Announcements 2014

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Good News! IRS Finally Rules!   

by Darlene Fetterhoff, Assistant Treasurer

January 10, 2014

On Jan. 10, I am happy to announce, the IRS granted the Portage County Retired Teachers Association 501c4 status. PCRTA is now tax exempt.

At this same time, the IRS granted 501c3 status to PCRTA Scholarship (PCRTAS). This is a new entity which is a “not for profit” public charity so contributions are tax deductible. Any business that involves scholarships including donations should be addressed to PCRTAS only.

A history of how this, at times, monumental task evolved: Alan Balog and I first submitted an application seeking 501c3 status for PCRTA.

Feedback from the IRS stated that we definitely were involved in influencing legislation that would benefit our members; thus, no 501c3 status could be obtained; however, the IRS also recognized that our scholarship program and other activities proved that PCRTA also had strong charitable endeavors. It was strongly recommended that PCRTA be split into two entities. Thus PCRTA Scholarship was born.

David Gynn, as treasurer, will handle all things that are not scholarship related including dues, luncheon checks, etc. He can be reached at 4210 Lancaster Lane, Kent, OH 44240  phone 330 678-8423 – email

When paying your dues, make your check to PCRTA, and, if you wish to donate to the scholarship fund at the same time,  please make a separate check out to PCRTAS.   You may send the scholarship check with your dues or luncheon check to Dave and he can pass it on to me.

However, if dues are not involved, a scholarship check  made out to PCRTA Scholarship should be mailed directly to Darlene Fetterhoff, Ass’t Treasurer, 2417 Duck Pond Drive, Ravenna, OH 44266.

Basically remember dues and luncheons funds still are PCRTA (501c4) checks, and all scholarship donations are PCRTA Scholarship(501c3) checks.

I cannot thank CPA Alan Balog enough for the hard work and many, many hours that he donated so unselfishly to our organization. Our task began in August of 2012 and the finale was in Jan. 2014. Both of us are so relieved that the outcome is so positive and hope that our scholarship program will grow even stronger now that it will be part of a public charity. Whenever you see Alan and have the opportunity, please thank him. Also, kudos to all who helped us along the way.


NEW MEMBERSHIP CHAIRPERSON   We are very happy to have Judy Hendershot take the lead with the Membership Committee. Judy is a National Board Certified Teacher who retired from Brimfield Elementary School, but has been teaching at The University of Akron. Judy is the author of “In Coal Country” and “Up the Tracks to Grandma’s,” two picture books for young readers. J

udy is the Musical Director, organist, and director of the Traditional Choir at St. Peters of the Fields Church in Rootstown. Judy is a member of the Brimfield Lions Club and belongs to several professional organizations. She and her husband, Richard, have three children, two grandchildren, and they are waiting for the arrival of a great granddaughter.





Pre-Retirement Workshop Thursday. April 17, 2014

This workshop is for anyone planning on retiring within the next few years.  Find out about STRS retirement, financial services, and legal information. For questions or reservations, please contact Richard or Mary Brocket or call 330-204 or 3151.



Jean Slicker, Director of ORTA District 6

Jean Slicker, Director of ORTA District 6

Jean Slicker, who is pictured on the left, has been elected to represent us as director of ORTA District XI.  She has served many positions in the Stark County Retired Teachers Association including president.

‘She was chair of the ORTA Informative and Protective Services Committee.  She currently serves on that committee as well as the ORTA Visions and Goals Committee. Jean taught second grade at Fairhope Elementary School in the Louisville school district and remained in the same classroom for 30 years.

Her goals are to visit all chapters in our district and to maintain open communications between the chapters and ORTA.  You may contact her at


 EJ Thomas In Akron

Mama Mia – Musical

Tuesday or Wednesday, May 6 , 2014

7:30 PM

Twenty-five PCRTA members will be attending Mamma Mia on the evening of May 6, 2014. The musical production will be presented at E. J. Thomas Hall in Akron.

The show is based on the music of ABBA, a popular Swedish pop/dance group.  It was first performed in London in April, 1999, with its U.S. premier in San Francisco in November, 2000.  Its songs and dances have been well received and are described as lively and entertaining.  Sandy and John Kerstetter organized the outing.

