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     Hugh M. Spoljaric, President

              Kingston Teachers’ Federation


“Fighting The Good Fight”

     As is almost always the rule, the local mouthpieces deciphered the school budget picture for the public. It’s always ‘those teachers’ and ‘their salary and benefits’ that is the root of the budget problem. The state could fund education 100% and the same picture would be painted. Corporate management types, including most media, despise labor and we have few advocates. What we do have is knowledge, integrity, and each other. We are always stronger together than we are apart. Our work is education and what’s good for children and all people is good for us. Our work continues.

     In Albany, as a member of the NYSUT Committee of 100, I met with our area Senators and Assemblymen and thanked them for their support in the veto override of the Governor’s cuts in education. It was all of us in Albany on May 3 that made it happen. KTF members and spouses, along with Board members Maureen Bowers and Chris Farrell, marched for education and it succeeded. Then, it was on to the new concerns.

     There is a bill to make permanent the protections that prohibit school districts from diminishing the level of health insurance coverage or their contribution toward its cost for retirees, unless there is a corresponding cut for in-service employees. Last week, the Governor signed the temporary Health Insurance Moratorium extender to do the same thing. It remains in effect until May 15, 2004.

     There are bills for a school safety initiative that includes mandatory suspensions for repeatedly disruptive students, authorization of involuntary transfers as a disciplinary option, and a new penal classification for “aggravated harassment of a teacher.”

     We need a moratorium on charter schools until the state solves its public education funding crisis. The public funds are needed in the public schools.

     There is a bill to exclude core expenses, those expenses beyond local control, from the contingency budget cap. There is proposed legislation that recognizes the many fragile children in schools and mandates a Registered Nurse in every school building.

     This is what the KTF and NYSUT are all about. It’s educational issues and its working together and sticking together to make education better. Be proud to be a teacher!

     And that’s the Bottom Line.



    The voters passed the Kingston Schools budget by a 2 to 1 margin on June 3 with nearly 6,000 residents going to the polls. The new spending plan increases the budget just over 6% and creates a tax levy of 11.6%. The Kingston Schools faced the prospects of an austerity budget for the second year in a row. The district had been looking at a tax levy of 14.9% before the state restored $3.1 million. Of that money, only $1.9 was dedicated to the tax levy. It was never stated what the tax levy would have been if the entire $3.1 million had been used or what the exact difference was between the new budget levy and the amount needed under austerity.

     Under a second consecutive year of austerity, 60 teachers, 31 ESP, 3 CSEA and 7 administrative positions would have been eliminated. All extra-curricular activities would be eliminated and there would be no new textbook purchases.

     KTF President Hugh Spoljaric contacted all reps and asked them to approach their Principal about calling a special 10-minute meeting on Monday, June 2. In a letter to the members, Spoljaric stated that it was important for members and their families to support the budget. He said, “If the budget passes, it will be because of us. If it goes down, it will not be because of our lack of effort.”

     There is at least $500,000 of restored money that has not been earmarked. Spoljaric stated, “Since we have lost so many positions and the voters have approved the budget, that money should be dedicated to the restoration of positions.”

     The KTF Phone Banks, under the guidance of Sandy Breitenberger and the work of Debbie Wilcox, made over 1500 calls to NYSUT members who live in the Kingston district. Ken Fried networked with parents and students on behalf of the KTF. Other KTF members worked through their respective groups and departments to get the word out. Everyone did a superb job! Thanks!

     In the school board elections, incumbents Chris Farrell and Zelma Harrison and newcomer David Fletcher were elected to three-year terms. George Farrell was defeated in his re-election bid.



     Emil ‘Butch’ Zullo, who retired in 2000, passed away on May 29, 2003. He had been battling multiple myeloma for the past two years and had made steady progress after two stem cell transplants. One transplant was for his blood and the cancer had gone into remission. The second was a bone marrow transplant where his son, Todd, had been a highly compatible match. His passing stunned many of his friends and colleagues.

