Posted by admin | Posted in retirement | Posted on 12-05-2012-05-2008
ENTERPRISE, Ala. —
With a combination of good-natured ribbing and heartfelt personal tributes from their colleagues, both laughter and tears ensued Wednesday afternoon as teachers and administrators were bid farewell at the Enterprise Education Association Retirement Tea.
Fourteen individuals from Enterprise City Schools were recognized, a number that EEA President Carlise Ford said is slightly higher than recent years past. The tea is a longstanding annual event to recognize soon-to-be-retirees for their years of service, and was held at the Enterprise City Schools System Service Center.
“we appreciate your dedication to both our profession and to EEA,” Ford said to those honored.
The retiring member with the most years of service this year was Janet McAliley, who has taught kindergarten for 38 years. McAliley plans to spend retirement spending more time with her granddaughter and going to the beach.
When asked what she would miss the most in retirement, McAliley said, “Really, the kids, the students.”
Enterprise Junior High School English teacher Debra Gibson is retiring this year after 14 years, and said she’s been proud to be a part of the school system after overcoming a rocky start to her own education.
“I feel like I sort of came in the back door of education,” she said. “I had problems in school, didn’t quite finish school.”
Gibson said during a stint as a school bus driver, she decided to finish her education and become a teacher, exemplifying her personal philosophy of never giving up.
After the honorees were presented with a commemorative clock and certificate, principals, coworkers, family members and friends were given the chance to express their recollections about them – some were presented in a roast-style teasing fashion and others shed tears as they recalled how the educators’ support changed their lives.
Their students’ lives were changed as well. Enterprise City Schools Superintendent Dr. Aaron Milner said teaching is the only profession in which each member can look back and know there are grown children whose success in adulthood can be attributed to their labors.
He wished them well in their new endeavors, and with much talk of plans for gardening, leisure reading, volunteering and spending time with family, the newly minted retirees will have plenty of activities to keep them busy.
“Retirees, I hear a world exists outside of a school,” he said. “I know that’s hard for some of us to believe.”