Tickets are still available.  With the 25% discount, each ticket cost $39.00  Parking with passes are $5.00.  Please contact John or Sandy Kersetter.


Save Money on your Driving Insurance!

Go to the article on the Informative and Protective Services page.


Pat Mazzer & DeeSmith

Pat Mazzer & DeeSmith

Pat Mazzer and Dee Smith conducted a wonderful Memorial Service during the March luncheon meeting. They honored the PCRTA/ORTA members who had passed away during 2013.  A few words were spoken about each deceased member, and a poem was read. Pictures were displayed on a table decorated with flowers.

The PCRTA would like to thank Pat and Dee for their work on this committee. Unfortunately they will not be able to continue to co-chair the Sunshine/Memorial Committee.

If you are interested in sending a card to a member who needs a get-well wish or a sympathy card, or a card of congratulations, and if you are willing to help us remember those who have passed away during the year, then we need you to chair or work on this committee.  Pat and Dee are willing to mentor a member into this position.  Please call Helena at 330-673-0577 if you can help.


Wednesday, June 4

9:30 — Travel with PCRTA from Portage County on a Lakefront Lines Charter Bus with plush, reclining seats and panoramic windows to Playhouse Square in Cleveland.   Pick-up sites will be determined by the location of the riders.

10:30 — Tour Playhouse Square in the Cleveland Theater District.  This is the second largest theater complex in the United State. (Lincoln Center in New York is larger.)  Constructed in the early 1920s and recently revived, the complex welcomes more than one million guests to more than 1,000 performances each year.

11:30 — Experience an introduction to Broadway in Cleveland’s 2014-15 series: Motown, Newsies, White Christmas, Pippin, Dirty Dancing, Kinky Boots, and Cinderella.  Playhouse Square will hold a drawing for two free tickets to a Playhouse Square event.

12:30 — Enjoy lunch on your own at Otto Moser’s Restaurant, which was founded by Otto F. Moser in 1893 and was frequented by many stage personalities over the years. One review said, “casual dining, good food, reasonably priced, close to theaters.”

1:30 — Board the bus and return to Portage County by 2:30.  The $30 fee is the cost of the bus divided by the number of people participating.  With a full bus, the excess fee will be returned.  If there are not enough reservations, the trip will be cancelled.

Make your reservations now.   Bring your friends.


Need a ride to the luncheon?
Call Evelyn Park at 330-274-2171 and she will see you get there!



4209 State Route 44, Rootstown, OH

Turn in next to the bank.




Jim Montaquila

Please join us at NEOMED for our July luncheon meeting at noon. The program will honor four of the six PCRTA scholarship winners. Due to conflicting schedules in July, Maddie Oslejsek andNatasha Flesher were already honored at the May meeting.

2014 PCRTA Scholarship Winners

Four of the six exceptional future teachers will be introduced at our July 17 luncheon. Seniors from Field, Kent Roosevelt, Garfield, Ravenna, Rootstown, Southeast, Streetsboro and Waterloo applied for one-year $1,500 scholarships. The selection committee considered their professional recommendations, essays, extracurricular activities, community service, leadership positions, test and grades. When you learn more about these outstanding young people, you will feel confident that your former classrooms will be in good hands.

Colin Abell, 2014 Scholarship Winner

Colin Abel comes from a family of educators. His dad is a teacher in Stow, and his grandparents retired from Kent City Schools. He will attend Kent State University and major in middle childhood education.

He hopes to coach lacrosse. He played lacrosse for Kent Roosevelt, where he also ran cross country. Colin participated in the school’s Expedition Academy, Career Tech Ambassador Program, leadership retreats, connection mentorship program, and morning Bible study.

His teachers acknowledge his positive demeanor, teamwork mentality, and leadership.



Natasha Fleser, 2014 Scholarship Winner

Field High School’s valedictorian, Natasha Flesher, will attend Bowling Green State University’s Honors College. She will double major in early childhood inclusive with a reading endorsement and middle childhood education with a focus in math.