     During his 30 years in the Kingston Schools, he developed the nationally recognized law-related education program, Project CAPABLE. Butch was nationally respected as a leader in the field of law-related education. Chief Judge Judith Kaye of the New York State Court of Appeals appointed him as the only civilian member of the NYS Jury Project. She said, “Emil recognized the importance of law-related education and was doing it long before anyone else. He was a pioneer.” Both the NYS and the National Council on the Social Studies cited project CAPABLE as a ‘Program of Distinction’ in 1997. Essentially, the award said that the program was the best Social Studies program in the United States. State Mock Trial Championships and the formation of the Jefferson Committee at KHS were of particular significance to him as they expressed his belief that citizenship is the basis of our republic. He once said that all that was necessary for democracy to fail was for “good men to do nothing.” Fellow teachers always said that he was ‘the voice of reason’ in the settlement of concerns. KTF President Stu Spoljaric was mentored by Butch and reflected that, “Butch followed his dreams and built a legacy emblematic of the devoted teacher that he was.”

     Butch served as a KTF Building Rep for many years and was twice a member of the negotiating team. In 1996, NYSUT presented him with their Community Service Award for his work with youth in the community. The Emil Zullo Courtroom at KHS was dedicated on January 30, 2003.

     In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to The Emil F. Zullo Law Related Education Scholarship Fund, PO Box 4461, Kingston, NY 12402. Additionally, the Hurley Historical Society is planning on planting a tree in their Memory Garden. Donations to the fund can be made to Hurley Heritage Society, attn. Joan Castka, Hurley, New York  12443.


     The tenth annual APPLE GALA, honoring retirees, students, parents, and community members, will be held on Wednesday, June 18, at Wiltwyck Golf Club. Gala tickets and KTF Raffle tickets are available from Building Reps.

     Those who retired last summer will be honored this year along with new retirees. The list from last year includes Michael Goodman, Steve Greenberg, Betty Hendrickson, Laura Hilbert, Jim Marcinkowski, Kathleen Mayer, Fred McCoy, and Bob Moore.

     New teacher retirees are Mary Bailey, Sandy Breitenberger, Ron Bullis, Betty Chin, Joan Ciempa, Carol Decker, Al Gluc, Nancy Hamilton, George Hucker, Bill Leahy, Bernice Leonard, RoseMarie Maresca, Rosemary Mitchell, Rotena Nippert, Mary Parker, Bill Stamm, and Sharon Van Bramer.

     The complete ESP list will be available soon. Helen Berryann retired last summer.

     The administrative retirees are Doug Getman and KHS Assistant Principal Donna Elberg.

     This year’s Community Honorees are Al and Dorothy Sorbello from the Wooden Wheels Roller Rink, Chief City Court Judge Edward T. Feeney, former Kingston Assistant Superintendent Ken Hyatt, and Ward Todd of WKNY.



     The biennial KTF elections were held on May 29. The only contested position was for ESP Chapter President where incumbent Joan White polled 37 votes to win over challenger James Habernig who polled 24 votes. New officers include Lauri Naccarato as 1st Vice President replacing Vince Voerg. Vince ran as an At-Large delegate after 12 years as the VP. Nancy Chando becomes the new Secretary replacing Lauri. Jen O’Brien, who was an At-Large rep, now is a KHS rep replacing the retired Sandy Breitenberger. The only unfilled position was the Building Rep at JFK where a teacher is needed to replace Nancy. 

     All positions are for two-year terms.

                      RELAY FOR LIFE

     The rained out Relay For Life has been rescheduled for Saturday, June 14, beginning at 12 noon to 12 midnight at Dietz Stadium. KTF members collected over $6,000 for this year’s event.  Any additional donations or luminaria may be sent to Suzanne Jordan at JWB.  See you there.




     The NYSUT Education and Learning Trust, in cooperation with Ulster County Community College, will hold an informal informational meeting on Wednesday, June 11, 4-6 pm in Vanderlyn Hall on the UCCC campus. The purpose of the meeting will be to inform all para-professionals and teaching assistants about an 18 hour course leading to meeting state certification mandates that come into effect in 2003-04 for those working in Title I schools. Refreshments will be served. Contact your ESP rep for more information.



