in Brooklyn, died Feb. 27.  Tanya, who was educated in the New York City public schools, began her teaching career at PS 214 in 1997. She was esteemed by her colleagues as a loving, compassionate and highly respected teacher of 3rd and 5th grades. Throughout her career it was evident that children, both in and out of her classroom, were the most important part of her life. In addition to tutoring students before and after school, during the past three years Tanya was able to teach her first love, music. She started the PS 214 chorus which performed for the Brooklyn borough president and in many venues around the city.  Tanya is survived by her mother, Carrie B. Brown, her daughter Tianna, and her granddaughter Tarai, along with a host of relatives and friends.

Rebecca Coughtry | Dec. 5
Schoharie Teachers' Association

Rebecca Coughtry, better known at Schoharie Central School as Becky, passed away on Dec. 5.  She taught special education at Schoharie from 1986 until the time of her death.  Becky was very involved in the Schoharie Teachers’ Association during her time at Schoharie and served on the executive committee. She was excellent with contract language and was very helpful in checking through the contracts for any errors. Becky also participated in several marches in Albany to seek more money for schools in New York as well as the cancer walks. She is greatly missed by her colleagues.

John S. Fuller | May 13
Jordan Elbridge Teachers Association

Robert Kaye | Jan. 25
United Federation of Teachers

Robert Kaye died on Jan. 25 at the age of 75 after a long illness. He taught social studies at New Utrecht HS for most of his career. Robert was most proud of his union leadership, which included participation in the first UFT strike at Jefferson HS, forming the UFT chapter at NUHS and acting as chapter chairman during the 1960s and 1970s, when the school was honored with the Trachtenberg Award. He was a member of the UFT executive board from 1962-1964, a delegate, and a district coordinator. Robert was a draft advisor at NUHS during the Vietnam War, a Brooklyn Borough Coordinator, and a trainer of draft counselors.  He held the position of sex discrimination facilitator at NUHS from 1981-1991. After retirement he became a mentor to new teachers. He is survived by his wife Roslyn, daughter Lara, son-in-law Carl, and granddaughter Sonja. He was predeceased by his son Jaime.

Carolyn King | Aug. 13
United Federation of Teachers

Carolyn King, the former chair of the Secretaries Chapter of the UFT, died at the age of 90 on Aug.13. King was on the executive board of the Retired Teachers Chapter and the Coalition of Labor Union Women. In 2010, King received the Goldie Colodny Award for outstanding service to the union. King also was on the board of the retirees' Reflections committee, in which she read the literary output of retirees.

She was remembered by colleagues for her energy in work and play. "Here was a woman who could analyze a political situation, close her briefcase then go out and play canasta," said Regina Olff,  a coordinator for the UFT Welfare Fund/Retiree Programs in Brooklyn, and one of  King's longtime friends.

Ruth Levine | March 9
United Federation of Teachers

Ruth Levine, 78, a retired school psychologist and social worker who also once served as the UFT chapter leader for those professions, died March 9.

Ruth began working in the New York City public schools in 1976, at the age of 41. "It was a third career for her," said her son, Jason Levine. Prior to that, she had been a social worker in Indianapolis and Baltimore, and later an insurance broker. After obtaining a Master’s in Education from Fordham University, Ruth served in several schools. Her longest residency was at IS 195 in Manhattan, where she worked for 22 years.

In addition to serving as chapter leader, Ruth was also a UFT borough leader and a delegate for many years. She was also involved in creating the New York City Association of School Psychologists. After retiring in 2009, she did work for the Retired Teachers Chapter, going into schools to help active social workers and psychologists. Ruth enjoyed gardening in her cottage in Danbury, Conn. She is survived by her son Jason, his wife Carin and two grandchildren, Leia and Gabriel.

Jennifer Miles | April 24
Baldwinsville Teachers' Association

Glen (Goldie) Natkins | Jan. 5
United Federation of Teachers

Glen (nee Goldie Nass) Natkins, a retired high school librarian, died on Jan. 5 at the age of 91. Glen worked for 33 years in the New York City public schools, first as a substitute teacher while her four children were young, and later as a librarian. She was a librarian for 19 years, first at Benjamin Franklin HS and then at Murry Bergtraum HS, both in Manhattan. She retired in 1991, and lived in Jackson Heights at the time of her death. "Her fantasy had always been to be a librarian," recalled her oldest daughter, Judith Natkins. "She was committed to the students," Her mother had selected the name Glen when she was 21, preferring it to Goldie, and most people knew her by that name, her daughter said:  "It represented peace and serenity, the wooded glen."

Glen, whose husband Ephraim died in 2008, is survived by four children and four grandchildren.  

Maria Sahyoun | May 11
Jamesville-Dewitt Faculty Association

Maria L. Sahyoun, 61, passed away peacefully on May 11 after a brief illness. Born in Havana, Cuba, she moved to the United States in 1961. She received her bachelor's degree from SUNY Cortland and completed graduate work in Foreign Languages Education.

Together with her late husband, Maria owned and operated The Frame & Art Gallery in DeWitt, NY for over 20 years. She was also a devoted Spanish language teacher at Jamesville-DeWitt High School for over 20 years where she shared her passion for influencing the lives of others.

Maria was predeceased by her beloved husband, Hanna, in September 1998 and her beloved son, Peter, in August 2005. She is survived by her two daughters, Vivianne (Mark) Bolen and Jihanne (Michael) Radzieski, all of Flanders, NJ; her sister, Vivianne (Michel) Saba of DeWitt; nephew, Elias Saba, niece, Suzanne Saba, and many other nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Maria was a devoted mother, wife, sister, and aunt. She will be remembered for her grace, her love for others, her wisdom, and her great sense of humor.

M. Elizabeth Scanlon | May 24
Oswego Classroom Teachers Association

Florence "Flo" Wallace | May 11
Fulton Teachers Association

Dorothy "Dot" Zuckerman | June 3
Brentwood Teachers Association

Dorothy Zuckerman entered into eternal rest on June 3, 2014. Beloved mother of Richard (Jackie) and Geri (Frank). Cherished grandmother of Alyssa, Steven, Eric, David, Ryan, and Scott.

Ms. Zuckerman was a lifelong dedicated teacher and was a representative of the New York State United Teachers and many other union and political organizations. She was a constant world traveler, a longtime Metropolitan Opera subscriber, and an avid member of Roundabout Theatre. When at home, she greatly enjoyed reading, listening to classical and folk music, watching classic movies and British television series, knitting, and gardening.


Obituary submissions must include decedent's full name, union affiliation and date of death, and contact information for the person submitting the notice.

Fax submissions to 518-213-6415; send to Andrew Watson, NYSUT United, 800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, NY 12110-2455; or email awatson@nysutmail.org.