She is the student representative to the Board of Education, president of National Honor Society, senior class treasurer, Spanish Club president and participated on Field’s winning Academic Challenge team.

Natasha contributes to her community through nature centers’ projects and historical societies’ internships.


Maddie Oslejsek, 2014 Scholarship WinnerThe recipient of the Gene Newton Scholarship is Streetsboro High school student Maddie Oslejsek. She plans to become a university professor of theater after earning her M.A. and Ph.D. at Lehigh. Her immediate plans are to attend Ohio Wesleyan majoring in social psychology and theatre. She has taken post-secondary classes at KSU and interned there. Maddie served as class president, held major roles in theatre productions, and is involved in many community service projects. Her English teacher calls her, “caring, compassionate, motivated and selfless.”



Kristen Reilh, 2014 Scholarship Winner

Kristen Reihl from Southeast High School will double major in French language and Education at the University of Mount Union where she has earned the Founders Scholarship. Believing that education is a privilege and should not be squandered, she joined many clubs to make a difference. Kristen is a class officer, tutors math students, cheerleads, and was chosen as a link crew leader to help freshmen transition to high school. Her counselor calls her a shining star; and her principal appreciates her intelligence, dedication, and participation.

Whitney Miller, 2014 Scholarship Winner

The principal of James S. Garfield believes Whitney Miller will work hard to become an inspirational teacher. Her pep club adviser states that Whitney displays “a high degree of integrity, responsibility and ambition.”

She participates in a newly formed superintendent’s student advisory group, serves as class president and captain of varsity softball, and is active in a number of community service activities.

She mentors freshmen, is active in many clubs and activities, and is always the “go to student” when something needs to be done.




Ellen Shipley, 2014 Scholarship winner

Ellen Shipley knew she wanted to become a teacher when she saw the love her mom hadfor education. Karin Shipley taught 25 years in Kent City Schools, had to retire due to her ALS diagnosis, and was an active PCRTA member.

Ellen excelled in the Teaching Professions program at Kent Roosevelt High School and served as an intern at Davey Elementary School. She was the captain of her field hockey team and a member of National Honor Society.

Her English teacher praises her “ability to think outside the box and generate creative ideas.” Her mentor teacher says, “Ellen’s patient, caring manner endears her to students immediately.”

Thanks to our Scholarship Committee Members for selecting the six $1,500.00 scholarships recipients.


Highlight’s of Ron Snowberger’s “China” Presentation

May 15. 2014

Ron Snowberger, Past President and ORTA Repreesentative

PCRTA member, Ron Snowberger, presented his power point program about China since he had been on the trip for educators. This trip costs $4500.  He stayed in a five star hotel with five others on the trip for the three days in Beijing. He attended a traditional dumpling dinner, National Performing Arts, an inner city park which honored the French Revolution that had ruins from 1750.  The group went to the Great Wall of China, which had been built to prevent invading forces. They toured a jade factory and the Olympic facilities.

When Ron went to the English–speaking school, Rise Elementary, he taught a lesson to a class of fifteen enthusiastic fourth graders.

He walked in Tiananmen Square which includes Chairman Mao Royal Hall and the peace monument, and visited the Forbidden City including the Summer Place and the Temple of Heaven.

While in Shanghai, the Paris of the East, he took a picture of a Chinese Dragon Boat which cost $20,000.00 for half a day.

Among Ron’s many other pictures he showed an herbal pharmacy, a Tea Village with terraced hills and jasmine tea, a silk factory, the English speaking school while he was presenting his lesson, pictures of high school students who were dressed in athletic wear, the Great Wall of China, and many other interesting scenes.

The Portage County Retired Teachers’ Association Hosted a Pre-Retirement Workshop:


Attorney Jon Flynn

Ray Kline, Investment Advisor On April 17 the Portage County Retired Teachers PCRTA sponsored a Pre-Retirement Workshop at the Western Reserve Public Media site for Portage County educators who are thinking of retiring in the next few years.

Ray Kline, Investment Advisor

John Flynn, prominent Kent attorney, explained the value and importance of living wills, power of attorney, trusts, and estate planning. Investment counselorRay Kline talked to the group about strategies for investing their money.

