Thursday, September 19, 2019
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The Russo Report: Meet the Presidents

As the seasons merge and a new school year begins, the officers of Northeast Region PSEA-Retired prepare for another round of Region meetings and socials. This is the beginning of the annual ritual of finalizing the preparations and scheduling of the Northeastern Region’s member programs. Northeastern is a large PSEA Region consisting of 7,255 square miles, twelve counties, 126 local unions, with 15,255 active members and 3,217 retired members. There are many individuals who spend countless hours in the service of our members. Those who do it are dedicated to the cause of public education and improving the lives of our retirees. There are too many to name but it seems appropriate that I identify a few. Each of the five Chapters of PSEA-Retired in Northeastern Region has a President who is responsible for coordinating all activities. You will notice that all lead a full, active and productive life apart from PSEA-Retired. I’d like to introduce them to you: 

Elizabeth Slovenkai (Lackawanna & Wayne County Chapter with 634 members) - Liz taught 35.92 years in the Scranton SD. She is active in the Lackawanna County Federation of Democratic Women and the 1st Catholic Slovak Union. She participates in church activities and enjoys family picnics and gatherings. Her hobbies are reading, gardening and practicing interior design-decorating and tackling home repairs. A highlight of her retirement years was being chosen to be the West Scranton Intermediate School’s inaugural presenter of the Charlotte A. Slocum 8th grade award.

Agnes Massacesi (Endless Mountains Chapter with 483 members) - Agnes spent 40 years teaching in the Tunkhannock Area SD. She sings in her Resurrection Choir and is an active member of PSU’s Strong Women Exercise Program. She is proud of the fact that she has been involved for over 10 years in an activity that was previously foreign to her and which is now an important part of her life.  She is an avid reader, enjoys her garden with her husband, loves to bake and cook and still makes time to do water color paintings.  

Pam Zaremba (Luzerne County with 1043 members) - Pam can be described as a “master organizer” and “social director.” After teaching for 37.5 years in the Northwest Area School District she hit retirement running. She enjoys yoga, running, walking and bicycling all year round. She and her husband have two children and four grandchildren. In addition to family time, she enjoys reading and teaching and playing piano at local churches and weddings. One of her proudest retirement experiences was a self-directed trip and travel through Italy. Unguided and self-directed she mastered the trials and tribulations of a foreign environment and language.  

Robert Cooke (Pocono Mountain Chapter-595 members) - Bob spent 38 years in the East Stroudsburg SD and two at Penn Argyle. He is proud of his health maintenance regime and his relationship with his physicians and care givers, many of which are ex-students. He especially enjoys laughing and seeing the funny side of things. A favorite activity is traveling to New York State and spending time with a brother and sister, a niece and nephew and five grandnieces. He collects Primitive Pennsylvania antiques and Classic Roadster autos. Bob has many memories of his eight years on the East Stroudsburg Board of Education. One of his most memorable retirement experiences was being inducted into the East Stroudsburg SD Hall of Fame.

 Warren Frantz (Susquehanna Valley Chapter consisting of 462 members) -  Warren taught 34 years at Danville and one year at Jim Thorpe. Warren and his wife Linda look for every opportunity to travel both in the US and outside the country. He leads an active life playing golf and participating in family activities He has five grandchildren that keep him busy especially his eldest who has won several acting awards.  He is an avid reader of mysteries and crime drama. What he likes most about retirement is the freedom to do what he wants when he wants …if his wife agrees. Being easy going and carefree, limited restrictions and life unregulated by time is an everyday reality. 

I extend my collective thanks to the Presidents for all they do each and every day for our members. They and their officers deserve our recognition for collectively working to keep retiree issues and concerns up to date and relevant. 

 

If you see or meet them....say thanks!

 

Phil Russo is a member of the PSEA Retired Board of Directors and the PSEA-R representative on the PSEA Resolutions Committee. 

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