Source: Vermont DOE. Sept 15, 2009 Craig Divis, a high school social studies teacher at Bellows Falls Union High School in Bellows Falls, was named by the State Board of Education as the 2010 Vermont Teacher of the Year at a ceremony held today at the school.Also honored were:Alternate Stacey Endres, a middle school social studies and English teacher at Milton Middle School in Milton.Finalist Terry Frey, a K-12 music teacher at Windsor Junior Senior High School and State Street School in Windsor.As the 2010 Teacher of the Year, Divis will travel statewide visiting schools and working with teachers. In addition, he is Vermont’s candidate for the National Teacher of the Year award, sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers. He will also travel to Washington, D.C. this spring for a reception at the White House. The Vermont Teacher of the Year Program is sponsored by Hannaford Bros. Co.State Board members visited Divis’ classroom this morning prior to a school-wide assembly. The lunchtime ceremony included remarks by Divis, 2009 Vermont Teacher of the Year Diane Leddy, Education Commissioner Armando Vilaseca and State Board Chair Tom James. The student body was present as well. Divis was presented with SMART Board ™ equipment and software for his classroom by Brian Scofield of SMART Technologies, with software and materials going to each of the other two finalists. In addition, the Department of Education donated $2,500 towards classroom-related supplies and activities.Divis, a resident of Grafton, has been an educator at Bellows Falls for five years, the past two as Social Studies Department Coordinator. He has been a classroom teacher for six years. He received a B.S. in Education from Miami University in 2003, and spent one year as an alternative program teacher in Akron, Ohio prior to coming to Vermont. Divis has worked with the University of Vermont’s Asian Studies Outreach Program since 2005 and traveled extensively during the summer.“The rewards that I find in teaching are when students become passionate about learning and understanding the world, and want to experience it firsthand,” he wrote in his nomination packet. “My rewards don’t come from grades students get on a test, but from students coming back years after graduation to visit me and tell me about their experiences traveling the world and becoming passionate about learning.”In addition to serving as an advisor to student teachers, he has served as a member of the Windham Northeast Supervisory Union Social Studies Curriculum Committee, is the chair of the Bellows Falls Union High School Social Studies Department, serves as assistant chair to the school’s Literacy Action Plan Committee, and is a member of the faculty council.Principal Chris Hodsden wrote, “Mr. Divis will not only represent our state well as Teacher of the Year, he will represent the field of education well to the general public and the nation.”In his presentation, Commissioner Vilaseca said, “We are fortunate to have someone of Mr. Divis’ caliber working here in this state.”During his remarks, Mr. Divis made a point of acknowledging his colleagues and parents. However, he saved his greatest praise for his students, telling them, “I am inspired by you every single day. I am in awe of the accomplishments of those of you in the audience and those who came before. It is to you who I say thank you for without you this would not be possible.”The Vermont Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by Hannaford Bros.
Bars, restaurants, cinemas and schools were shutting down from New York and Los Angeles to Paris and Dubai in a worldwide effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic, as financial markets tumbled despite emergency action by global central banks.Germans were asked to cancel all vacations as Canada, Chile and other countries closed their borders to visitors. Peru deployed masked military personnel to block major roads while Ireland launched a campaign to recruit more healthcare workers. Airlines slashed flights, shed jobs and asked governments for billions of dollars in loans and grants.In contrast to much of the world, Mexico and Brazil still held large political rallies and the United Kingdom kept its schools open. Topics : Global markets reeled on Monday, with US stock indexes plunging more than 12% as the Federal Reserve’s second emergency rate cut to near zero stoked fears of a coronavirus-driven recession.EU finance ministers were planning a coordinated economic response to the virus, which the European Commission says could push the European Union into recession.A White House adviser said the United States could pump $800 billion or more into the economy to minimize damage.The World Health Organization (WHO) called on all countries on Monday to ramp up their testing programs as the best way to slow the advance of the pandemic. “We have a simple message to all countries – test, test, test,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference in Geneva. “All countries should be able to test all suspected cases. They cannot fight this pandemic blindfolded.”Getting worse in ItalyIn Italy, another 349 people died on Monday, taking the total to 2,158, with nearly 28,000 cases, after 368 deaths were reported on Sunday, a daily toll more dire than even China was reporting at the peak of the outbreak.”Many children think it is scary,” Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg told a news conference dedicated to answering children’s questions about the pandemic.”It is OK to be scared when so many things happen at the same time,” Solberg said.Several countries banned mass gatherings such as sports, cultural