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97 UCPS retirees have a total of 2,068 years of service to children

Ruth Shannon, an EC teacher at Marshville Elementary, at left, and Linda Smith, Job Ready broker and Career Development Coordinator with UCPS Career and Technical Education, were recognized during the UCPS retiree dinner as the retirees with the most years of service. (Below) Superintendent Dr. Mary Ellis honors Shannon, and Smith.

Fifteen of the approximately 100 Union County Public Schools employees who retired this year had more than 30 years of service, while the average length of service was 21.32 years.

As the 2014-15 school year comes to a close, UCPS took time to honor 97 staff members who take with them a combined 2,068 years of experience. 

The retirees were honored at a dinner held Thursday, May 28, at the Union County Ag Center in Monroe. 

The retirees played various roles in the education of Union County children. Whether they were a teacher, nurse, teacher assistant, bus driver, guidance counselor, cafeteria or maintenance staff member or data manager, they all made a difference in our school system.

Although unable to attend, the educator with the most years of service was Joyce Weddington, a guidance counselor at Cuthbertson High School, who retired after 39.5 years in education. 

Ruth Shannon, an EC teacher at Marshville Elementary, and Linda Smith, Job Ready broker and Career Development Coordinator with UCPS Career and Technical Education, were recognized during the UCPS retiree dinner as the retirees with the most years of service. 

“I am most proud of the accomplishments that I have made with my students; especially when they come back to me and say, ‘I bet you don't remember my name?’ When I do, they always tell me something they remember that I said to them, that made a difference in their lives,” Shannon said.

“I will miss the people,” Smith said. “The multitudes of students that passed through my classroom doors are now grown with children of their own, and many are teachers and administrators. I will miss hearing from them and watching them excel from within the system. I will miss my CTE work family. We worked well together and cared for each other. I will miss the JobReady Partnership. This group of business and industry volunteers believes that our young people are our future, and they give and share accordingly. Most of all, I will miss being in schools with the promise of tomorrow – our students. They have kept me alive and young and full of hope all these years.”

Superintendent Dr. Mary Ellis thanked all retirees for their service. “At the end of the day, all that really matters is the relationships we have formed with each other and the lives that we’ve touched,” she said.

“It’s from the heart when I say, ‘Thank you for what you do for our children, day in and day out.’ I salute you. I commend you. You’ve touched hundreds of thousands of students, and I will be eternally grateful for what you’ve done for my children and for me,” Ellis said.

The Marvin Ridge High School Women’s Ensemble, under the leadership of Debby Lutz, performed “I Enjoy Being a Girl,” “My Boyfriend’s Back,” and “I'm Gonna' Wash That Man Right Outa' My Hair.” Lutz also retired this year after 22.5 years with UCPS.

The Sun Valley High School Navy JROTC, under the leadership of Commander Bryant McKay, offered the presentation of colors and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Here is a complete list of the UCPS employees who retired between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015: 

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe - UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: May 28, 2015 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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