     Eric Koch, (KHS-Math) has been named as the WalMart Regional Teacher of the Year.

  The Mid-Hudson Law Institute will be held at Bard College, June 30-July 3. The four-day event is co-sponsored by the Mid-Hudson Teachers’ Center and participants will be eligible for 20 seat hours of in-service credit. Applications are due now. Contact Bob Donaldson at Rhinebeck High School at 876-7305.

   Kathleen Fancher, a two-time Fulbright scholar, has made it a third time and will spend six-weeks this summer as a recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to New Zealand.  She will be studying Polynesian mythology and the culture of the Maoris.

     KTF President Hugh Spoljaric has been awarded two scholarships for the study of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment. He will be at Utah State University for a week where the institute includes a study of international law. Later, he will attend a weeklong institute at the University of Missouri. Only 30 applicants were selected nationwide for each institute.



Dear Editor,

    I wanted to thank and acknowledge KTF for all you did to make Saturday’s rally possible for the Kingston School District and community. The bus, the lunch, and the camaraderie were very much appreciated. Thank you for your generosity, and your continued commitment to our children and their education.


 Maureen Bowers 




Thank You !!!

To All Members of the Kingston City Schools

As many of you know, my son, Greg Waltman, was diagnosed with leukemia in March 2001.  Greg needed to undergo a bone marrow transplant.  Greg received that transplant one year ago and that transplant cured Greg of his leukemia.  Several weeks ago we were able to celebrate Greg’s eighteenth birthday.


All during the medical treatments, Greg spoke of his determination to return to “his” high school and to graduate with “his” calss on time.  I, being his mother, watched in awe as Greg battled to keep this promise.  With the help of so many, Greg’s promise will be a reality this June.


We would like to thank all of you, with all our hearts, for all your help.  Many of you donated ‘sick days’ so I could remain with Greg during those lengthy hospital stays.  Those days were true gifts of life.  We thank you for your prayers, well wishes, generous donations, and of course, for all of your acts of kindness. All of you have helped us remain strong and focused.


All of your efforts helped save Greg’s life.  He and I know how truly fortunate we are to be members of the

community called Kingston City Schools!!


With All Our Thanks,

Teresa and Greg Waltman





     The Trustees of the Kingston Trust Fund have a fiduciary responsibility to the Trust’s health plan. As a result of changes in the health care industry and impacts on the plan, the following amendments and modifications have been adopted and are effective July 1, 2003.

ACCIDENTS: PPO=100% of the first $500, then 90% (other than ER)

AMBULATORY/SURGICAL CENTER/OUTPATIENT HOSPITAL: PPO=90%, 90% OOA, 80% NPPO. Includes all services, supplies, and Rx related to an ambulatory surgical center or outpatient hospital.

ER: PPO/OOA/NPPO= 100% after $50 co-pay. X-Ray and Lab billed separately subject to separate applicable co-pays.

HOSPITAL ADMISSION: PPO/OOA=$100 co-pay per admission, NPPO=$250 co-pay. Co-pay waived for Kingston Hospital. All: Limit: $300/yr.

HOSPITAL SUPPLIES: PPO/OOA=90%, NPPO=80%. Includes all hospital services, supplies, and Rx, other than room and board, including ambulatory centers.


OTHER THERAPIES: PPO=100%, OOA=90%, NPPO=80%, after $15 co-pay for outpatient therapies.

PHYSICAL THERAPY (Inpatient): PPO=100%, OOA=90%, NPPO=80%, Max. 30 visits/yr. and one/day.

PHYSICAL THERAPY(Outpatient): PPO=100%, OOA=90%, NPPO=80% after $15 co-pay. Max. 50 visits /yr. and one/day.

PHYSICIAN OFFICE VISIT (POV): PPO=100%, OOA=100%, NPPO=80%, after co-pay($10 Gen. Practitioner($15.00 OOA), $20 Specialist)) plus 10% of any charges in excess of $250.

TRANSPLANTS: PPO/OOA=100% for Centers of Excellence (based on approved National Accreditation Specialization), Otherwise 90%. NPPO=80%.

