May 2016 Issue
June 02, 2016

Short Takes

Source: NYSUT United

Hudson Falls teacher receives Yavner Award

Matt Rozell, Hudson Falls Teachers Association, was honored in May by the state Board of Regents for his extraordinary work educating students about the Holocaust and human rights, receiving the 2015 Louis E. Yavner Teaching Award.

Holocaust survivor Ed Lessing, who shares his story with students, educators and the community, received the Yavner Citizens Award.

Both men spoke passionately about the need for future generations to hear the stories of survivors and rescuers. Rozell said his work started out as a homework assignment asking students to interview parents and grandparents about World War II.

That assignment grew into a compelling "Living History" project and extensive website, where family members, survivors and the soldiers who rescued them have made connections.

Rozell's work, which was featured by ABC television, has also spearheaded numerous reunions in three countries between survivors and the soldiers who rescued them.

Rozell's continuing work on the project can be found at

Deadline nears for excellence in teaching awards

A new state program will award $5,000 stipends to support professional development for outstanding teachers.

Any member of the public — students, parents or educators — can nominate a teacher by filling out a recommendation by June 1. A nomination may be submitted in the form of a narrative, a drawing or pictures that illustrate how the nominee represents outstanding teachers and why he or she should be an "ambassador to the future" of education. Teachers who are nominated will be notified by email and asked to submit an application.

New York State teachers are invited to nominate themselves by submitting an application by June 10. Recipients will be announced on June 17.

For more information on the Empire State Excellence in Teaching program, go to

Report: Preparations for retirement still lag

Findings from the 2016 Retirement Confidence Survey show the percentage of workers very confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement have leveled, but preparations to save for retirement are still lagging.

The study, prepared by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald and Associates, found retirement confidence has improved since the 2008 recession when only 13 percent of Americans reported feeling "very confident" about having enough money saved.

While retiree confidence is stable, preparations for retirement still lag. Workers in the study, who acknowledge they are not saving enough, plan to cope with the shortfall by saving more later or working longer — even though many retirees polled say they were forced to leave the workforce early due to health or disability.

The study polled both workers and current retirees. Among the findings:

• 83 percent of those respondents still working who do not have a retirement plan report the value of their savings and investments is less than $10,000. Meanwhile, for those workers with a retirement plan, 35 percent value their assets at $100,000 or more.

• Less than half of workers, 48 percent, report they and their spouse have tried to calculate how much money they will need in retirement.

View the full survey at