ECOEA...the link between your local
and the Ohio Education Association

As a member of a local association within the six counties served by ECOEA (Carroll, Columbiana, Holmes, Stark, Tuscarawas or Wayne), you are automatically a member of the East Central OEA District. We provide professional development, conferences, and scholarships that are open to all members. We are supported by your dues dollars and invite you to participate in opportunities in our district and the Ohio Education Association.
  • December 5, 2021-OEA Fall Representative Assembly, virtual
  • January 21, 2022-Deadline for OEA Scholarships
  • January 29, 2022-ECOEA Winter Workshop, virtual
  • February 3-5, 2022-OEA Advocacy & Organizing Institute, Columbus
  • February 26, 2022-OEA Member Appreciation Night with the Cleveland Cavs vs. Washington Wizards, more info in the next newsletter!
  • March 4, 2022-ECOEA Legislative Dinner, LaPizzaria, registration opens January 2022
Your ECOEA Officers and Staff wish you and yours a restful Thanksgiving holiday and much-needed holiday weekend. While you may have started the year hopeful that things would be "normal", it has turned out to be just as uncertain as last year, if not more!
At ECOEA, our Executive Committee made the decision to cancel our Fall Rep Assembly. Instead we held a Fall Delegate Briefing virtually for the delegates who will be attending the OEA Fall Representative Assembly on December 4. Thirty-one delegates from thirteen different locals attended. Following the briefing, we hosted the OEA Campaign 2022 Kickoff where we heard OEA Vice President Jeff Wensing along with members of OEA staff about the plans for the upcoming election cycle. We look forward to spring for our "normal" in person Rep Assembly, uncertain, but hopeful.
Our Vice President Julie Holderbaum writes for the OEA Voices of Change blog. Read Julie's latest installment Small Moments of Joy: Can They Keep Teachers in the Classroom? where she shares her feelings about the school year so far.
Pictured above left to right:
ECOEA President Julie Nelson, North Canton EA
ECOEA Vice President Julie Holderbaum, Minerva Local EA
ECOEA Recording Secretary Juliann Doerschuk, Alliance EA
ECOEA Business Manager Valerie Heban, OEA-Retired from North Canton EA
We were delighted to be back together at the Hartville Kitchen for our first in-person event since March of 2020. OEA Attorney Kathleen McKinley shared a legal update of current issues facing educators in their workplace and with their students. Kathleen shared that this would be her last legal update; she is retiring from practice at the end of the year. We are very happy for her and send best wishes for a well-deserved retirement but also know that we will miss her wisdom and advocacy for member rights. Kathleen was our ECOEA Friend of Education in 2013. Congratulations Kathleen!
Members also heard from OEA Vice President Jeff Wensing and enjoyed a turkey dinner along with some yummy pie. Six lucky members were "door pies" winners. All members received a professional development certificate for 1.0 hours. It was so great to be together!

