SEA-side with Chery

Records Day is our last day of school. It is a full day. You should be using this time to complete any final report card corrections, the student cumulative folders, special education IEPs and any other records. If you have time during the day you may also finish packing boxes for any potential move. This is a WORK day and if we do not use it as such we run the risk of losing this day in future bargaining sessions. Yes, having a faculty luncheon is acceptable and appropriate (and fun!!). If you have questions, please contact me.

o   You should have received your placement for next year but only if you are making a significant move. IF you are staying right where you are you may not receive “official” notification. I also understand that some of the numbers for Special education are not completed. If there is a question or concern, please contact me.

o   On the same note, the 30% IEP students on a class is a State rule – this question was asked at the rep meeting.

o   When your schedule is set for next year, please check to make sure you have a duty free lunch, and all of your plan time (240 per week – 150 of which is your “personal” plan time). If there is an issue, NOW is the time to discuss with your building administrator. If you have concerns, please talk to your rep first and then your administrator. If it cannot be resolved, contact me.


IEA/NEA-Retired has nearly 10,000 members and represents ALL education retirees: Certified Educators, ESPs, Higher Education and their interests and retirement issues. $1 million in liability insurance for members who wish to continue part-time employment or substitute in public education. The IEA lobbying team works for active and retired members on education issues and to protect our pensions and 133,000 members collectively across the state stand together when attacked. Involvement with the organization that has a big impact on TRS. All four elected teacher positions on the TRS Board of Trustees are filled by IEA members and both annuitants on the TRS Board of Trustees are IEA-Retired members.

Facebook Twitter @IEARMP

A full range of Member Benefits Programs that can save you more in one year than the cost of lifetime dues. Check them out at:

A toll-free line so you can contact your organization and the retired staff person without cost. Call 1-800-252-8076 and ask for the retired contact or call Kim Riley directly at 309-662-5359.

SEA-side with Chery 5-12-16

Morning. I hope everyone is doing well.

-We have our final Representative Meeting Monday – if you are a newly elected rep, please join us in the board room @ 3:30pm. REPS  – please bring the NEA Fund envelope with you to the meeting.

-NEA Fund envelopes have gone out to buildings to the reps. See full explanation of NEA fund in last week’s SEAside.

-We are going to have a new logo contest for t-shirts, hats, etc. If you are interested, please create something the SEA can use to show our solidarity, love of education and devotion to our students. Please send me your ideas by May 13th. The winner will be announced before the end of the school year.

-Administrators may observe a staff member at any time of the school year. We have asked that they not log any info into common ground after May 15th unless the circumstance is extreme. Please contact me if you have concerns with an observation after May 15th.

-By Monday, all staff should know their placement for next year. Please contact me if you have not heard anything by Tuesday morning. (per contract language)


I hope our weather improves soon (although, it could be worse!)



PS – The 57 on Heinz ketchup bottle represents the varieties of pickles the company once had! 57 types of pickles?

SEA-side with Chery 5-5-16

  •  I need to know if you are qualified (and interested) in writing by May 11th so the existing board may consider those qualifications.
  • Sick bank – To access Sick Bank an individual would contact the Sick Bank chairperson (whoever that may be – right now it’s Keith Lange) and ask for the Sick Bank request form. The form can be sent to you through the mail or in an e-mail. You would follow the instructions on how to fill out the form and send it back to the Sick Bank chairperson in a timely manner. Once an individual has depleted all of their own personal sick/business days they would start in the Sick Bank. A verification letter would be sent to the individual (typically in twenty (20) day increments) until their doctor has cleared them to return to school. You may use a Maximum of 90 days in your career. (Anyone who is not participating cannot use days – no exceptions. The form is in the SEA contract p. 38. You all filled one out when you were hired – unless you chose not to participate. People can change their status but must resubmit the form before Sept. 1st to Julie Goolish @ Keller- no exceptions. If you remove yourself from the bank you do not get those unused days back.
  • NEA Fund envelopes have gone out to buildings to the reps. The NEA Fund is our voice in Washington—it speaks on behalf of our 3.2 million members from all 51 affiliates of the National Education Association. As the NEA’s national PAC, the NEA Fund provides direct financial support to recommended candidates for President, the U.S. House, and the U.S. Senate who will fight to support teachers, staff, and students and improve public education. The NEA Fund also supports pro-public education candidates in gubernatorial and other important state races as well as making independent expenditures asking people to vote for or against candidates based on their position on public education. Every member who contributes to the NEA Fund does so voluntarily. Every dollar contributed to a candidate, a political party, or independent expenditures is voluntarily given. NEA does not use dues dollars for this purpose. Just as the NEA Fund relies on small contributions from thousands of members, the NEA candidate recommendation process is driven by NEA membership. NEA never recommends or endorses a candidate for federal office without the support of your Illinois Education Association leaders. Many of you have already donated through payroll deduction. Please feel free to add more to the fund if you so choose J
  • We have a new logo contest for t-shirts, hats, etc. If you are interested, please create something the SEA can use to show our solidarity, love of education and devotion to our students. Please send me your ideas by May 13th. The winner will be announced before the end of the school year.



