Adventure Awaits was the theme for a recent gathering of Surry County Schools employees.
The event was to honor 31 school staffers who are retiring at the end of this academic year. It was held at the Barn at Heritage Farms in Dobson and catered by 13 Bones of Mount Airy.
Dr. Terri Mosley, Surry County Schools board chair, began the retirement celebration.
“We are here tonight to celebrate your contributions to children and our school system and to encourage you to embrace your new adventure,” she told those gathered for the celebration. “Eleanor Roosevelt tells us that, ‘The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.’
“Whether that new experience is a new job, travel, volunteering, or just a quiet, unrushed second cup of coffee in the morning, we welcome you aboard to the beginning of your new experience.”
During dinner, everyone was entertained by the county schools’ band directors: Blake McCraw, Matthew Trice, Chris Lawson, and Jordan Martin. Also playing with them was former student John Nichols. Chorus teachers Angela Caswell, Angie Smith and Chris Lawson performed solos.
Dr. Jeff Tunstall, assistant superintendent, announced each retiree’s name while Dr. Travis L. Reeves, superintendent, and the Board of Education members greeted each retiree as they came forward. Each person received a certificate and a small piece of luggage that held a personalized clock and a lifetime pass to all regular-season Surry County Schools sporting events.
Dr. Tunstall began by saying. “Tonight, we are saying farewell to 31 quality employees with over 739 years of experience. It is going to be difficult to say farewell to such a talented and dedicated group of people.”
Not every retiree was in attendance but will receive their gifts at a later date.
“Tonight, we have celebrated your years of service, you have received the recognition you deserve for excellence in achievement in Surry County Schools, and you have picked up your luggage,” Reeves said “All that’s left is for us to once again say how much we have appreciated knowing you, working with you, and sharing this journey with you.
“The job you had while in SCS has given you the opportunity to influence and change adults and children. Your effects will be long-lasting and I know whatever adventure you choose next will be just as wonderful as this one has been. Thank you again for your dedicated years of service. Retirement marks the end of working for someone else and the beginning of living for you. I know that adventure awaits each of you. I hope you get to explore new and exciting things and travel, and make new memories with family and friends.”
Those retiring, their years of service, and the most recent position held, include:
• Elizabeth Altemueller, 28 years, English language teacher/Central Middle School;
• Barbara Barnes, 28, exceptional children program specialist;
• Janet Beasley, 25, teaching assistant/White Plains Elementary School;
• Bonita Brown, 20, exceptional children’s teacher/Shoals Elementary School;
• Sharon Bullins, 21, school nutrition/North Surry High School;
• Angela Cave, 21, health occupations/North Surry High School
• Tracy Cornett, 29, teacher/Surry Central High School;
• Sonia Dickerson, 31, director/Central Office;
• Rosy Dunevant, 7, custodian/Cedar Ridge Elementary School;
• Charles Durham, 10, bus driver/Central Middle School;
• Stephen Edmonds, 29, maintenance;
• Tina Edwards, 29, teacher/Cedar Ridge Elementary;
• Sylvia Fulk, 18, school nutrition/Shoals Elementary School;
• Tina Gause, 33, Title I teacher/Cedar Ridge Elementary;
• Melissa Hiatt, 29, visual arts teacher/Shoals and Westfield elementary schools;
• Julie Hill, 30, teacher/Westfield Elementary School;
• Gayle Holt, 22, bus driver and school nutrition/Central Middle School;
• Annie Isom, 15, school nutrition/Franklin Elementary School;
• Linda Johnson, 26, teaching assistant/Cedar Ridge Elementary School;
• Patricia Jones, 18, health/PE teacher/Meadowview Magnet Middle School;
• Lance Key, 15, custodian/Shoals Elementary School;
• Hildegard Laws, 19, school nutrition/Central Middle School;
• Dawn Marion, 30, teacher/East Surry High School;
• Elizabeth McCauley-Jewell, 26, Title I teacher/Pilot Mountain Elementary;
• Marilyn McMillian, 20, teaching assistant/Westfield Elementary School;
• Karen Osburn-Chandler, 29, career development coordinator/Surry Central High School;
• Vickie Ramey, 22, NC Wise data manager/Gentry Middle School;
• Lorrie Sawyers, 29, principal/East Surry High School;
• Holly Scott, 29, NC Wise data manager/North Surry High School;
• Melanie Slate, 28, teacher/Pilot Mountain Middle School;
• Dorothy Sullivan, 23, teacher/Pilot Mountain Middle School.