Valerie Fata

Local: UFT
Valerie Fata - COVID19 - Memorial
Valerie Fata, Teacher from UFT
* Retired teacher

Retiree Valerie Fata missed teaching so much she couldn’t stay away from the classroom.

She worked with special education students in Queens for nearly 40 years, first as a teacher and then as a per-diem substitute and an F-status teacher. A UFT member for 30 years, Valerie spent most of her career at PS 224 in Glen Oaks, but she also worked briefly at PS 499 in Flushing.

Valerie, 66, died on April 11.

Friend and colleague Arlene Hofler said, “Valerie was an esteemed member of the PS 224 community. She was a teacher, mentor, literacy coach. When she retired, she was a favorite sub. Val always made sure every teacher she came in contact with was supported well into their career.”

Laura Everall said her sister-in-law “had a very keen sense of empathy.”

At Christmas and other holidays, Valerie would bring gifts to her students. But her generosity continued year-round. She helped students “with clothing and food their families could not afford,” said Elaine Feldman, a friend and coworker for more than 30 years. “She would have birthday parties for the children whose parents did not send anything,” said Hofler.

“She was kind and giving, but tough when she needed to be,” said Feldman. “She had a great sense of humor.”

Everall agreed. “She always made me feel at ease and I appreciated her quick wit,” she said. “I will always remember her laughing eyes.”

One of Valerie’s treasured life experiences was studying in England as part of a student exchange program. She attended the former Jersey City State College and had advanced training in traumatic brain injuries. She was “the definition of a lifelong learner,” Hofler said.

Chinese food was among her favorite things, and Valerie loved going to the movies and the theater and sharing those outings with her daughter, Gina. Friends said Gina was “always the light of her life.”

Valerie is survived by her daughter.

Condolences may be sent to:

Gina Fata
132 Church St., Apt. 2B
Kings Park, NY 11754