TRANSPORTATION(Scheduled): PPO/OOA/NPPO=100% after $20 co-pay per trip, pre-approved.

OTHER COVERED IMMUNIZATIONS: PPO=100%, OOA=90%, NPPO=80%. In all cases, 50% for vaccinations due to terrorist threat of National Vaccination Program.

PREVENTIVE VACCINATION/IMMUNIZATION: PPO=NPPO schedule applies to all medications even if given by a PPO provider (NPPO deductible), NPPO=80% (50% for terrorist threat national vaccinations).

Pre-certification required based on medical necessity.

VISION: PPO/OOA/NPPO=50% to max of $150/yr.

X-RAY/BODY SCANS=Are Not covered if elective for preventative treatment. Separate from physical exam. Discounted NHAI rate with preferred providers for elective.

BODY SCANS-Special Rules: Member’s coinsurance portion of the cost will be credited towards any deductible or out of pocket limit under this plan.

WEIGHT LOSS:PPO/OOA:100% after $15 co-pay(OOA based on UCR),80% NPPO.

*OOA status does not apply to foreign residence, except as approved. Generally, where the NPPO is covered 80%, the OOA will be covered to 90%.

Rx BENEFITS: First three (3) prescriptions, $5 generic, $15 Brand for 30 day supply. ANY Rx AFTER 3rd REFILL WILL BE SUBJECT TO HIGHER COPAYS UNLESS FILLED BY MAIL ORDER: 25% COPAY FOR GENERIC AND BRAND DRUGS AFTER 3rd REFILL. Call NHAI for Vacation Overrides and any variances on prescriptions.

MAIL ORDER: $10 co-pay Generic, $25 co-pay Brand for 93 day supply.

BIRTH CONTROL: Covered same as any other Rx.

INFERTILITY: Must be enrolled in Infertility/IVF Program. Max: two live births through program.

MAJOR MEDICAL Rx: PPO= 90%, OOA= 90%, NPPO=80%

INJECTABLES: Certain injections (i.e., aids medication), covered as Major Medical and pre-authorized, must be paid for by the member and a claim submitted for reimbursement

Rx COORDINATION of BENEFITS: The plan will pay the portion of the out of pocket expense under the primary plan LESS whatever co-pay would have been paid under the plan. The out of pocket expense under the primary plan must be at least $25 or more for any Rx to be considered under the COB provisions of this plan.

MENTAL/ADDICTIVE: All Mental Health benefits will be provided under the NHAB as the exclusive provider for mental, nervous, and addictive treatment.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE OUTPATIENT: PPO=100% after NHAB co-pay while in compliance. Otherwise, benefits will be limited to 50% after the NHAB co-pay and the patient will be responsible for the balance. Benefits limited to $5000/year.

FAILURE TO COMPLY-Outpatient Addictive Treatment Program: will result in termination of that program. This includes any requirement for drug testing. If an individual continues to abuse drugs and/or alcohol while attending a treatment program, the program is doomed to failure. This situation will be treated the same as though the individual had been admitted for detoxification. An inpatient treatment program will be required to be completed to insure complete detoxification before providing approval for outpatient treatment. Outpatient programs are subject to submission of a treatment plan and pre-approval. As a condition of participation in an outpatient treatment program without first completing an inpatient program, the patient may be required to submit to periodic drug testing. After two negative tests, approval of the treatment program will be suspended and further outpatient treatment will not be covered until the patient completes a detoxification program inpatient and is medically and mentally capable of transferring to an outpatient program. No substance abuse treatment program will achieve any level of success until the patient is willing to discontinue their abusive behavior and agrees to remain in compliance with the terms of the treatment program.

FAILURE TO COMPLETE-In-Patient program for substance abuse penalty: Your co-pay will be increased by 20% and the plan benefits will be decreased by 20% if you do not complete or refuse to complete any addictive or substance abuse treatment program in its entirety, including premature discharge against medical advice. If the continuing care program following any confinement program is not completed, the basic plan co-pay for any second or third treatment will be reduced by 10%. The plan co-pay for the second treatment is reduced from 70% to 80%.

