By: Toni Preece
RETIRED TEACHERS ENJOYED THEIR FIRST MEETING SINCE THE COVID OUTBREAK IN MARCH OF 2020
The LCRT met on September 27, 2021, at the LC Public Library. It was a very informative meeting. Sharon Kinner explained that the group was now giving a second scholarship, along with the one that is given annually, to a deserving senior who plans to go into the teaching field. The new scholarship is a “Non-Traditional Scholarship,” which will be given to a student who has been out of school and is going back to college to acquire a teaching degree.
Plans are in the working for our annual, School Backpack Program and the “Grandparent Essays at Blaine, Fallsburg, and Louisa East Elementaries
This past year Lawrence County lost two retired teachers. Elsie Jones did a beautiful memorial presentation. It is a tradition for this group to donate a book to the school library from where the teacher retired. The book, Inside Out and Back Again, by Thanhha Lai, will be placed in the Blaine Elementary School Library in memory of Paul Young and the book, The Vietnam War, by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns, will be placed in the Lawrence County High School Library, in memory of Bob Williams, who was a teacher and a Vietnam War Veteran. She closed this observance by reading the beautiful poem, “The Touch of the Master’s Hand.”
Ms. Debbie Murrell, KRTA Membership Co-Chair presented the program for the afternoon meeting. She explained the importance of stressing to new retirees, the benefits of joining the KTRS and our local, LCRT group. There are many advantages available to members.
She emphasized that this past year saw the largest number of teachers retiring in one year since 2001! Today’s classroom teachers are under so much pressure from all directions, mandates, standards, testing, COVID, and social media, only to name a few.
She also emphasized the importance of all teachers, active, and retired to get involved with the State Legislature in January. She stressed the need to get to know our State Representatives and Senators. “We must protect our current and future teachers’ retirement, as well as those of us who have retired.” One example she pointed out concerns our cost-of-living adjustment, (COLA). Every teacher paid into the fund while teaching. The State Legislature promised to match the amount we paid into our COLA fund. As of today, our state government has not contributed to this fund since Julian Carroll was governor.
We enjoyed a good time of fellowship and pastries at the close of the meeting.
All new and “seasoned” retirees, please join us at our next LCRT meeting on March 28, 2022