PS – Over 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow. HA!

SEA-side with Chery 4-28-16

Morning! There is a great deal going on in the district as we begin to close down the school year. The next few SEAsides could be lengthy but please stay with me!

  • Next week is Teacher Appreciation with Tuesday being National Teacher Day. Don’t forget to thank your school nurse on Wednesday which is National School Nurse Day.
  • Renewal information went out to all district employees this past week from Diana Peters.
  • Linda Stolt, a retired teacher from Schaumburg and current president of the IEA-Retired Northwest Suburban chapter, has been selected by the Illinois Education Association as this year’s recipient of the Mary Lou and Keith Hauge Retiree of the Year Award. Stolt was recognized for the award on Thursday in front of some 1,200 association delegates, guests and state dignitaries at the IEA’s annual Representative Assembly in Rosemont.
  • I wanted to let you know about a wonderful opportunity the Illinois Education Association Palatine Office is offering next month.  The IEA Regions 34, 35 (Schaumburg), 42, 43, 64 and High School District 214 cordially invite you to a screening of the movie PAPER TIGERS.  This event is free to those interested in attending.

Paper Tigers is an intimate look into the lives of selected students at Lincoln High School, an alternative school that specializes in educating traumatized youth.  Set amidst the rural community of Walla Walla, Wash., the film intimately examines the inspiring promise of trauma informed communities – a movement that is showing great promise in healing youth struggling with the dark legacy of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES).

I personally invite you to attend this powerful event!  You can watch the trailer and learn more about the film at   I have attached an invitational flier and encourage you to invite other administrators, community leaders and parents.


Thanks for reading and staying with me through the year. I hope these messages have been helpful in some way J



PS – Did you know that a crocodile cannot stick his tongue out?

Seaside with Chery 4-21-16

Good Morning! I hope this email finds everyone well and finished or nearly finished with PARCC.

I hope those that attended the General Meeting on Monday enjoyed themselves and found it informative as well. Kathi Griffin did an excellent job, as always, entertaining us and informing us. We had a record number in attendance!! Let’s hope that number continues to grow. Congratulations to all our retirees, if you were unable to attend I will be dropping off your certificates very soon. And, lastly, congratulations to Vicki Mikos who received the Felicia Cichy Award for service to the SEA/IEA/NEA. She is truly deserving of this award.

  • Renewal information will come out on Monday, so if you haven’t already logged all your CPDUs, now is the time. Diana Peters will be sending the info and the process hasn’t changed. If you have questions, you may call her, me or Shirley Bloom. Shirley’s contact info will come with the directions on Monday.
  • I am still getting questions on taking Mondays and/or Fridays off. Please use your days professionally. If you need to take them because you are sick or have business that cannot be conducted after school hours, then take the day. But please make sure you have some sort of documentation. Remember, the district is looking for patterns, not a one-time absence.

That’s all – only 6 weeks left! I find that very hard to believe.

SEA-side with Chery 4-13-16

Hello – one day early J

  • The General Meeting is Monday. I hope that many of you signed up to attend. Kathi Griffin, the IEA Vice President and a past SEA President and D54 teacher, will be our guest speaker. I know she will be informative and entertaining. If you did not sign up but would still like to attend, please just come over to the Stonegate at 3:30. Please also remember to bring a few dollars to toss into our 50/50 drawing, if you so choose.
  • Attached is information about the nominations that will be voted on at the General Meeting.
  • We are going to have a new logo contest for t-shirts, hats, etc. If you are interested, please create something the SEA can use to show our solidarity, love of education and devotion to our students. Please send me your ideas by May 13th. The winner will be announced before the end of the school year.
  • Our Just Read program will not be run this year due to financial and logistical issues. If you have questions, please contact me.
  • I will be at the IEA-RA the rest of the week but will still be available by phone if you need me.

