February Issue
January 23, 2015


Source: NYSUT United
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Mark Anthony Famiglietti, a longtime president of the Rhinebeck Teachers Association died Oct. 11; he was 72. A staunch union advocate, he served as Rhinebeck TA president for 28 years. Send memorial contributions to the Boys & Girls Club of Kingston, 139 Greenkill Ave., Kingston, NY 12401.

Longtime NYSUT Board member Maria Portalatin, a United Federation of Teachers leader representing School-Related Professionals, died Dec. 5; she was 77. In 2010, Maria received NYSUT's prestigious "Not for Ourselves Alone:" The Sandy Feldman Outstanding Leadership Award. She served as an American Federation of Teachers vice president. The AFT Latino Caucus created the Maria Portalatin National Freedom Scholarship in her honor. Contributions to support the scholarship may be made at https://aftlatinocaucus.wufoo.com/forms/s658v1n11ynlu8/.

Ruth Alscher-Green | April 13
Yonkers Federation of Teachers

Ruth Alscher-Green, collector of Good News, neighbor to all residents of Battery Park City, teacher of hundreds of NYC and Yonkers school children, and tour guide in lower Manhattan, died April 13 after a short illness. Ruth was a proud New Yorker, proud American, proud Jew, a good friend and mentor to many.  Never shy about offering her opinion, this Aunty Mame shared her wit, humor and wisdom with everyone within her peripheral vision. Throughout her life she was active in many liberal causes, and as a young widow, drove a cab to help support her three children. Ruth lived and taught in kibbutz Negba, Israel, and visited Israel many times.  Ruth was a lifelong lover of the arts and introduced her grandchildren to the cultural wonders of NYC. Active even in her elder years (she never revealed her age fearing that someone might think she was old) Ruth taught conversational English even in her 90's!

She leaves behind her children, Jan and her husband Michael, Collin and his wife Pinar, Peter and his wife Kathy, all of whom she loved dearly; and her grandchildren Josh, Noah and Nathaniel whom she loved even more dearly; friends across the globe and a grieving community who never met anyone quite like her. 

Anne Regina Campbell Caldwell | July 31
United Federation of Teachers

United Federation of Teachers member Anne Regina Campbell Caldwell died July 31, 2014. Anne taught junior high and middle school English from the late 1950s until she retired in 1995. She was an ESL English teacher and Chapter Leader at her school.

Anne was a strong and active unionist who struck in all the UFT strikes including the historic 1960 strike which won collective bargaining rights for all teachers. She received a 50 Continuous Year UFT Membership Award in May 2008 presented to her by George Altomare, a founding Vice President of the UFT.

Eleanor Cannon | July 15
Whitesboro Retired TA

Lana Cocuzza | Aug. 31
United Federation of Teachers

Lana Cocuzza, 65, an English teacher at Wagner HS for more than 20 years, died Aug. 31. Lana began teaching after running two beauty salons and a travel agency. She received a bachelor's and master's degree in education from the College of Staten Island. She taught at Wagner HS from 1989 until her retirement in 2010.

Erin E. Dewyea | Sept. 24
Tupper Lake United Teachers

Erin Elizabeth Dewyea, 38, of Tupper Lake, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 24.

Born in Massena, Erin was the daughter of Michael and Catherine (Poirier) Farkas. Erin graduated from Tupper Lake High School, Class of 1994. She went on to graduate from Mater Dei College in 1996 and SUNY Plattsburgh in 2000.

Erin was an elementary school teacher, having taught in Racquette Lake, Holy Ghost Academy and L.P. Quinn for the past 11 years. She was a charter member of the Kiwanis Club of Tupper Lake.

She is survived by her husband Chris; her parents; two sisters: Michelle (Stephen) Laurence of Adams and Nicole (Marcel) Boyer of Auburn; one brother, Ben (Dulaney) of Hunt Valley, Maryland; her in-laws Dave and Sidonna Dewyea; sisters-in-law Rene`(Tom) Hugus and Becky (Dave) Dewyea; brother-in-law David Dewyea; and grandfather George Poirier of North Bangor; several nieces and nephews: Sidonna Dewyea, Jillian, Sophia and Marcellina Boyer, Brody, Ryan, Sawyer and Ryan Dewyea, Meredith and Ethan Smith, and Holden Farkas.

She was pre-deceased by grandparents John and Marion Farkas, Theresa Poirier and Uuncle John Farkas.

Marjorie Hart | Aug. 15
Whitesboro Retired TA

Eustoquio Torres-Nogueras | May 14
United Federation of Teachers

Eustoquio Torres-Nogueras, a bilingual attendance teacher, died May 14.

He became a classroom teacher of English as a Second Language in 1989 and an attendance teacher in 1994, most recently at Clara Barton HS in Brooklyn. As a member of the New York State Attendance Teachers' Association, he served on the Board of Directors and was active on several organizational committees. Torres-Nogueras was named Attendance Teacher of the Year in 2001. In addition, he received a Doctorate of Philosophy from Canterbury University, London England in 2003. His survivors include his husband, William Fernandez, and their son, Camilo Fernandez Valencia.

Sharon A. Smith | May 3
Retiree Council 8

Kathleen Marie Howe White | July 12
Retiree Council 13

Kathleen Marie Howe White passed away on July 12. She was Chatham's representative to NYSUT Retiree Council 13 and on its Board of Directors. Kathy was a two-term president of the Chatham Central School Teachers Association. She was the founding member and director of the Ghent Food Pantry and founder and past president of the Chatham Central Retired Teachers Association. 

Kathy attended the Chatham schools and graduated from Chatham High School. She received her associate's degree from SUNY Farmingdale, her bachelor's from SUNY Geneseo and her master's in special education from the College of St. Rose. The majority of her teaching career was spent in Chatham. She was a member and past president of the Alpha Nu chapter of Delta Kappa Sigma Honorary Society.

Kathy was a great colleague, but more importantly a great friend. Her graciousness and vitality will be sorely missed.

Full obituaries, if provided, are available at www.nysut.org. Submissions must include decedent's full name, union affiliation and date of death, and contact information for the person submitting the notice.

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

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