Judy Hendershot

STRS representative John Buch gave a clear and comprehensive explanation of the regulations and requirements of the State’s Retirement System. Attendees were engaged, asked numerous questions and

John Busch from Ohio State Reitrement System

stayed afterward to speak further to the presenters, especiallyJohn Buch.

PCRTA President Helena ParryVice-President Georgia Darrah andMembership Chairman Judith Hendershot enlightened the audience on the activities and vital function of their local organization, as well as ORTA in protecting the interests of retired educators in our area, thus the importance of joining even prior to retiring.

The participants were treated to pizza and cookies to top off the evening. Pre-Retirement Workshop Co-Chairs Mary Ann and Richard Brockett were ably assisted byBarb CribbsDarlene FetterhoffPat and Dave GynnMaria Mastromatteo, and Edith Scott.

Retirement Workshop Attendees

Submitted by Mary Ann Brockett

Richard & Mary Ann Brockett



Thanks to Richard and Mary Ann Brocket, pictured on the right, for chairing the PCRTA Pre-Retirement Workshop Committee. Thanks to others who were involved in the success of this workshop.

 Robinson Memorial Schoiarship Judges


PCRTA Judges for Robinson Memorial Hospital

We are pleased that Robinson Memorial Hospital Foundation asked members of PCRTA to judge their scholarships given to family members of employees. The judges were: left to right, Pat Gynn,Dave GynnHelena ParryJudy Hendershot, and Jim Montaquila.

A letter of gratitude was written by Sandra Haskel, Acting Robinson Memorial Foundation Director, to the association with hopes that our help to select scholarship winners would be available in the future.

 PCRTA Proctors

Pictures below are the PCRTA Proctors who work hard to provide the money given by NEOMED for our scholarship fund. Thanks to Edith Scott for leading the pack. This photo was taken on May 15, 2014 after the morning reception given to our proctors by NEOMED. The program speaker included remarks bySuzanne Hriko, Testing Coordinator; Richard Kasmer, Associate Dean, College of Pharmacy; Penny Smith Executive Director, Office of Academic Services; and Dave Gynn PCRTA Treasurer. The main speaker, Mike Kerrigan, Community Relations and Special Initiative Manager at NEOMED explained the new and existing programs available at NEOMED.

2014 PCRTA Proctors at NEOMED

2014 PCRTA Proctors at NEOMED

NEOMED is in the final stages of a $166 million dollar expansion which includes off on campus housing for students, a research and graduate education building, an integrated fitness and wellness center which also includes physical therapy and rehabilitation.

The NEOMED Education and Wellness (NEW) Center will have a primary care area, a pharmacy, 350-seat lecture hall, conference center, small meeting spaces, garden café, coffee bar and student lounge.

An athletic complex with tennis and basketball courts will be added where the former ODOT facility stands today. Medical offices and some small retails will also be available.

You can contact Mike Kerrigan at or 330-325-6264 for further information.

Edith Scott

June-July 2013 Join us at NEOMED!

You, too, could join the ranks of these proctors, help work with the next generation of doctors and pharmacists and help earn money for PCRTA’s Scholarship Fund. You do not need to be a teacher in order to proctor, BUT you do need to attend an orientation and training session before you start proctoring. The next session will be August 14 at 10:00 am at NEOMED. Call Edith Scott at 330-297-1812 for more information or to sign up for the orientation session.

News about a Former Scholarship Recipient and Kay Wise

Katelyn Alesci and Kay Wise

For over thirty years, I have participated in the Virginia Hamilton Conference at Kent State University. Last fall, as part of Kent State’s Mentor/Mentee program, the mentee assigned to me was Katelyn Alesci. Katelyn is a former PCRTA scholarship recipient. Katelyn and I attended the Virginia Hamilton Conference together. We sat in the back of the ballroom where we could quickly get in line for autographing. After hearing the speaker, Christopher Paul Curtis, Katelyn had her picture taken with him.


