Huajilla Unit members discuss TRS health insurance, club business

Chris Castro, D’Hanis Band Director, entertained the members with several lively renditions of typical Mariachi songs. Also pictured is Huajilla Unit President Irene Dubberly.

Fifty-nine members and guests were treated to a special program on Monday, April 23, when the Huajilla Unit RTA met at the D’Hanis Community Center. D’Hanis Band Director, Mr. Chris Castro opened the meeting with several lively renditions of typical Mariachi songs starting with the typical Spanish birthday (and Mother’s Day) song “Las Mañanitas” to honor Castroville member, Elenor Mathis’ 100th birthday, and everyone’s birthday, followed by several familiar songs. Members participated in the “Gorilla” song, following in the motions and making the sounds of the gorilla. President Irene Dubberly presented Mr. Castro with an appreciation gift after his performance and members agreed that Mr. Castro should be invited to future Huajilla meetings.
The meeting was officially called to order after Mr. Castro’s program with the opening prayer offered by Charles Carlson and the pledges to the flags. Mr. Carlson then offered poignant and funny stories related to long-time Hondo ISD Joe Embry and Verlie Nietenhoeffer, both of whom recently passed away.
The minutes of the previous meeting and the Treasurer’s report were both presented and approved for filing.
Public Relations Committee Chair, Kathy Carlson has sent appropriate cards to the families of Joe Embry and Verlie Nietenhoeffer, and prayers and wishes for good health are in order for Dan Keath, O.A. Bernsen and MaryJo Schweers.
Lola Hill reminded members to keep up with volunteer hours, and, as Book Project Chair, received donated books for next year. The Membership Drive continues with a small gift for all who have renewed or did renew at this meeting to help maintain the 88,200 members statewide.
Scholarship Committee Chair Charles Carlson thanked committee members Kay Schultz, Esther Johnson and Irene Dubberly and announced the two $500 scholarship winners. Thanks to members’ contributions, there is a small amount of “seed” money remaining in the account to continue the scholarship program for next year.
Health Care and Informative and Protective Services handouts were provided and members were reminded that additional information can be found on the Huajilla Unit’s Facebook page. Meeting and other announcements will also be made through email. Rosalie Hausenfluke and Cindy Woolls have volunteered as “callers” for the Hondo area.
Irene Dubberly, Lola Hill, and Nola Hanson shared some of the information they picked up at the TRTA State Convention earlier in the month. They attended breakout sessions related to their duties as Huajilla officers and members, as well as sessions with other focus duties. An interesting general session which they attended was related to reading and understanding body language messages, presented by Jan Hargrove.
Ken Hanson, Legislative Chair, reviewed some of the concerns and issues with the current TRS health insurance, and the concern over TRS reducing the rate-of-return on its investments. For now, this decision has been delayed. Again, retired and active teachers need to keep simple “talking points” when speaking to current or potential legislators: where do they stand on defined benefits versus defined contributions, what is their focus for TRS Care, and what are the priorities for both current and retired public school employees.
Looking toward planning for next year, members were asked about continuing setting themes for meetings, providing suggestions for programs, and other ideas or recommendations.
The final meeting of the year will be on May 14 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hondo, beginning at 10 AM, with the theme focusing on favorite pro team.
Irene Dubberly thanked the D’Hanis Huajilla members Jean Sexton, Janet Curtis, Esther Johnson, Judy Moffett, and Joan Langfeld, who hosted the meeting and especially Debra Zerr who created colorful fiesta centerpieces which later became door prizes. Prior to adjournment, there was a drawing for door prizes. Afterwards, members enjoyed a delicious beef and chicken fajita meal with all the fixings prepared and served by D’Hanis Lions Jeremy Sexton, Bill Moffett, John Bendele, Tony Johnson, John Zinsmeyer and Frank Sexton, plus desserts provided by D’Hanis Huajilla members.