Central Zone hosts Facebook Live

By Tracie Yostpille, UniServ field rep

Are you doing anything on Tuesday night? If not, log into the Central Zone Facebook page at fb.me/njeacentral for “Central Talk Live.” These live and lively conversations are presented bimonthly to provide information to help Central Zone members in their everyday life. 

The NJEA’s Central Zone consists of local associations in Middlesex, Mercer, Monmouth, and Ocean counties, and members in New Jersey’s community college’s.  The Central Zone Facebook page was created by NJEA Central Zone field representatives Tom Hayden, Colleen Neil, Marcia Klienz and me. Mike Rollins, an NJEA field rep for organizing, and Marybeth Beichert, an associate director in the Government Relations division round out the team. The team works under the direction of Central Zone Regional Director Jennifer Raike. 

The Central Zone Facebook page offers local association leaders and members one place to go for information and upcoming events that membership in the NJEA entitles them to attend–it’s “one-stop shopping” for everything that’s happening in the Central Zone.  

Colleen Neil, a field rep in Region 7, is the host of “Central Talk Live: Conversations with Colleen” She engages in 30- to 45-minute conversations with NJEA staff and or NJEA members on myriad topics. The sessions are recorded. If you can’t log on live, watch the recorded conversations at your leisure on the Central Zone Facebook page.   

Many members do not know that being an NJEA member provides so much more than strong contracts, good salary settlements and job-related assistance when needed.  There is so much to gain from membership in the association.  

The first Central Talk Live was held last December. The topic was “Holiday Hacks with Member Benefits.” Beth Buonsante, the NJEA associate Director in Research in the Research Division who specializes in NJEA Member Benefits, shared holiday shopping discounts just for NJEA members. Everyone who watched the live or the recorded conversation found a way to save money through the NJEA Member Benefits, a program which is exclusively for members. 

Schroeder Buonsante was once again a guest, to discuss the AID NJEA program with Diane Vistein, one of the NJEA members who answers the phones and AID NJEA. In that conversation, Diane explains how she came to be part of the AID NJEA team who staff the phones 24-7. She also discussed resources members can expect when they call AID NJEA in crisis or just for direction. 

Neil also hosted three-part conversation series on stress. She administered a stress inventory to two local association presidents to help them identify stressors in their life. Neil also practiced breathing exercises in a conversation with Carmen Torres-Izquierdo, an who is now a program manager in the Office of Human and Civil Rights, Equity and Governance. At the time, Torres-Izquierdo was an administrative assistant in the Region 7 office. 

NJEA Associate Director of Research Dan Goldman talked with Neil about school budgets. Who would have thought a conversation on how schools are funded and how schools budget could be an interesting, informational topic!  

Michael Saffran, the NJEA organizing field representative who leads the planning and execution  NJEA’s Summer Leadership and Winter Leadership conferences talked with Neil about what members could expect at SLC. Future Conversations with Neil are planned to include topics so every member of the NJEA will find some valuable information and a place to get involved with the NJEA.   

Be sure to log on to Facebook and “like” NJEA Central Zone. And on Tuesday nights, check in and see what Neil’s talking about on “Central Talk Live.”