Scholarships Given in Loving Memory of PCRTA Members

One way to express honor to a deceased person is through contributions to the PCRTA Future Teacher Scholarship Fund.  The Gene Newton Scholarship was created as a memorial to a former PCRTA president by his friends and colleagues.  Because Gene taught in Streetsboro, the winner of the scholarship is a Streetsboro student.  The interest from a significant donation from Mary and Wendell Stewart has added to the scholarship fund for several years.  Mary was a long-time Portage County teacher.

During the past year we lost several beloved members.  Contributions were made to the scholarship fund to honor Kenneth Cardinal, former superintendent of Kent City Schools;Barbara Geisy, who volunteered many hours proctoring students at NEOMED; and HildaRohlf, a long-term member of the PCRTA Executive Board.  Other donations are made to the scholarship fund by members when they renew their memberships, pay for luncheons, and support this important program through proctoring at NEOMED.


Scholarship Donations Are Needed


A long-term goal of PCRTA was reached recently when PCRTA Scholarship received a 501(c)3 designation from the IRS.  This permits donors to the fund to claim their contributions when they file income tax returns.

If you contribute an amount equal to a scholarship (currently $1,500), it will be presented in your name or the name of someone you name.  You may request that the scholarship be presented to a student from your school or someone who plans to major in your area of teaching.

You will receive a year-end statement for your taxes for any amount that you contribute.

If you contribute a larger amount, the donation will be invested and a scholarship will be presented in your name when the interest equals a scholarship amount.

Plan ahead.  Let your family know of your desire to leave an amount from your estate to the scholarship fund.  Write your request into your will.


Consider naming PCRTA as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy.Any amount of contribution at any time will help this fund to grow. It would be nice to grow this fund to give even more substantial scholarships to future teachers


Changes to Ohio Health Care


The STRS Board has approved changes to the Ohio Health Care Program for 2015 in May of this year.  The subsidy multiplier will be reduced by 0.1% down to 2.2% per year of service.-This is a continuation of the yearly reduction that began in 2012.  Other changes in in-network and out- of-network costs for Medical Mutual and Aetna Medicare plans will be listed in the next ORTA Quarterly.  Express Scripts will increase the brand name deductible from $150 up to $200. Express Scripts will also increase the maximum annual expense per enrollee from $4550 up to $4700 to match the expected 2015 Medicare Part D maximum out-of-pocket limit.


Congratulations to Virginia Mills


Virgina Mills turned 100 on May 19, 2014. Virginia retired from the Ravenna School System is 1976 after teaching for twenty-eight years. She is an active member of PCRTA and ORTA. Frank, her husband for 71 years, and she traveled to fifty states, 12 Provinces in Canada, and 7 European countries. They spent many winters in Fr. Myers, Florida. She remains active in the First United Methodist Church Choir, and attends great-grandchildren’s baseball games, and other activities with her family.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, VIRGNIA!


Congratulations to Saroj Sutaria


Saroj Sutaria at Coleman Banquet

Saroj Sutaria was recently honored at the Coleman Foundation banquet held for its volunteers.

Saroj was given an outstanding achievement award for her volunteer work at the administration office.



PCRTA members were treated to a tour of Playhouse Square in Cleveland recently. We toured several theaters, got a glimpse of the history of the area and enjoyed a preview of the upcoming events.  All PCRTA members can participate in the Corporate Exclusive online ticketing program and receive show tickets at a special discount. Here’s how:

  1. Log on to
  2. Enter the promo code – PHS.
  3. Buy your tickets.
  4. Enjoy the shows.

For more information, call 216-771-8403.

Playhouse Square Theater Touring Group


Sharon Hunter to Speak at The September 18, 2014, PCRTA Luncheon At Noon at the New Neomed Wellness Center, 2nd Floor

Sharon Hunter, Author

Sharon Hunter, Author

Sharon will be speaking to us about how she   came to write her first book.   Sharon R. Hunter, independently published author of The Rancher’s Wife and Love On the Ranch, first writing, entered at the Y-City Writers of Zanesville, Ohio, was not romance, but an inspirational writing thanks to her special needs daughter, Lauren.

A romance reader at heart, Sharon took up writing in her late forties finally fulfilling her life-long dream.  Encouraged by her husband, Jeff, and a handful of special girlfriends, she’s developing into an inspiring romance, paranormal romance and erotic romance writer.

