April 14, 2021

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President's Message

"If you want to change the world, go home and love your family."

(Mother Theresa)

To all our amazing teachers,

I want to first thank you all for the awe-inspiring work you do for our GPS students.

Thank you for your persistence, resilience, and your amazing ability to rise to the occasion, no matter what obstacles are placed in front of you, or collapses around you.

We show up, We do the work, We support each other and We do this not for ourselves but for the love of teaching and for our Students!

Now is the time for all of you to put yourselves and your family first. Please take a break from work and spend time with your family and friends. Share the love, joy and laughter so you can return to work refreshed and ready to go.

GEA has important work to accomplish and we will need all of you to do the same thing for your teaching profession:

to show up, come together and show our strength in numbers to support all our GPS teachers.

GEA has created our negotiations team and we have entered into the first phase of our negotiations process.

There will be more information to follow when we return from break.

Have a great week!


Greenwich Education Association Executive Board

Contact Us

Lillian Perone, President:

Lori Mulligan, VP Secondary:

Melissa D'Amato, VP Elementary:

Chrissy Distel, VP of Communications:

Jessica Punchatz, VP of Membership:

Chuck Costello, PR&R Chair:


Courtney Powers, Treasurer:

PAC/BOE Chair, Aaron Johnson:


Not sure which Executive Board Member to contact? Take a look at our at our flowchart that delineates responsibilities.
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Questions about the GEA Scholarship? Contact our Treasurer, Courtney Powers. Questions about benefits? Contact VP of Membership Jessica Punchtaz.

Questions about health insurance and retirement? Check out our GEA Website

The CEA Retirement liaison is Robyn Kaplan-Cho. She can be contacted at robynk@CEA.ORG. She is a wealth of knowledge and the CEA Retirement workshops are incredibly detailed and helpful. Read below for the next workshop dates.

As always, your building rep is happy to assist you in answering any questions and should be your first contact for non-emergency concerns. If your building doesn't have a rep, feel free to reach out to any one of the amazing people on our Board of Directors. Click here for a list of all the reps throughout the district. Also, please consider filling an empty position. Strength in numbers!

GEA News

Greenwich Alliance Trivia Night

GEA hosted another trivia team at the Greenwich Alliance Trivia Night in Feb. The Greenwich Alliance provides numerous grants and scholarships to GPS students and programs. GEA donated $500 and our team, OutraGEAously KnowledGEAble did a phenomenal job! Well Done Team!
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From top left: John Miller, Courtney Powers, Olivia Baker, Erik Bloch, Jenn Lynch, Neal Schopick, Karen Boyea, Thomas Murphy, Cate Brainard, Stephen Farnum

GEA Scholarship Program

Each year GEA grants a number of scholarship awards to children of GEA Members. A student is invited to apply if they meet the below criteria.

To be eligible for a GEA award in 2022, a candidate must:
* be the child of a GEA member,
* have a minimum grade point average of 3.0,
* be accepted to a college/university,

Please fill out the 2022 Greenwich Education Association Scholarship Program form as soon as possible. Please email with any questions.

Member Spotlight: Monica Ware


I have been teaching since 1996. Hard to believe! I originally began my professional life after college in advertising, but decided to change careers in 1994 to become a teacher, so since I lived in NYC I went to NYU to get my masters and began my transition to becoming an elementary school teacher.

I have been a 5th Grade Teacher at Riverside School since September 2017. I started working full time in GPS in 2016 at North Mianus as a long term sub and went to Glenville for the rest of that school year. Prior to that (while my children were young) I worked at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center Preschool from 2009 - 2016. I worked with 3 year olds and enjoyed working with preschoolers and outside in nature.

I began to work as a teacher in 1996 at the Unquowa School teaching 5th and 4th Grade and then went to the Ardsley Union Free School District from 1998 - 2003 to teach 3rd Grade.

What would the students be surprised to find out about you?

In the summer I love to kayak and love to visit amusement parks to ride roller coasters!

What’s the best thing about being a teacher?

The best thing about being a teacher is watching a student’s face light up when they make a connection or finally figure out how to solve a problem or share a favorite part from a book they love with you. This is why I teach!

If you could pass on any wisdom to your students, what would you share?

Always ask “why,” question everything and always do your best!

Just for Kicks

Dunkin’ Iced Teas are my favorite!


  • Class Coverage Data Form: If your administration requires you to cover another class/duty, please fill out this form. The GEA Executive Board uses this valuable data in our meetings with Dr. Jones and cabinet members, as well as negotiations. THIS FORM IS ALWAYS AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE.

NEA RA 2022

General Information

Date: Tentatively July 3rd to 6th

Suggested travel days – July 2nd and July 7th

Location: Chicago, IL

With over 9,000 delegates, it is also the world’s largest democratic, deliberative body. The NEA RA convenes every July during the Annual Meeting. The first two days are devoted to discussions, conferences, and exhibits, but the highlight is the Representative Assembly itself. During this important event, delegates debate issues that impact American public education, elect top officers, and set policy for the 3.2 million-member Association Learn more about the NEA RA Here

Greenwich has 6 seats allocated for this RA.

If you are interested in attending the convention please contact Lillian Perone:

Please include a short reason why you want to attend and a brief response of how you will use that experience to become more active in your association. This information will be used for an election vote if we have more than 6 GEA members that apply.


Teachers and the Law Workshop

GEA partnered with CEA Legal Counsel Rebecca Mitchell to provide a wonderful Teachers and the Law Workshop in March. We were not allowed to record it, but CEA did and it can be found on their website.

Covid Relief Program for Teachers

If you contracted COVID-19 and experienced financial hardship due to lost wages or out-ofpocket medical expenses, you may be eligible to receive reimbursement from the Connecticut Essential Workers COVID-19 Assistance Program.

See this Flyer from the CEA for more information.

Follow us on Social Media!

  • @gea_teachers on Instagram and Twitter
  • @GreenwichEducationAssociation on Facebook
  • You can also find us by searching Greenwich Education Association, or just click below.

In Closing...

Thank you for reading the GEA Newsletter. If there's anything you'd like to see appear in future newsletters, or if you have any questions about what you read in this month's, please email your comments to Chrissy Distel at Thank you again for reading and for all that you do each and every day.