The Voice of Public Education in Western Ohio

Vote for Rita Walters and Bob Stein for STRS Retired Board Seats. One last reminder to cast your STRS ballot for Rita Walters and Robert Stein if you have not already done so. The deadline to vote is May 3. You can vote by mail, by phone or online. If you have lost your ballot or have any problem voting, you can contact STRS help desk at:
or call 1-866-720-4357.

Also please remind your non-OEA-R retired educator friends to vote for Rita and Robert. Keeping our retirement fund strong and stable for the foreseeable future and the fiscally responsible restoration of the COLA are Rita and Robert’s goals.

Tell your active friends to vote for Carol Carrothers for the STRS Active Board Seat.

In times such as these where educators are facing so many challenges, the WOEA Board of Directors and myself wanted to reach out to our members to recognize their efforts in doing what they do – providing outstanding educational opportunities for our students, supporting fellow educators and our communities.  Our first honor goes to Tony Appelbaum, a paraprofessional at MCESC- Learning Center North. He was recommended by Lori Herrick and will receive a $25.00 gift card.

“Tony is a “floater” at our middle school and high school. It is a separate facility setting for students with severe mental health needs and multiple disabilities.

Tony’s job is to assist with behavior problems as they arise in the classroom. He gets a workout each day as he seems to be everywhere and anywhere you would possibly need him all day, every day. He walks the halls and checks in on classrooms. He organizes drop off and pick up of students from about 30 different school districts each day. He knows every student in the school by name and which bus or other type of transportation they ride. He is an integral part of keeping students and staff safe. You can hear Tony before you see him because of his very distinct loud deep voice. This can be very helpful as a deterrent for students and also helps teachers to always know he’s around if needed.

He has almost perfect attendance, never wanting to miss a day even when not feeling well or if hurt.

Tony rarely takes a lunch break and if he does it’s often while sitting in a chair in the hallway ready to put his food down to run to the next problem!

He builds a good rapport with both students and staff and brings a positive attitude and presence with him in whatever he is doing. ”If you would like to recognize or give a shout out to a fellow member, group, or local, please submit your nomination to I believe Lori’s word reflect best on Tony. Congratulations Tony and keep up the great work.  You are a shining example of who we aspire to be.

WOEA President Joyce Coney-Lacy


Each week at 4:30 pm through the first week in May, WOEA members are invited to engage with NEA Member Benefits via ZOOM and learn valuable information about Student Loan Forgiveness and Retirement. Each session will last one hour but the presenter(s) will be available for a half hour prior to and after the session to answer individual questions.

Student Loan sessions on Monday use this link

 Student Loan sessions on Tuesdays use this link

 Retirement on Wednesdays use this link

 Retirement on Thursdays use this link