SEA side with Chery 4-7-16

Straight to the point this week J

  • Good Luck on the PARCC tests for the next two weeks. I know things will go well.
  • There have been some errors on ISBE for renewals for 2016. Please hold off until April 15th to renew your licenses. Some credit cards look like they are being charged when entered but in fact they are not. If you have already submitted, please check your credit card statement to make sure it went through. I will keep you posted.
  • Join District 54 students to celebrate the diversity of cultures at our Multicultural Event on Saturday, April 9 from 11:30-2:30 at the Schaumburg Park District CRC located at 505 N. Springinsguth Rd. The event is free with a small charge for food. The student performances, arts, crafts, and activities are amazing and fun for all ages.
  • You should have received information on IEA voting in the mail for state members to attend the NEA-RA in Washington, DC. If you look closely you might recognize some names. It’s an online system and takes less than 5 minutes. Please take the time to cast your votes- thanks so much.
  • Attached are the SPARKS flyer (for our early career members) and the General Meeting invite. I hope to see many in attendance at both events.


SEA-side with Chery 3-10-16

Morning All – loving this weather!!


Right to business:

  1. There is a rep meeting on Monday, Michelle Mussman will be there. Kathy Smith will also be there, she is our new rep from NEA benefits.
  2. No school Tuesday due to primary elections – GET OUT AND VOTE J Please J It’s important that we elect politicians who are supportive of education and teachers. Please check our website for more info. (
  3. There is a retirement meeting for the class of 2016 on Thursday, March 17th @ PLC @ 4pm.
  4. Building Reps, please bring any One on One forms with you to the meeting on Monday.
  5. Through the One on One process, we heard many members share it would be beneficial to have information on SEA candidates running for election prior to the day of the vote.  Thank you for your feedback!  Attached to this email, you will find the resumes of candidates running for delegate to the NEA-RA this summer.  Resumes were limited to 50 words or less.  As a reminder, there are 6 open positions.
  6. School visits next week – Wednesday = Muir, Thursday = MacArthur and Friday = Lincoln Prairie
  7. If you have any questions regarding the student growth model do not hesitate to send them to me.

One week left until Spring Break – Thank you for all that you do for our students.

SEA-side with Chery 3-3-16


Hard to believe we are here already and only 2 weeks from Spring Break. I have a lot of info today so stay with me J

  • Next week’s building visits: Monday = Collins, Tuesday = Dirksen, Thursday = Eisenhower and Friday = Churchill
  • Next Wednesday will be the district wide Student Growth Model training during staff development.
  • There was a misprint in the SEA rep meeting notes last week – it is “AFTER” the 3rd absence that you would need a note not for the 3rd absence.
  • Attached is a flyer for first year staff entitled, “Y2 – Moving Beyond Survival.” I hope some of you can attend.
  • The nomination form for awards winners for the General Meeting is also attached. If you have nominations, please send me that person’s name, school, reason you think they should be nominated and for which award by next Monday, (3/7) before noon.
  • And lastly, the invitation for the General Meeting is attached – this is our big meeting for the year and everyone is invited – it’s free! There will be plenty of food, drink, fun, and music. We will recognize our “Class of 2016” retirees; we will have a guest speaker (TBA), give our other awards and will have a raffle J Please save the date. Your building reps will have more info very soon.

My goodness, that’s enough!


You know where to reach me! Have a great rest of the week.


SEA-side with Chery

Happy Thursday! Here’s hoping everything is going well. School visits are so much fun and Jackie and I are getting some great ideas, good information and have had some nice conversations.

No building visits next week.

There is a rep meeting next Monday, if you have any concerns or suggestions, please share them with your building rep.

One on One meetings – Please meet with your rep. We are looking for ways to improve and to plan for the coming years. Please meet with your rep even if it is just for a few minutes, to give them your feedback, ideas and/or suggestions. Thanks to those who have already participated. To those who have not yet met, I am looking forward to your input as well.

Nomination forms for Region 35, SEA building reps and NEA-RA – the explanations are on the forms themselves. They go to or give them to your building rep and they can bring them on Monday.


I hope everyone can get out this weekend and enjoy the nice weather. My wish is for it to stay around and then we can casually roll into the spring weather by the end of March J



PS – The U.S. Government spent $277,000 on pickle research in 1993!! Explanation, please?