Most of her writings revolve around her dreams which she enjoys twisting and turning into a tangled web for a passionate creative love affair.

Residing in the busy little town of Streetsboro, Ohio, Sharon is at home with her husband Jeff, daughter Lauren, son Beau and their furry feline children. Writing for Sharon is no longer a hobby; it is a budding career.

Community Service Project For September –  Gift Cards 

Judy Morgan has asked the PCRTA membership to donate gift cards of various types for our September luncheon community service project. The gift cards will be donated to Big Brothers and Sisters of Portage County to purchases items for  children and youth who are in need.

Judy would like to thank all of you who donated school supplies for the July luncheon community service project. These school supplies were donated to the Center of Hope, where they will be distributed to children of the community who are in need of them.  Also, please remember to turn in your volunteer hours to Judy at or call her at  330-653-8174.


Future trips:

PCRTA CUYAHOGA VALLEY SCENIC RAILROAD TRIP: Friends Welcome! Thursday, October 16, 2014:  Time: 9:15 AM-1:30 PM

Meet bus at 9:15 AM at University Plaza, Kent, South Water St, for check-in.  Bus will leave for the Akron Northside Station at 9:30 AM.

The Scenic Railroad excursion will take us through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  The trip will be narrated as we travel through the beautiful park this fall to the Rockside Station in Independence where we will meet the bus to take us back to Kent by 1:30.  Bring snacks or lunch to enjoy as you ride.

Cost: $30.00 per person

Click here to download Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Registration Form



Join us for a tour of the Harry London/Fannie May Candy Factory in North Canton with time to sample and buy treats for yourself and gifts for the holidays. Friends are welcome!

Meet bus at University Plaza, South Water Street, Kent, at 9:00 AM. We will leave the plaza at 9:15 AM for 10:00 AM tour and return to Plaza at 12 noon.
Cost: $25.00

Click here to download PCRTA Candy Factory Tour Registration Form


Review of Last Month’s Program: Presentation of Scholarship Winners

Four of the six winners were able to attend and share their views:

Jim Montaquila asked the recipients to come forward to share some of their thoughts and experiences.

The questions for the interview came from quotes in a book written by a Hall of Fame baseball great, Yogi Berra, who was a NY Yankee catcher, fifteen-time All Star and manager of both the Yankees and the New York Mets. Yogi was also a gunner’s mate in World War II. Following are the quotes and responses by four of the scholarship recipients.

Every organization needs a team player.

Ellen, on the field hockey team as well as captain – to have fun and build relationships; Kristen, cheerleader – figure out what was important; Whitney, freshman varsity team – take young ones under your wing and point them in the right direction; Colin, lacrosse senior captain – wanted to be a cool senior, but needed to be lifting people up.

Losing is a learning experience.

Ellen lost her mother and loved life and education; Kristen failed a test, worked harder and got where she couldn’t imagine; Colin, lost a lot, but hasn’t gone through hard times.

Every young person should have a mentor.

Colin has a sense of humor and his friend, Nathan, taught him to be a serious, humble leader and to cheer up others. Whitney said it was her 8th grade teacher and great softball coach who was her best mentor. She plans to be a middle level physical-education and science teacher.

Anything can happen if you play hard to the end.

Ellen said math was difficult and now it will be her major; Kristen is able to follow her teacher’s example; Colin had to get a tutor for 8th grade Spanish. Whitney was going to school and working with help from her teacher.

The game ain’t over till it’s over.

Ellen said not giving up on a student or a lesson; Colin said perseverance; Whitney said to use body language and show you want to help; Kristen said in sports, others tried to hurt us, but you need to encourage a student who really tries.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it. Make a firm decision and don’t second guess it.

Whitney said her college visits were for physical therapy, but athletics is better pay; Kristen wanted to be a teacher, then looked at other options and teaching won.

If you don’t know where you’re going , you might end up somewhere else.

Ellen said she wants to impact her students; Colin said he will be hanging out with smelly teenagers.

Jim Montaquila said, “In reference to what Colin said, as a school administrator, I went home and washed off the teenager in me.”

