2019 R-UTN Scholarship Winners

Pegeen Friese is this year’s recipient of the $2000 Retired – United Teachers of Northport Scholarship.

Pegeen is described as a sincere and genuine friend, a wonderful role model for her peers and a wonderfully talented musician who plans  to become a music teacher. She has performed in many music festivals, participated in NYSSMA and composed her own music.  Although music is her main pursuit, she has maintained a competitive GPA, a place on the Honor Role and a position as drum major. Her success has required a great deal of dedication, self- motivation and hard work. Defined by her teachers as passionate, determined and focused, she combines heartfelt passion with an extraordinary work ethic and she is a leader in every sense of the word. After graduation Pegeen will be attending Ithica College. 

Gisselle Battaglia is the recipient of the Retired – United Teachers of Northport $2000 Memorial Scholarship.

Gisselle winner is described by her teachers as hard working, reliable and responsible. She approaches every subject with enthusiasm and has maintained a high grade point average, challenging herself with a strong college preparatory curriculum, including International Baccalaureate and dual enrollment classes. One of her proudest achievements was her acceptance into the Honor Tour Choir.  Her work ethic, compassion and dedication to her principles set her apart from her peers. With her temperament and sense of service she will undoubtably become  an excellent teacher.  Gisselle will be attending Mercy College.

In addition, the R-UTN awarded $500 awards to children of in-service UTN members. The 2019 recipients are Holden Koestner attending Towson University in Maryland; Demitri Smith attending Hofstra University; Robert Staudigel attending Pennsylvania College of Technology; Gabrielle Teiner attending Pennsylvania State College. 

Congratulation to This Year’s Retirees

Eight of the new R-UTN Members

Kathy Amundsen – Elementary Teacher for 20 years, Fifth Avenue

Jamie Dellaquila – Elementary Teacher for 32 years, Ocean Avenue

Regina Karn – Speech Teacher for 25 years, Ocean Avenue

Tracy Meissner – Special Education Teacher for 36 years, Northport Middle School

Heidi Miles – Teacher Assistant for 16 years, Northport High School

Cynthia Porciello – Social Studies Teacher for 26 years, Northport High School

Janice Shepherd – Special Education Teacher for 28 years, Bellerose Avenue and Dickinson Avenue

Eileen Marie Smith – Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher for 30 years, Northport Middle School

Stephen Taylor – Technology Teacher for 17 years, Northport Middle School

Joan Visbal – Science Teacher for 16 years in Northport High School

Christine Zacher – Music Teacher for 34 years, Northport Middle School and Norwood Avenue school

Another Annual Picnic is History …

01Vanderbilt_Museum_09-09-15_025The R-UTN Annual Picnic, was once again held at the beautiful 05R-UTN_Picnic_09-20-17_005Vanderbilt Mansion on Tuesday, September 12. Over 80 of our colleagues gathered to enjoy the perfect weather, the views of Northport Harbor and the great food from Anderson’s Deli in Kings Park.  Our Executive Board members were given a round of applause in appreciation of their hard work on our behalf. Our new members Angela Mislowack, Pam Waldroup and  Margaret Minardi were given a warm welcome as well. The Vanderbilt graciously invited attendees to view the new Planetarium Sky Show in the afternoon. Thanks to Teddy Emanuel for taking photos of our picnic. Visit our Photo Gallery to see more picnic photos.

The Picnic opens a new year of activities for the R-UTN. Our Winter Luncheon will be during the first week in December. Details will appear in our newsletter and on our website. To keep up to date with all the R-UTN activities and projects, members should visit this website regularly.

There is still time before the Oct 1st deadline to send in your membership renewal forms and dues checks – do it today if you have not responded yet. The 2017-2018 Membership Form can be downloaded here if you have misplaced the one mailed to you.

Our next Executive Board meeting will be Monday Oct 2nd at the Northport Public Library at 10 am – all are welcome.

Letter to the Editor …

In an effort to engage the R-UTN membership, from time to time the website will feature Letters to the Editor in response to articles published in the R-UTN Newsletter and online. This is the first such letter, in response to the Social Security/Medicare Update by Hank Kasven in the October–December 2015 issue of the newsletter (online here).


Dear Editor,
In a previous life, I worked for the Social Security Administration, so I am quite familiar with the original concepts.  The most essential one is that this is an INSURANCE program, originally designed to provide “a floor beneath which no one can fall.”  Contributions were to be proportional to income until a maximum was reached, because the benefit amounts were also capped.  Low earners could receive no less than a minimum benefit, and high earners were capped at a maximum, those amounts being proportionate to their income.

If you can accept that this is an insurance program, not a welfare program, then it makes eminent sense.  To say it is “not fair” is tantamount to saying that you could justify my having to pay a different amount for my life, or home, or auto insurance than someone else for the same coverage, based upon our respective incomes.  I do not think THAT would be fair.

Lastly, realize that all income IS taxed, (at least in theory.)  Those taxes are where subsidies, if appropriate at all, should come from, not an insurance program.  If the Social Security system had adhered to its original concepts, and if the trust fund had not been repeatedly raided, the program would have endured just fine.  Fairness has never been a concern for those who have manipulated the system to death.

Bob Cerabone