Administrators across the state, especially those pushing their most veteran educators out of the classroom as cost-saving strategy, would do well for themselves and their school communities to give due honor and recognition to men and women who have devoted their careers -- the prime years of their lives, in abundance -- to the education of other people's children. Regardless of the cost, it's worth it.
District 1 Schools recently honored those employees who retired during or at the end of the 2010-11 school year.
United in their dedication to student-centered education for every child in our community, these employees accumulated a combined total of 541.5 years of service to the students and citizens of District 1 in varying capacities.
Kathie Lindsay, Ray Smith, and Tom Wilkins, all of Campobello-Gramling School; Wanda Cromer, Randy Medlock, and Pam Stokes, all of Chapman High School; Kenneth Allison, Judy Harris, Nancy McCarter, Naomi McMillan, Bobby Teague, Frieda Thomas, and James Woodruff, all of the District One Administrative Office; Tommy Campbell and Kenneth Burrell, both of H.B. Swofford Career Center; Elaine Graves and Suzanne Wilson, both of Holly Springs-Motlow Elementary School; Delores “Dee” Camp and Jimmy Ramsey, both of Inman Elementary School; Donna Pace of Landrum High School; Linda Allison of Landrum Middle School; Betty Ann Martin of New Prospect Elementary School; Mary Jo Spooner of O.P. Earle Elementary School.
To all of these educators: Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Your salaries, health care benefits and retirement dividends have been and remain woefully insufficient compensation for the years of soul and spirit you've given to the children of your communities, and no gold watch or banquet will make up the difference -- though you certainly deserve both.
But generations yet to come will be born and raised in circumstances immeasurably improved because you were here and chose to serve children.
May you thrive and find immense joy in your retirement. Thank you.