Jim thanked everyone for their participation.


PCRTA Members Served Refreshments at the GED Graduation at Maplewood Program
PCRTA Members volunteers serving at GED Graduation

PCRTA Members volunteers serving at GED Graduation

Thanks to those who donated and served at this event.  This is an annual community service project of PCRTA.

            PCRTA Member Virginia Mills Received A Centenarian                                Award Certificate From ORTA.  
Virginia Mills, 100 Years Old

Virginia Mills, 100 Years Old

Virginia Mills, who taught at Ravenna City Schools for many years, was presented a Certificate from ORTA. As she was standing in her home with PCRTA President, Helena Parry, Virginia was very delighted to have this honor.  On the day of the presentation, Virginia was also visited by Edith Scott, Pat Gynn and her neighbor, Dorothy Jones.

Virginia reminisced about her teaching days and shared a scrapbook of her family life which was compiled by her daughter.


A Letter To Congressman Tim Ryan


Thank you, as my Representative, for your continuing support of maintaining a strong Social Security system for older Americans.

There has been talk about requiring mandatory coverage of all employees into the Social Security system.  As a retiree in the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio, I urge you to oppose any legislation which would require mandatory Social Security coverage. 

Our system is effective, and our retirees depend on our defined benefits pension and adequate and affordable health care. Mandating Social Security for all employees would ruin our STRS system, as well as the other retirement systems in Ohio and throughout the country. The potential benefit to the SS system by adding employees who are now covered under private plans would be minimal.  The cost to the employees in our system would be devastating.

I look forward to your pledge to oppose legislation which would require mandatory Social Security coverage. Dave Gynn 4210 Lancaster Ln.,  Brimfield Township.


The November Luncheon is on the 20th at noon.

Mike Kerrigan

Mike Kerrigan

Our speaker is Mike Kerrigan, who first joined the staff of the President’s Office of Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) in October 2011 and currently serves as Community Relations & Special Initiatives Manager.

In this role, Mike’s primary function is to develop, implement, manage and evaluate all aspects of the University’s community relations activities in support of NEOMED’s mission and strategic plan.  In doing so, Mike provides professional support for community outreach programs across all university colleges and departments and represents the university’s interests as liaison to committees, organizations and community groups both within and outside NEOMED.  Mike’s work has been instrumental in creating synergistic partnerships with business, government and non-profit organizations at the regional, county and local level–further strengthening NEOMED’s town-gown relationship, as well as its stature as a regional economic engine.

Furthermore, Mike directs the implementation of university-wide special initiatives.  Of note, Mike is one of the founding (and still active) board members of Bio-Med Science Academy STEM School, the first rural STEM school in Ohio and the first STEM high school on a medical university campus in the nation.

In the community, Mike serves as the vice president of the Rootstown Area Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the board of the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce and the Medina Hospital Community Advisory Board.

Prior to NEOMED, Mike served in both the Capitol Hill and Ohio district offices for a former member of Congress and was previously federal relations associate for The Ohio State University’s Washington, D.C. office.  Mike holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science: public policy focus from The George Washington University and is in the process of obtaining a Master of Public Administration degree from Kent State University. Mike will be speaking about the new programs at NEOMED.


items  to bring along to our luncheon for NOVEMBER are items for seniors, such as  grocery gift cards, bath and body products, personal paper goods, stamps, envelopes, socks, towels, washcloths, warm adult gloves, scarves, detergent, dish soap, cleaning products, playing cards or other  board games, puzzles  and other things that seniors might enjoy. There is no need to wrap your donations.


Portage County Retired Teachers Association Nominations Report
November. 2014, by Jan Fencl

Jan Fencil


Elections for president, corresponding secretary and assistant treasurer occur in even-numbered years for PCRTA. Elections take place in November. Officers take office on January 1, 2015. They are eligible for re-election.


