Elkin City Schools recently celebrated retirees and their many years of service at a banquet held at Cedarbrook Country Club.
ECS Human Resource Specialist Allison Moxley provided details about retirees’ contributions to the ECS school system.
Perry Lloyd, Elkin High School history teacher, retired with 29 years of service, first coming to EHS in 1987. The first time Principal Joel Hoyle met Lloyd, he was unsure about whether or not he was a teacher. Lloyd was in a summer work outfit, old T-shirt, shorts and work boots, and had probably been out painting. Later Hoyle remarked Lloyd was unlike any teacher he had ever worked with.
Moxley said, “Unique is one way to describe Coach Lloyd. But when I use the term unique, I mean it in a good way.”
Lloyd has three qualities that make a teacher/coach great, said Moxley. She said he cares for the kids and takes a personal interest in each student. In the classroom or in athletics, Moxley said Lloyd was devoted to them and holds his students to high expectations, yet provides them with the opportunities needed to be successful.
“He was tough on his students and I have heard several students talk about writing cramps in their hands after leaving his room, but he never tried to trick his kids, or set them up for failure, or give them something that they could not do.”
Moxley said Lloyd truly loved what he was doing, being around high school students and being a positive influence in their lives.
Richard Boulware, EHS science teacher, retired with 13 years of service after coming to EHS in 2001.
Moxley quoted from a student. “Mr. Boulware is one of the smartest people that I have ever known.”
Boulware is described as the “picture” of a chemistry professor. The same student went on to say, “He is invested in students and has their best interest in mind, he reached out to kids who were struggling and served as a mentor.”
Moxley said that says a lot coming from a high school student about Boulware. “His students knew that he cared about them, were interested in them, and wanted them to succeed. That is what being an educator is all about.”
Betsy White, an EHS math teacher, retired with 30 years of service.
Moxley described White as one of those rare teachers, “hard to find these days.” She came to EHS as a student-teacher and never left.
Moxley said there were a lot of days that she walked down the halls after school to check things out. “It is a common sight to see Mrs. White in her room with students working on math.”
Moxley said White is “old school” and added that should not to be taken the wrong way, but described it as a good thing.
Moxley said White has core values and commitments not found in some of the newer teachers. “One of these core values that comes to mind is dedication, ” said Moxley.
“Mrs. White is dedicated to her students. It matters to her how they do and whether or not they are successful. She worries about them and not just about their grade.”
She is dedicated to colleagues and not one of those who say, “just let me teach my class and leave me alone.” She was there to help and assist others around her, said Moxley.
Moxley shared a student quote that helps sums up White. “Her compassionate character made me actually look forward to math. Mrs. White is an amazing role model for me in both math and in life.”
Alma Reece in child nutrition retired with 18 years of service. Moxley said, “Alma is a very hard worker. She would do anything that we asked of her. She was devoted and reliable and students loved her.
“I think she made an impact on their lives. She has received flowers and cards from students over the years,” said Moxley. When high school students discovered she was retiring, they asked if they could decorate the cafeteria. They put up blue and gold streamers and made signs to honor her.
Moxley added she will be missed and the Child Nutrition Department thanks her for her service and all she did to help make us what we are today.
Mary Gwyn also in child nutrition retired with 12 years of service. Moxley described Gwyn as a dependable hard worker willing to do what is asked of her. “She will be missed. I wish her the best in her retirement and thank her for all she did for our child nutrition department,” said Moxley.
Jackie St. Louis, an Elkin Elementary School teacher, retired with 25 years of service. She genuinely cared for students and always had their best interest at hand, said Moxley. She said St. Louis worked hard to make sure students had what they needed. In her final year when students moved to Title I reading, she was a master trainer on mClass and used her strength as a reading specialist to help children, said Moxley.
Mary Gentry , Elkin Elementary School teacher assistant, retired with 16 years of service. She was a wonderful teacher assistant and held students to high standards and expectations, said Moxley. She was always willing to do whatever needed to be done, a wealth of knowledge and a great support system to all teachers.
Jackie Thornburg, Elkin Elementary School physical education teacher, retired with 25 years of service. He was a “phenomenal” teacher and coach and wanted what was best for students, said Moxley. She described him of great moral character, always treating students and staff with respect. “He was always willing to help and take a leading role when he needed to.”
Elkin City Schools Superintendent Dr. Randy Bledsoe said several stayed on to serve the students and remain in education when they could have retired earlier. He said that Elkin City Schools has been fortunate to have so many dedicated people. He said he is grateful for all their hard work and that the school system is better because of them.
The banquet included dinner and entertainment provided by Tonya Smith, choral director of Elkin High School.
The 2013 Teachers of the Year, Julie Reed from Elkin Elementary; Emily Morrison from Elkin Middle; Kali Teague, Elkin High and District Teacher of the Year, also were honored.
Tanya Chilton may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @TanyaTDC.