Twenty-nine MEA-Retired officers and affiliate leaders from around the state recently gathered in Augusta for a workshop about improving communication among its members, prospective members, and with outside media agencies, according to a news release from the Maine Education Association Retired.

Leadership training is planned every two years when elections of new officers are held in MEA affiliates.

The agenda included presentations dealing with email groups, telephone tree, Facebook, website navigation, affiliate newsletters and print media.

Presenters were Corley Anne Byras, president; Pam Partridge, webmaster; Steve Riitano, a senior social studies education major at the University of Maine at Farmington; and Kay Grindall, president-elect.

The day-long session was organized and presented by members of MEA-Retired’s Communications Committee. Chairperson Jane Conroy of Higher Ed Retired Educators Association said, “I was pleased with the enthusiasm and connectivity in the room. It seemed to be just what was needed and hopefully, will result in improved communication among members of our affiliates,” according to the release.

A highlight of the day was the Facebook orientation by Riitano, who also is extensively trained in technology.

He demonstrated how to open a Facebook account, add groups, bookmark friends, and other skills needed to maintain a lively, safe Facebook experience.

Arline Amos and Marilyn Hylan of Franklin County Retired Educators gleaned some new ideas. They plan to develop a phone tree to check in with members.

Bob Jean of Thomaston recently was elected to the position of vice president of Knox County Retired Educators Association. He said, “The leadership workshop about communicating through technology proved that you can teach an old dog new tricks,” according to the release.

He also said, “I left with valuable information that I will use to improve communication in our local group.”

Herb Hopkins of Penobscot Retired Educators Association, said, “The presentations were excellent, and it was a very worthwhile workshop,” according to the release.