The ECOEA Program Committee has a cozy winter day of financial planning lined up for you on Saturday, January 29, 2022.
Held virtually, we have speakers lined up for you on Zoom throughout the morning where you can join us in your jammies from the comfort of your home. No driving through the cold to get this important information!
Choose from the sessions that work for you!
STRS Financial Fitness-early career educators
STRS Retirement Countdown-certified members approaching the end of their careers
Student Loan Repayment and Forgiveness-hear the latest updates on managing the government changes to the loan programs
Ohio 457 Deferred Compensation-open to all public employees (indeed, our elected officials can invest here) hear about this alternative method of sheltering retirement funds separate from a 403B.
OEA-Retired-presented at the STRS sessions, learn how membership as a retired member is a benefit you don't want to retire from!
Registration is open now at the button below. Attend one, two, or three sessions, all at no charge. We have door prizes too!
ECOEA is happy to award Public Relations Grants to six local associations through a competitive grant process. The goal of our PR Grants is to improve the image of your association in your local community by hosting or participating in a community activity that reflects positively on your association. To be eligible to participate in our grants, your local had to elect and send delegates to the ECOEA Representative Assembly in the previous year.
Congratulations to these locals:
  • Chippewa Education Association-$500 grant entitled Little League/Youth Soccer Team Sponsor; submitted by Carolyn Garbinsky, President
  • East Holmes Teachers' Association-$500 grant entitled Prevent Summer Slide; submitted by member Kari Kaufman; Megan Mullet, President
  • Malvern Education Association-$500 grant entitled Visibility; submitted by member Llyn Simpson; Tami Warner, President
  • Minerva Local Education Association-$400 grant entitled Supporting Our Fine Arts; submitted by Stuart Grunder, President
  • North Canton Education Association-$500 grant entitled Legacy Campaign; submitted by member Jen McKelley; Julie Nelson, President
  • Wooster Education Association-$500 grant entitled Wooster High School Athletic Scoring Table; submitted by Scott Miller, President
ECOEA annually recognizes those local associations who have been the most active in the district, qualifying in at least five of the following six criteria to receive this designation.
  • 1. Have a local delegate attend at least two of the four ECOEA or OEA Fall and Spring Representative Assemblies
  • 2. Have at least 5% of local membership make FCPE contributions
  • 3. Have a full slate of local officers
  • 4. Have local represented by having a member attend at least one ECOEA training, workshop, roundtable, retreat
  • 5. Have local, or at least one member, apply for an ECOEA scholarship or grant.
  • 6. Have a local member serve as a representative on ECOEA or OEA committees
Each Five Star Local will receive a $100 award for their local. Congratulations to the following associations for achieving the Five Star Local designation:
Meeting five/six criteria-
  • Alliance Education Association-Michael Rossetti, President
  • Canton Professional Educators’ Association-Paul Palomba, President
  • Chippewa Education Association-Carolyn Garbinsky, President
  • Jackson Classified Personnel Association-Brooke Harter, President
  • North Canton Education Association-Julie Nelson, President
  • Rittman Education Association-Jennifer Dziczkowski and Alicia Mayfield, Co-presidents
  • Southeast Local Education Association-Jeanne Cerniglia and Laura Timothy, Co-presidents
Meeting 6/6 criteria:
  • East Holmes Teachers’ Association, Megan Mullet, President
  • Malvern Education Association-Tami Warner, President
  • Minerva Local Education Association-Stuart Grunder, President
  • Newcomerstown Teachers’ Association-Steven Pritchard, President
  • Plain Local Teachers’ Association-David Frederick, President
  • Wooster Education Association-Scott Miller, President  
Each fall, ECOEA awards three scholarships of $500 to members to continue their education, with one scholarship winner drawn from each of the three voting units from all eligible applicants. We are happy to announce the following winners:
  • Unit 1 Connor McKenney from Fairless Education Association
  • Unit 2 Korie Haswell from East Holmes Teachers' Association
  • Unit 3 Candice Robinson from North Canton Education Association
Congratulations to these winning educators and good luck in your studies!
The Ohio Education Association offers a variety of awards and scholarships to individual members and local associations to reward and recognize the achievements and hard work of members to improve public education. Use the button below to see a summary of the scholarships open to all members. It is important to honor the January 21, 2022 deadline so apply now!
More information is available on the OEA website at

The last two sessions in the OTES 2.0 virtual series are on November 22nd , and December 1st, with OEA Education Policy Consultant Ellen Adornetto. Be sure your LPDC members, negotiating team, or implementation team members attend for up-to-date information! Use this link:
Our friend Guy Kendal-Freas of NEA Member Benefits has this information to share for our members with student loans-
Sweeping reforms to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program offer new hope to 550,000 student loan borrowers
On October 6, 2021, the US Dep’t of Education announced sweeping reforms to the PSLF program including a limited time waiver allowing borrowers to get credit for payments they have made on ANY Federal Student Loan, even if the loan does not qualify for PSLF and requiring an automatic review of all applications for forgiveness that had previously been denied. But, action is needed to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity. ECOEA/OEA/NEA is here to help. NEA Member Benefits is hosting a number of ZOOM workshops to learn more about this as well as the NEA Student Debt Navigator, a powerful tool that can help find the most economically advantageous strategy for loan relief. No pre-registration is needed, just join using the link below on the day and time of your choice.
November 22 @ 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. EASTERN TIME
November 23 @ 7:00 – 8:00 A.M. EASTERN TIME and repeated @ 7:00 – 8:00 A.M. CENTRAL TIME.
November 30 @ 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. EASTERN TIME
Use this link for any (or all) days and times:
If prompted, the meeting ID is 843 3729 2622 and the passcode is 455648.
O.N.E.-Ohio's New Educators

O.N.E. Ambassador to ECOEA Kelli Repphun, Jackson Memorial EA, greeted early career educators on an October evening for a ONE Social at the Winking Lizard on Fulton Rd. Little did they know, the tornado that passed through Jackson Twp. that evening passed just across the lake from their gathering! Members from East Canton EA, Malvern EA, and Jackson Memorial EA enjoyed a chance to relax and network as guests of O.N.E.
Early career members can find support and networking opportunities through O.N.E. They have a great Facebook page for current events and opportunities at Ohio's New Educators. Check them out!

Read Advisory Council Rep Kathleen Purdy's November Newsbrief here. Kathleen is planning future events to involve OEA-Retired members. Retired members can watch their email for information once plans are set.
The OEA Advocacy & Organizing Institute is coming up in early February and the plan is to be in person in Columbus. More details will follow once everything is confirmed.
If you are interested in attending this conference, please register on the link with OEA so you can received the registration information once it is finalized.
ECOEA will be offering scholarships to attend too! Information will be sent to all members who have pre-registered with OEA as well as being posted on our website once the conference information is confirmed. Watch for more information in our December newsletter!
Per ECOEA Policy 3.6 Access to Financial Reports-the monthly Executive Committee financial report is available to any member upon request.

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