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Thursday, November 27, 2014
School News
Herrmann to stay as teacher union head
Amendment allows him to lead VSTA after retirement
By Brian Croce
Provided photo
Richard Herrmann has been president of VSTA since the 1970s.

The Valley Stream Teacher’s Association voted 614-25 in favor of passing an amendment that will allow the current president, Richard Herrmann, to complete his current term through June 30, 2013, even though he will be retiring in June.

“I guess some of the executive council delegates felt this would be easier for everybody if we just change the constitution so I could finish out next year,” Herrmann said. “Next year anybody interested in running for my position would announce their candidacy and we’d be able to spend some time showing them what to do.”

Herrmann has been president of VSTA for 38 years and an English teacher at Central High School for 52 years. He said that he made his decision to retire this year when a one-time retirement incentive came into play.

“There’s a certain excitement to it,” Herr-mann said of his time as president, “a sense that you’re doing something significant. We advocate for teachers, students and the community.”

The amendment to the constitution will be a single exception to the provision that states that retirees are ineligible to hold elected office. The process of amending the constitution began at the Jan. 12 meeting of the union’s executive council, when it was introduced in writing. From there it was put to a vote to VSTA Executive Council delegates on Feb. 9 — the vote was unanimous, 48-0 ­— and a date was set for a general membership vote in March.

On Feb. 13, the monthly President’s Report was distributed to all members with the wording of the amendment for their consideration. In order for a constitutional amendment to pass, it needed to receive support from two-thirds of voters. It passed with 96 percent.

“It was a nice vote of confidence,” Herr-mann said. “I think it will make it easier for my successor to come into office with a little more than a year to prepare.”

Teacher representatives around Valley Stream cite Herrmann’s years of service to the VSTA as a major reason why the amendment was put into place.

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