You must successfully complete an aftercare program after the first episode of inpatient care to be eligible for further coverage.


CHIROPRACTIC/ACUPUNCTURE/MASSAGE: PPO=100% after $15 co-pay to max $60/visit ($50 Massage),OOA/NPPO=75% to max of $50/visit. 30 visits/yr (Massage 15):Total max=$2500 for all. MASSAGE: in excess of 3 visits during a 60-day period needs pre-certification



Commercial freezer, 16.7 cu.ft. upright heavy duty insulation, security lock.,4 shelves, 5 shelves on door, excellent. condition, $500. Call 336-4912.


Appliances on the cheap--- A kitchen sink and everything else for 100 bucks to the taker in mid-June.  Call me and I will call you when they are ready to be picked up: 16 year old GE appliances- 27 inch oven, 27 inch microwave, a dishwasher, and a double stainless steel sink – all are working.  Winner takes all.  Mary Leonard 338-0216.  Ready around the second week in June.


Vacation Home:  3 bedroom, year-round home, on Oneida Lake.  Large lot with 100 foot lake frontage and boat dock, new heating system with air conditioner. 20 minutes to the Turning Stone Casino or City of Syracuse. $179,000.  Please call evenings 331-5276.

Condo For Rent

Outer Banks, North Carolina (Kill Devil Hills)  One bedroom (queen size bed), loft with two twin beds, sleeper sofa (queen size), living room, kitchen, A/C, cable/VCR, phone and deck.  Rented on a weekly basis May 31st - June 20th  $550/wk, June 1st - Aug. 15th $725/wk (non-teacher price $795/wk), Aug. 16th – Aug. 29th $695/wk (non-teacher price $775, Aug. 30th – Sept.  26th $625/wk.  If interested call Veronica 338-9570.


Newly Renovated Vacation Home

For Rent

Quaint Cape Cod Cottage in South Yarmouth, Mass.  Centrally located in quiet residential area near shopping, 10 minutes from the bay and sound.  The home includes 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, living room, kitchen, small sunroom, additional outdoor shower, washer and dryer.  Beautifully decorated.  No children or pets please.  Perfect for two couples.  Available June through September.  $800 per week.  Call  Barbara Darbin Tolfson at 339-4547 after 4pm.


The Torch

Ten Publications September through June

Distribution 1748

Submissions to The Torch made be made to the KTF Office via

e-mail (Locals on Line)

or e-mail the editor at

Editor       Dianne Fried (Edson)

President      Hugh Spoljaric (KHS)

Publisher     Miriam White (GW)

KTF Office/Kingston Trust Fund Office located at

307 Wall Street, 3rd Floor, Kingston, New York  12402-4461

1 (845) 338-5422   1 (845) 338-0391









House for Rentt

2 bedroom, 1 ˝ bath home on 10 acres in the Town of Ulster.  Asking $950 per month plus utilities.  Available June , 2003.  Call Beverly Daley at 339-3172



  The KTF sadly reports the passing of the following members and their relatives:

  Donna Greene,(Crosby), on the passing of her mother,

   Terri Dwyer, Chambers, on the passing of her father,r,

   And Emil (Butch Zullo) retired KHS social Studies teacher and friend.



  Spring brings a bumper crop of babies to the KTF family:

  Rob Horvers  (Crosby custodian) and his wife- a daughter, Elisse,

  Diana Bonse (Crosby kindergarten), a son, Gabrielle,

  Suzanne Ingellis (Crosby speech therapist), a daughter, Elizabeth,

  Evelyn Peters (Edson sign language interpreter), a son, Michael William,m,

  And Jeff Giebelhaus (Edson instrumental music) and Nicole (former GW teacher), a daughter, Lynea Catherine.















Defensive Driving Course












MONDAY, JUNE 30, 2003

8:30 am – 3:00 pm

Myer School Cafeteria


Make checks payable to NYSUT BENEFIT TRUST and send to Colleen Dunham as soon as possible as receipt of payment will hold your spot.