and religious events to combat the fast-spreading respiratory disease that has infected nearly 179,000 people globally and killed more than 7,000.Just a month ago, financial markets were hitting record highs on the assumption the outbreak would largely be contained in China. There have now been more cases and more deaths outside mainland China than inside. US states pleaded with the Trump administration on Monday to coordinate a national response to the outbreak, saying patchwork measures enacted by state and local authorities were insufficient to confront the coast-to-coast emergency that has killed at least 74 Americans.A few hours later, President Donald Trump issued national guidelines that included avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people and the closing of bars and restaurants.Many states had already taken those steps and were implementing even more stringent measures such as curfews. San Francisco will urge residents to shelter in place for three weeks starting on Tuesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.Spain and France, where cases and fatalities have begun surging at a pace just days behind that of Italy, imposed severe lockdowns over the weekend.The Middle East business and travel hub of Dubai said it was closing all bars and lounges until the end of March. Thailand plans to close schools, bars, movie theatres and popular cockfighting arenas.”The worst is yet ahead for us,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious diseases expert in the United States, a warning echoed by officials in Switzerland, where 14 have died.Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told daily Corriere della Sera that the outbreak was still getting worse, though the governor of Lombardy, the northern region that has suffered the worst, said he saw the first signs of a slowdown.Britain has asked manufacturers including Ford Motor Co , Honda and Rolls Royce to help make health equipment, including ventilators to cope with the outbreak, and will look at using hotels as hospitals.The International Olympic Committee will hold talks with heads of international sports organizations on Tuesday, a source close to a federation briefed on the issue said, amid doubts the Tokyo 2020 Olympics set to start on July 24 can proceed.
Achmea will keep on incurring costs in the coming years stemming from its decision in 2016 to cease its administrative services to mandatory industry-wide pension funds.The Dutch insurer’s new subsidiary Achmea Pensioenservices (APS) lost €29m last year, an increase of €13m relative to 2017.Publishing its annual results for 2018, Achmea attributed the increased loss to its strategic choice to stop providing services to industry-wide schemes. A spokesman for the company said the costs of phasing out old IT systems would continue to affect profits in the coming years.“As a consequence, APS will also make a loss this year,” he said. Syntrus Achmea’s IT upgrade couldn’t support mandatory industry-wide schemesNovember 2016: Syntrus Achmea announces that it will be forced to stop providing administration services to 22 Dutch industry-wide pension funds after an IT upgrade proved unable to support the wide range of offerings.Several pension funds voiced concerns about the capacity of the Netherlands’ pension administrators to absorb 22 pension funds in a short space of time.March 2017: IT firm Centric enters into talks with Syntrus Achmea to take on eight schemes. One month later, six schemes agreed to transfer, with Centric taking on several Syntrus Achmea staff.July 2017: Wonen, the pension scheme for the furnishing sector, selects TKP Pensioen as its replacement administrator – the last of Syntrus Achmea’s clients to find a new provider.January 2018: Achmea rebrands its administration business after admitting the Syntrus brand had been ‘dented’.A better year for Achmea groupCentraal Beheer – a ‘general pension fund’, or APF – added 548 employers last year, and also welcomed the €162m pension fund Cindu. Two more employers, Yarden and ATM, joined from the now-liquidated Delta Lloyd APF.The company said 2018 was a very successful year on the employer market. Centraal Beheer now manages €1.3bn of pension assets for 21,500 participants in total.Assets under management at Achmea Investment Management increased by €9bn to €129bn last year, as a result of adding new clients. These included the occupational pension fund for general practitioners (SPH), which moved its €10bn fiduciary mandate from PGGM to Achmea.However, market losses since September negatively affected Achmea IM’s assets, a spokesman said.Assets under management at Syntrus Achmea Real Estate & Finance – Achmea’s specialist property investment subsidiary – grew from €19.7bn to €21.5bn through new institutional mandates and higher valuations. It reported a strong growth of residential property investments and residential mortgages. Last year, APS replaced Syntrus Achmea Pensioendiensten (SAP), the name of which disappeared after it had completed the disposal of the industry-wide pension funds.SAP had incurred annual losses since 2008 ranging from €10m to €40m, largely due to its administrative services to the mandatory sector pension funds. In 2016 it lost €22.5m, according to Achmea, mainly due to the cost of setting up the Centraal Beheer consolidation vehicle.In August 2017, Willem van Duin, Achmea’s chairman, said he expected SAP to become profitable soon.APS focuses on providing services to Achmea’s remaining pension fund clients, which include company schemes, occupational pension funds, non-mandatory sector schemes and Centraal Beheer.Timeline: Syntrus Achmea’s IT woes