Friday, May 4, 2018
Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Plainedge Federation of Teachers,
Two weeks ago, the PFT held its 19th annual "We Make a Difference Awards Ceremony" to honor the many students of the Plainedge School District who display such great character traits as being compassionate to their classmates, kind-hearted, and full of school spirit. It was a wonderful community event filled with lots of proud parents, excited students, and smiling faces.
This award ceremony is certainly our union's premier event of the year and a truly unique experience to Plainedge. It was the brain child of Laura Pokorny, our previous PFT President, and her desire to improve the relationship between the PFT and the Plainedge Community. Immediately prior to the 1st awards ceremony in 1999, our union had been involved in a two year contract dispute with the District that left many on both sides feeling bitter. Laura knew the only way forward was to repair the damaged relationship and show the Plainedge community how dedicated and caring the teachers of Plainedge were when it came to their children. And so today, the PFT takes a lot of pride in continuing Laura's vision of an awards ceremony which recognizes all the children who make a difference in the lives of their fellow classmates and teachers. This year alone, we honored over 170 students, proving that all ideas are possible when we have the courage and conviction to propel our visions forward and make them a reality. Because of community events like the "We Make a Difference Awards," we enjoy a fantastic relationship with the Plainedge community and have not been without a contract since the 1990's. It is our responsibility to make sure we continue on this positive path and never forget the importance of cultivating relationships with those whose children we have the honor of calling our students.
Thank you to all the PFT members who always take the time out of their lives and busy schedules to make sure that our tradition continues. Our efforts certainly have had a positive effect on our relationship with the Plainedge community. Our commitment and dedication to our organization is to be admired. The Plainedge teachers and teaching assistants are truly inspirational, and we deserve the utmost regard and respect for all that we do. You always have mine! A special thanks to Elena Phillips (r.) and Jenny Avgeris (L.) for organizing this years "We Make a Difference" Awards Ceremony. Your hard work helped make this great event happen. In Solidarity!