COVINGTON - The end of this school year isn't just a summer break for some employees of the Newton County School System. This year also signifies the end of their working lives.
Last Thursday night, the Newton County Board of Education held its annual Retirement Dinner to honor 39 employees who will retire at the end of the 2008-09 school year.
"The 39 employees retiring from our school system include one having 38 years of service," said Dr. Steven Whatley, superintendent at NCSS, in a prepared statement. "That service, whether as teacher, custodian, paraprofessional, secretary, attendance worker, school nutrition worker, bus driver, maintenance worker or administrator, is appreciated and has contributed greatly to the success of our students and the school system."
The employees include teachers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, bus drivers and other employees in Newton County's public schools and the central office.
This year, those employees retiring include Barbara Alexander, teacher at Indian Creek Middle School; Wendy Arena, paraprofessional at Heard-Mixon Elementary School; Patricia Benton, paraprofessional at Oak Hill Elementary School; Deborah Bledsoe, secretary at the central office; Herbert Carson, bus driver; William Carver, teacher at Cousins Middle School; Mary Cuspard, teacher at Indian Creek Middle School; Patricia Daniel, secretary at Fairview Elementary School; Eddie Davis, bus driver; Mary Ann Davis, teacher at Livingston Elementary School; James Dove, bus driver; Diane Drew-Grotheer, school psychologist at the central office; Julia Duff, teacher at Porterdale Elementary School; Teresa Gilstrap, school nutrition worker Heard-Mixon Elementary School; Connie Hill, custodian at Eastside High School; I. Rose Hilton, speech/language pathologist; Alan Hopkins, teacher at Veterans Memorial Middle School; Craig Hudson, speech/language pathologist; Edna Johnson, school nutrition worker at Eastside High School; Carl Jones, attendance officer at the central office; David King, teacher at Eastside High School; Walker Kirkpatrick, maintenance personnel; Emmitt Marks, custodian at East Newton Elementary School; John Oxford, teacher at South Salem Elementary; Deborah Robertson, associate superintendent for administrative services at the central office; Judith Sanders, teacher at Ficquett Elementary School; Marie Segars, teacher at Mansfield Elementary School; Eleanor Shaw, paraprofessional at Heard-Mixon Elementary School; Reba Shepherd, school nutrition worker at Livingston Elementary School; Charles Stanford, JROTC instructor at Newton High School; Cathy Stubbs, director of special education at the central office; Sandra Surles, special education paraprofessional at Alcovy High School; Dr. David Temple, teacher at Alcovy High School; Thomas Tuggle, custodian at Cousins Middle School; Darlene White, teacher at West Newton Elementary School; Eleanor Whitney, bus monitor; Robert Whitney, bus monitor; Don Wood, construction/energy manager at the central office; and Kay Wright, teacher at Newton High School.
The employees have 915 years of combined service in education; individually, employees had between 10 and nearly 40 years of service to NCSS.
During the event, each retiree received a plaque commemorating their years of service in education, and their supervisor introduced them and gave a brief speech about their service to their school or department.