June 18, 2021
 Issue: 52  
Congratulations to Some Amazing Educators! 
A message from President Perry Fuchs 
Good afternoon Sisters and Brothers of the Plainedge Federation of Teachers. I hope this newsletter finds all of our members healthy and looking forward to some well-deserved rest as we approach summer vacation!! As with every year, this past June, we had another dedicated group of educators and PFT members who were granted tenure by the Plainedge BOE. Despite what many in society think, tenure is not a guaranteed job for life; rather, it is simply the right to due process before being disciplined or terminated from a teaching position. It is granted by the BOE upon recommendation from the Superintendent of Schools. Earning tenure as an educator in NYS is truly a rigorous process: Newly hired educators must go through one of the longest probationary periods (4 years) of any profession that grants tenure. The members featured below have gone above and beyond in their first few years here in Plainedge and have truly earned the distinction of being recognized for tenure. We wish them much luck and success as they begin the next phase of their careers. Keep up the good work! In solidarity. 
Nicole Bischoff 
Nicole is a teaching assistant who has been at Plainedge Middle School in a Life Skills classroom for the last four years. Prior to joining our Plainedge family, she spent time educating children at Kidz Therapy. 

Upon reflection, Nicole would like to thank her administration and colleagues for this wonderful achievement. As far as any plans for celebration are concerned, Nicole says she plans on keeping it simple, by celebrating over "dinner with my family." According to Nicole, "I truly enjoy working in the class I am in. We have a great rapport." 
Nicole Clark
Nicole is a speech-language teacher who has worked in all three elementary buildings as well as the middle school. Throughout her time so far in Plainedge, she has had the privilege of working with students in grades K through 8 across the special education continuum. Prior to Plainedge, Nicole worked in two non-public special education school settings. Her first job following graduate school was a pre-school for children with developmental disabilities. She then worked for two years at a private school for children with autism.
When questioned about the people she would like to thank, Nicole stated, "I would like to thank my administrators (principals and special ed. directors) who have always been approachable and supportive! Also my colleagues, especially my fellow speech teachers, for welcoming me into the department and guiding me whenever I needed. They have been a collaborative, fun group to work alongside these last 5 years."

Upon receiving tenure from the Plainedge BOE, Nicole plans to celebrate by having a nice dinner with her family. As Nicole reflects on this momentous occasion in her education career, she offered these words to her colleagues, "I feel very fortunate to work in Plainedge! Having worked in four of our five buildings, I have had the pleasure of working with many PFT members. I have always felt warmly welcomed and supported in each building. Working in a public school was my goal upon finishing my masters. I am glad that I did not stop until I reached my goal and am happy to have ultimately found a home in Plainedge!
Karen Corrente
Karen has been working as a teaching assistant at John H. West since her time began at Plainedge. She has had the privilege of teaching in a range of ICT classes as well as self-contained. Prior to Plainedge, Karen taught at a private school as a Kindergarten and 1st grade teacher. When asked if she would like to thank anyone for reaching this important career milestone, Karen responded, "I couldn't be where I am today without the support and continued encouragement from my sister, Chrissy. She has always been my number one cheerleader during my educational career."
In addition to her sister, Karen sincerely appreciates all the students who she has had the pleasure of working with. According to Karen, "Being able to watch their growth and resilience through challenges have molded me into theteacher I am today". As Karen reflects on her time in Plainedge so far, she would just like to share the following thought with her fellow PFT members from West, "I am privileged to celebrate this accomplishment of receiving tenure with my colleagues at my side."
Ashley Firmbach
Ashley has been a part of our Plainedge family for over 4 years working at Plainedge High School as a Teaching Assistant with the Special Education department.  Since graduating from college, Plainedge has been the only school Ashley has worked in. When asked if there is anyone that has helped her reach this point in her career, Ashley responded, "I would like to thank my friends and colleagues for their support and guidance during my time here that has allowed me to reach this milestone."
To celebrate this accomplishment, Ashley plans on continuing to work hard and remaining dedicated to her students. As Ashley states, "Plainedge has been a wonderful place to work, and I look forward to spending more time here."
Patricia Furusa
Patricia has been working in Plainedge Middle School as a Social Worker for the last four years.Prior to Plainedge, she completed leave replacement positions in Elmont, Mineola, and Hicksville. Patricia also worked part-time in Hicksville High School, and then was the District Social Worker for Syosset, before finding what she considers to be her home in Plainedge.
When asked about all the people that have helped her reach this milestone in her career, Patricia replied, "I would like to thank my incredible family that has supported me and cheered me on during this whole process. Being a social worker comes with its tough cases and having them in my corner helped me to approach each case as the best version of myself and assist our students through life's ups and downs." In addition to her family, Patrica would also like to thank the amazing team of administrators, support staff, and teachers that she works with at the Middle School. According to Patricia, "They have all been phenomenal colleagues and friends. Each day they help me to learn and grow as we work together to do our best for the students."
As far as celebrations are concerned, Patricia said that she is simply looking forward to spending some quality time with her husband and daughter over the summer. Beyond that, Patricia is simply "looking forward to continuing my career as a part of the PFT family."
Ryan Lane
Ryan is actually completing his 7th year in the Plainedge School District and receiving tenure for the second time. He came to our District right out of Molloy College and began his time here as a special education teacher with a certification in biology as well. After being granted tenure as a special education teacher, Ryan realized that his true passion lay in teaching science. When retirements in the science department led to a vacancy, Ryan applied and was happy to switch over to teaching biology in the high school. Ryan is now also certified in chemistry and has taught a huge variety of courses including AP biology, living environment (honors and regents), chemistry, oceanography, forensics, and astronomy. In addition to his tremendous course load, Ryan is also the director of the HS Musical.
Certainly a renaissance man, through all the different courses Ryan has taught, one of his favorites continues to be astronomy, because as Ryan says, "Astronomy is really the combination and study of all sciences." Being tenured in two different areas certainly has its advantages and disadvantages, as Ryan is never quite 100% sure what he is going to teach from year to year.
Although Ryan doesn't plan on doing anything special this time to celebrate his tenure appointment in science, he is very happy to continue his career here in Plainedge and is "happy to be part of the Plainedge family!"
Loretta Magnusson
Loretta has had the privilege of working in Plainedge Middle School for the past five years. Although she was originally hired as a TA, during her time here, she has also completed several leave replacements, including science and two separate reading positions. Over the past three years, Loretta has worked as a part-time teacher and part-time teaching assistant in various subjects.  Prior to Plainedge, Loretta was a teacher in the Hauppauge School District.
When asked if she would like to thank anyone for his or her help in achieving tenure, Loretta replied, "I would like to thank all of my friends and colleagues for their support and guidance.  I am excited and looking forward to the summer, as my daughter and future son-in-law are getting married, and we will have much to celebrate."
Peter Mancuso
Peter is currently one of our amazing and caring school psychologists who works throughout the District supporting our students. He has worked in almost every school building throughout the District, including JH West, Plainedge Middle School, Plainedge High School, as well as supporting students (K-8) at private schools that fall within the Plainedge District boundaries.
When questioned who he would like to thank for reaching this point in his career, Peter offered, "I'd like to thank my amazing Plainedge team of school psychologists and Plainedge SPED directors that I have worked with. Further, I would like to thank all of the Plainedge faculty and staff that I have had the opportunity to work with.  They are truly a group of dedicated professionals that make my job a little easier."
According to Peter, he will be celebrating his tenure appointment with some well-deserved and needed summer vacation!
Deana Puidokos
Deana is currently teaching 3rd grade at Schwarting Elementary School, although throughout her time in Plainedge, she has also taught 2nd grade, along with 1st and 3rd grade in an ICT setting at John H West Elementary School. Prior to coming to Plainedge, Deana worked 20 years in a different field. However, after the Plainedge teachers made such an impact on her own children, she knew that teaching was a profession she had to get into. Right after obtaining her teaching license, Deana knew that Plainedge was where she wanted to teach! She began her education career as a teaching assistant in Schwarting with both the 12:1:2 and ICT Special Education settings. The rest, as we say, is history! 

