Sixty-two members and guests of the Rush County Retired Teachers met Sept. 27 at First Baptist Church. Following the welcome by president Bud King and Grace by Phil Mitchell, Lori Hoeing served a delicious meal. Julie Maxwell spoke on behalf of the Rush County United Fund 2013 Campaign, and Kathy Schneider spoke of the need for volunteers willing to listen to third graders read at RES East. This is from 9:30 until 10 a.m. daily, and can be daily, weekly or whenever convenient.
The business meeting was called to order with the Pledge to the Flag. King reminded us that we have lost Bill Houk and Landon Herbert since the last meeting, and welcomed Micki Geise and Donna Pitts as our newest retirees. T-shirts were presented to Kathy Wright, Louise Kendall and Betsy Williams for the extra tasks they have volunteered for. Following the treasurer’s report, those who helped distribute pencils to all of the first graders in the county were thanked. These included Tom and Claire Mercer, Judy Sadler, Shirley Henshaw, Rosalie Earnest, Bud King and Barb Kendall. Fifty-six associate members were signed up the first day of school.
Sharon Wooley thanked the Calling Committee, and Shirley Jones reminded everyone to keep track of their volunteer hours that will be turned in at the December meeting. Barb Kendall reported about the District meeting and urged members to join the state organization. She said that we have 9 members over 90 years old, with 3 more soon to have birthdays.
Area 6 Director Sue Templin then spoke about areas of legislation that we should be aware of. There has not been a COLA for the last 8 years, although we have received a small 13th check. Many older teachers receive less than $500 a month for their pension, and those with military service are not credited for those years. She reminded us that the Foundation gives a scholarship for $3,000 each year in each district. The money in this fund comes only from donations and memorials. She closed with a reminder of the importance of voting in the current election.
Dr. John Williams, local Superintendent of Schools, presented the program for the evening. He reminded us that education today is not the same as we knew it. There are many challenges for today’s kids, but many succeed “in spite” of their circumstances. He stated that current changes are being done “to us” and not “with us,” and although the state evaluation system is less than ideal, Rush County Schools do well.
Marc Ellis won the 50/50 drawing. Brags included Mr. Ellis for being 90 and not having to pay dues; Sharon Wooley’s son is engaged; Jerry Creager's son Chris is doing business with NASCAR; Suellen Reed bragged about Bud's dedication and the Reality Store; Louise Kendall that Vic had sung with his quartet at a funeral attended by several notables; Bud King has a new great-granddaughter and a granddaughter who has graduated from mortuary science school, and Polly Brown for a remembered Corvette ride.
Door prizes from the State Fair were awarded, and Happy Birthday was sung to those born in July, August and September. The next meeting will be held at noon Dec. 6 at the superintendent’s office, with a program by St. Mary’s children. The meeting was closed with the singing of, "God Bless America."