COVINGTON - Beginning Wednesday, Deborah Robertson, associate superintendent for administrative services at the Newton County School System, will have more time to sleep in and spend with her family.
After 35 years in the school system, Robertson announced in December that she would retire at the end of the school year. Her last day is Tuesday.
"There are other things that I want to do," she said Thursday. "This will give me the time to try to do some new things."
While many retire to take a break from work, Robertson plans to keep busy.
"I'm going to continue to work," she said. "I've started my own business. I thought that while I'm still young enough to do that, I'll do it."
It's a home-based greeting card business called Greeting Cards Connect, which is through the company SendOutCards.com.
"It helps busy people be simply thoughtful," she said about the company, which also operates through www.greetingcardsconnect.com. "Businesses can show appreciation to their clients and customers, so I'll work with people to show them how to increase their business."
She also is an area coordinator for Heart Link Network, which is a group of local women who meet on a monthly basis for dinner to network. More information about the group is available by visiting www.30014.TheHeartLinkNetwork.com.
"I grew up in a working family," said Robertson, whose family owns Henderson's Restaurant on Ga. Highway 36 in Covington. "(Henderson's) is still very much a family business, and I still go down there to help out."
When she's not working, she plans to spend time with her family - including seven grandchildren, all of whom live in Newton County - traveling to the beach or simply being together at home.
"I love my family," she said.
Although she is looking forward to her retirement, she said she will miss the people she has known and worked with during her time at NCSS.
"(I'll miss) the people that I see every day that I won't get to see every day now," said Robertson, who has worked as a business education teacher at Newton High School, an assistant principal and in other positions in Newton County schools and the central office.
NCSS Superintendent Steven Whatley is one of those people - they've worked together in the central office since 1989.
"Mrs. Robertson, a multi-talented administrator, has been an honest, caring and highly professional person in her service to this system. Her willingness as a team player to do whatever job is asked of her is one of her outstanding attributes," Whatley said in a prepared statement. "She has been instrumental in making certain that the school system continues on a solid financial basis. Yet, her recommendations and decisions in our constant efforts for improvement have been filtered by our stewardship responsibility to students, employees and taxpayers."
Although Robertson will miss seeing her co-workers and friends every day, she's not sad about her retirement.
"It is so right for me. ... I think that if people have sadness when they retire, then it's not the right time," she said. "It's been a great ride. I've been so fortunate and blessed to have a job and the people I've worked with. My life is certainly richer for it."
Michelle Floyd can be reached at email@example.com.