Our nominations for 2015 include:

Helena Parry, President and Newsletter Editor

Helena Parry,
President and Newsletter Editor

Darlene Fetterhoff

Darlene Fetterhoff, Assistant Treasurer

Barb Cribs, Corresponding Secretary

Barb Cribs, Corresponding Secretary










Giving Dolls 10-01-14

Georgia Darrah volunteers with the “Giving Dolls” program of Wadsworth, Ohio. She

Judy, Georgia, and Jan, with dolls

Judy, Georgia, and Jan, with dolls

works with a chapter in Hudson, Ohio.  They makecloth dolls with embroidered faces which they distribute to children who are in a stressful situation whether it be death, illness, separation of a family member or other tragedies.

A big thank you to our members who continue to donate items to the “Giving Dolls.”  Cotton fabric, lace and ribbons are always needed to make clothes for the dolls.  Crocheted or knitted blankets 24×24 inches are also appreciated.  Items can be brought to any of our luncheons and given to Georgia Darrah.  For more information call Georgia at 330-626-2135.



Join us for a tour of the Harry London/Fannie May Candy Factory in North Canton with time to sample and buy treats for yourself and gifts for the holidays. Friends are welcome!   There are no costs for the candy factory tour.  Please call John or Sany Kerstetter at 330-673- 129 if you plan to attend.

Meet for car pooling at University Plaza, South Water Street, Kent, at 9:00 AM. We will leave the plaza at 9:15 AM for 10:00 AM tour and return to Plaza at 12 noon.  We may eat lunch at China City at the University Plaza.

The December Luncheon is onthe 11th at noon.

The program feature is the Falcon Academy Choir:

Falcon Academy Choir

The Falcon Academy of Creative Arts opened in August 2010 as an arts integrated school. Since then the choir has been involved in many activities including: The Great American Songbook Project, Smash – Make a Musical (through iTheatrics and NBC), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (at the Weathervane Playhouse), a Pre-Christmas Carol performance at the Cleveland Playhouse, Choir Extravaganza at the Akron Civic Theatre, in addition to numerous community performances.

We have produced the following musicals: School House Rock, Jr.; Seussical, Jr.; Annie, Jr. ; Wizard of Oz Young Performers edition; and this year Willy Wonka, Jr. This is the first year we have added an 8th grade to our school. As a result, this year we have had the opportunity to split into a 4th and 5th grade introductory choir and have a 6th, 7th and 8th grade joint choir that each meet twice a week. It is with great pleasure that we were invited to sing for the Portage County Retired Teachers at the Decembermeeting.



Please bring children’s gloves, hats and mittens to the meeting.

Western Reserve Community Band Christmas Concert

Sunday, December 14, 4:00

PCRTA members are invited to the concert at the 1st Congregational Church in Hudson. Those who wish may eat at Zepps’s after the concert.


Portage County Retired Teachers Association Elects New Officers

November 20, 2014

Elections for president, corresponding secretary and assistant treasurer occur in even-numbered years for PCRTA.  Officers take office on January 1, 2015. They are eligible for re-election.

Our elected officers for 2015 include:


Darlene Fetterhoff

Darlene Fetterhoff, Asst. Treasurer

Helena Parry, President and Newsletter Editor

Helena Parry,
President and Newsletter Editor

Barb Cribs, Corresponding Secretary

Barb Cribs, Corresponding Secretary


 December 19th 2014 Christmas Meeting


Ravenna Elks Club


The PCRTA Luncheon will be at The Ravenna Elks Club,  776 N. Freedom St., Ravenna, Ohio – Cost is now $14.00



Frank & Michal Barrett

PCRTA will kick off our 2015 luncheons with guest speaker. Frank Barrett.  Frank is an educator who graduated from Bethany College in West Virginia with a BA in History.  As a small child he began to develop a love for history as his father exposed and shared all aspects of history with him, especially the Civil War.

More than 40 years later, Frank is still learning and studying about the Civil War.  Also, he has always been intrigued by his own Appalachian background, pursuing his interest in that area, as well as learning more about the history of the Quakers.

An Alliance resident, Frank is an active member of many historical organizations. Along with sharing his knowledge of the Underground Railroad, he will present additional history about the Quakers.

Frank’s wife, Michal, who is also an educator, will accompany him and help with the presentation.  To find out exactly how history brought them together, you will want to mark your calendar to attend our first meeting of the year