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UCPS retires 65 educators, 1,235 years experience

Gwendolyn Baggs, center, a UCPS teacher from Porter Ridge Middle, is retiring after almost 35 years teaching in the school system. She is pictured with Deputy Superintendent Dr. Bill Stegall, at left, who topped the longevity scale with 45 years of service. Also pictured, at right, is Assistant Superintendent Dr. Mike Webb who assisted during the retirees’ luncheon recognition.

Sixty-five educators were honored Thursday, June 17, 2009, during a retiree luncheon, marking a combined 1,235 years of experience.
   
The 65 retirees averaged 19 years of service, with Deputy Superintendent Dr. Bill Stegall topping that scale with 45 years as an educator.
   
The luncheon featured Charles Perry, a UCPS 2007 retiree, who spoke about what to expect in retirement, and about the influence they have had on the lives of the children they’ve touched as educators.
    
“Your success stories have yet to be written,” Perry said. “Your product was not always something you could see or touch, but could have been a seed planted in a young mind that has lead to or will lead to great accomplishments. No matter what job you held, you made a difference.” 
   
Perry told the retirees to take time for themselves and the things they want to do. “Be selfish. Be indulgent. Be lazy. Do not set an alarm clock. Stop wearing a watch. Take time to look around you. There are things you’ve never taken the time to notice. Do whatever makes you happy.”
   
He referred to this new stage of their lives as the beginning of the next phase. “Step back and reflect on the first portion of your life and what you’ve accomplished,” he said. “Look for those things that give you peace and satisfaction. Take nothing for granted. Take time for all the things you want for yourself.”
   
The retirees were entertained by strings students from Benton Heights Elementary School of the Arts, who performed songs including “Bile Them Cabbage Down,” “Perpetual Motion,” and “Amazing Grace.”  Students were under the leadership of the school’s arts coordinator Frank Casstevens and guest student conductor Jonathan Helms.
   
Stegall ended the program by thanking all the educators present for their years of dedicated service. “I feel very safe in saying that you have had a positive impact on those that you have been able to serve,” he said. “Thank you on behalf of all of those who benefited from your service.”
   
For a complete list of the UCPS employees who retired between July 1, 2008, and June 30, 2009, click here.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, Publications Coordinator
Posted: Jun 17, 2009 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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