When asked if she would like to thank anyone for his or her help in achieving tenure, Deana responded, "I could not have reached this milestone without the positivity, encouragement and support from my colleagues, families, principals, assistant principals, administrators, Board of Education Members and the PFT. To know that I am part of a team that holds the best interests of our children first and foremost while constantly striving to make Plainedge the best it can be, is extremely rewarding and has fueled me to continue to learn and grow as a person as well as an educator. Plainedge is a very special place to live and learn. I am honored to have received tenure in a district that is second to none."

As Deana reflects on this important moment in her career, she would like to share that she is humbled by all the thoughtful gifts, flowers, balloons, texts, emails, surprise breakfast and kind words from her colleagues who are like family, her students and their families, and her own family. "They have all gone above and beyond in helping me celebrate this special accomplishment. I am truly thankful and grateful to be able to follow my passion and do what I love while working alongside such an amazing group of passionate, knowledgeable, collaborative and hard-working professionals." 

NYSUT Values
The New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) represents teachers from across New York. PFT is a proud member of NYSUT as are all of our members. What does NYSUT represent?
  • Good Jobs
  • Great Public Schools
  • Affordable, accessible and high-quality health care
  • Justice
  • and a Voice in your workplace
Home Loan Programs
Union Direct is a home loan company that works with both active and retired educational professionals. Some of the programs they provide include:
  • Reverse Mortgages for 62 Years and Older
  • 100% Financing/No Money Down for Veterans
  • Second Home/ Investment Property Financing
  • Home Renovation Financing
  • First Time Home Buyer Specialists
  • As Low as 3% Down Programs
  • Conventional & Jumbo Financing
  • Money Savings Refinance Options
Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook

Help build our email list...
Visit Plainedgeteachers.org to enter your information to receive official news from the Plainedge Federation of Teachers. After filling out the form on the website please check your email to confirm your subscription, thank you!

Can we email the union office through The Edge?
It is important to note that when we send out The Edge e-newsletter, responses can not be replied to so if you are having contractual issues, you still must contact your PFT Building Representative or call the union office at 516-992-7479.
The Edge 
works for Working People!   
The Edge email communication is an efficient way to get info on the issues important to you and your co-workers. Be sure to talk it up at the workplace and get ALL Plainedge Federation of Teachers members to sign up with their union representative.